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> Issue 52 > Page 67 - Shipwrecks at White Point: From a Talk with Bob Fitzgerald

Page 67 - Shipwrecks at White Point: From a Talk with Bob Fitzgerald

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/8/1 (158 reads)

ocean, washing ashore--he couldn't stop us. But he never tried to stop us, anyway. The coal was coming ashore--nothing he could do about it. But he got quite a bit of coal out of her before she beat up. Well, she was loaded with coal. And that's one wreck that was there. And that was, like I say, in the summertime and in the noonday--beautiful day, beauti? ful westerly breeze in the sun, and the sun shining. Her name was the Triton. That was her name--the old Triton. (Now what was the French wreck?) Oh, the old French wreck. That was a Frenchman that went ashore, too. He was caught dur? ing a northeast gale. It was late in the fall, and there was a Frenchman from St. Pierre, fished out of St. Pierre. And he was fishing over here. And he went into White Point. And come a storm that night, and he couldn't get out. See, they had no engines or anything at that time. Come all this wind, he couldn't get out. They were nailed in there; they couldn't get out. And she smashed her lines and went ashore. She was big--oh, big--she was big. Way bigger than the--twice as big as the Tri? ton. She was a big French banker--10, 12, 15, 20 men aboard of her. And she went ashore there. And she beat up. She beat up. And my grandfather lived there (at White Point) at that time--Frank Paquette. That was 19-and-lO. And they were all French people was aboard of her--couldn't talk English--all French. There was nobody lost. The crew all got ashore safe. And the crew left, and went for home, went for St. Pierre. But the captain stayed all winter to look after the interests of the company, you know. They were salvaging her sails and stuff off her. And he stayed with my Grandfather Paquette--they were French people, and they could talk French. So he stayed with them all winter. And then in the spring, my father used to go to St. Pierre, with George and Allan Burton--they had a big schooner, the Alma. And in the spring, the old French captain wanted to go to St. Pierre. George and Al? lan were going to St. Pierre with a load of cattle and stuff--produce. And my fa? ther, see, my father was married to Grand? father (Frank) Paquette's daughter. And that's where the French captain stayed. So my father and the old French captain were great friends. So he went to St. Pierre with George and Allan, in the Alma--quite a big vessel the Burtons had--they built it themselves. And so, on the way, they struck a gale--a great gale. George and Allan Burton, they had no navigation--all they had was the compass, that's all. But the French cap? tain, he was a navigator. He had his charts and his compass, and he had his sextant for taking the sun, and every? thing. He was a navigator. So, they struck a great hurricane. Going across, and there was nothing they could do. They ran before the wind--that's all SYDCO FUELS Serving Homes and Businesses throughout Cape Breton Furnace Oil Stove Oil Diesel Fuel Gasoline Lubricants 24-Hour Emergency Service Distributor of Petrocan 3 BURNER SYDCO niElS E3. 38 Lewis Drive, Sydney River 539-6444 noUie's (Wharf) Hestaurant and Lounge ~ Specializing in Fresh Seafood and Steaks ~ LICEN2D3 RESTAURANT IJ3UNCE Near Lifeguard Supervised Recreation Lunch and Dinner 11:30 a. m. to 10 p.m. 7 Days a Week 411 Purvis Street in North Sydney on the NORTHSIDE WATERFRONT near MARINE ATLANTIC Monday to Saturday * 7 p. m. to 2 a. m. Large Video Screen and Dance Floor Live Entertainment Newly Remodelled Wharf for Pleasure Craft
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