Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 54 > Page 3 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain

Page 3 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1 (313 reads)

for, to see the world, and you certainly saw it. And then, being a British tramp ship at times you would get a diversion from those runs. And you'd go to India and load gunnies--gunny bags-- that's like a potato bag. Then you would load that--a full cargo of that, and go-- and tea, in India. And then you'd go around Cape Horn and up the coast of South America--that's Chile and Peru. Call at every port, dropping off so many bales of gunnies, and so many cases of tea.... (And was your actual work--were you actu? ally hauling these things around?) I'll tell you. As an apprentice on board those ships, you were more or less the maid-of- all-work. They were supposed to teach you navigation and seamanship. Well, you did learn that, eventually. But you were chiefly chipping paint, nailing cabins, sewing tarpaulins, making lifebelts. Keep? ing watch, of course. You worked 4 on and 4 off, right through the whole time. So you never had more than about 3 1/2 hours sleep at one go. All of this for 5 bucks a month plus your keep! In my third year, I got promoted to acting Third Officer. Because somebody died on the ship, and the captain thought I was pretty good, I guess, and he made me Third Officer. I stayed there until I went off sick in Calcutta with this darn stone in the kidney. So I came back (to England). And in those days there were no such things as holidays and paid vacations and that kind of thing. So the nearest college where I could go to study was Southampton. So I went there, studied there for two months, and sat for my Second Mate's. Cape Breton Tours Operated by Briands Cabs Ltd, [ Discover the Beauty of Cape Breton ) Cabot Trail Miners' Museum Cape Breton Fortress Highlands 564-6200 louisbourg Limousine Service Taxi Fleet 24 KINGS ROAD SYDNEY THE# From Cap Cowley's scrapbook: "1st Year; 2nd Year; 3rd Year; Green-horn." I got my Sec? ond Mate's ticket. I had to wait, I think 3 months, before I could get a job, as Third Mate. And I went away to sea on an old tramp ship that was one of the origi? nal three die- sel-burning ships that ev? er went transatlantic mese-and-Wayne diesel She was an old Bur- engine. What they Hg "Enjoy superb dining in a rdaTQng i iw'qmous atmospfiere SPECIALIZING IN CHINESE CUISINE Canadian Dishes also available FULLY LICENSED TAKE OUT & DEUVERY ORDERS Major Credit Cards Accepted lllllllllllll'' 'king Hestauram 355 Charlotte street Downtown Sydney Tel: 539-7775 Open daily 11:00 am II I II II II I
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