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> Issue 54 > Page 77 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain

Page 77 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1 (211 reads)

That was with the first smack of the hur? ricane that did that. And then it got pitch dark. And rain. And the waves break? ing over you. And I couldn't see a damn thing. (This is in a harbour.) Well, it wasn't actually a harbour. It's inside a coral reef. Inside of what they call the Outer Coral Reef going around Bermuda. It is protected area, in a way, but not from 150-mile-an-hour wind. So. I put my engines full ahead, to try and hold the ship up into the wind. And the wind was that strong, the engines had, no effect. (This is your own ship, your own vessel.) Because when we broke away, we were broadside. And broadside in a hur? ricane's bad. So I told the chief, "Full ahead," I said, "and fire the wood to her and bring her up into the wind." No way. She wouldn't come. We only had one anchor 'cause we'd left the other one up in Newfoundland. Let go of the anchor. The bloody chain parted just like that--geez. So there we were adrift between the coral reefs. And the wind blowing right on shore. And between us and the shore there were three more reefs. So, next thing I knew--bump! We had driven broadside right onto the reef. So I was all right--the engine room was okay, and we still had lights. But I couldn't use the engines any more. So then the boys wanted to put the lifeboat out, and I said, "There's no way you're going to put a lifeboat out. If you do," I said, "you'll all drown. A lifeboat'11 never live in this." But they were scared, then, eh? But I said, "No," I said, "you're not going to put the lifeboats out." So, next thing is. she's lifted off of that reef--bumped right over it--and she drifted across a bit more sea. hit another reef. Then the lights went out, and the water started getting into the engine room. Then she lifted again on another sea, and drift? ed again, and hit another rock. So then the engine room filled with water. But she didn't seem to be going down. So I thought, "Now, what the hell...?" So I had an oilless lamp up on the bridge. (It White's Upholstering Housefioid & Commercial ~ Camping & Camping Equipment Repairs 'Household Furniture Upholstering ~ Campers • Trailer Cushions Screens • Windows • Boats • Bilges Plastic & Zipper Repairs • Auto Seats & Upholstering • ALL WORK GUARANTEED • OPEN: Monday-Friday; lialf-day Saturday (after hours and Sundays call Mike 564-2074) Call & Inquire about our Free Estimate Free Delivery In Cape Breton • Discount for Senior Citizens Kyte'sMl • Fhone:562-3262 • ''VeCovertheJsland" • runs) on batteries--you don't have to have ship's power for it. And it's like a lit? tle miniature searchlight. So I put the oilless lamp along the side of the ship--I could see the bloody rock. Now, put the oilless lamp up--geez, the rock seemed to be going up and up and up. I said, "Cri- pey," I said, "looks as if we can get ashore here." So I said to the boys, "Shove out a gangway. Go ashore and see what you can do." Here it was the damn mainland we were on! Right up. And of course, the ship was sol? id. You know, she never went down any more 'cause she was on solid ground. So, the seas had carried away our life? boats by this time--the sea smacking over us, you know. And all the lifeboats were all matchwood. Coming the morning, the wind had gone right down. Beautiful, quiet, calm morn? ing. Walk around the point here. And ('' Need a New Windshield? Your Local Auto Glass Company It WB can save your wIndshlBkIr your Insuranca will pay tha full cost 186 Prince St. I Across from Belle Isle Lincoln Mercury 564-4527 gummer _ 'pestival showcase Nova Scotia's fine performing talent will enter? tain in community halls, parks, and special sites throughout Nova Scotia ~ Sxammer 1990. Watch for Summer Festival Showcase posters for times and places. Summer Festival Showcase is a joint project of the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism & Culture and the Sport & Recreation Commission For further information contact: Co-ordinator: Lisa Taylor Slimmer Festival Showcase Provincial Building Prince Street Sydney, N. S. BIP 5L1 Phone 563-2318 Noja'cote Department of Tourism and Culture Hon. Roland Thornhill, Minister Sport and Recreation Commission Hon. Neil J. Leblanc, Minister
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