Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 14 > Page 19 - Life and Death of the "Aspy"

Page 19 - Life and Death of the "Aspy"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/8/1 (390 reads)

Life and Death of the "Aspy" There were three "Aspys." In issue Nuraber 13 we talked about the first "Aspy" and her end on the rocks near Long Point in Victoria County. In this concluding article the talk is most about "Aspys" 2 and 3 • life aboard them and their eventual end7 Capt. J.D.Pottie and the Second "Aspy" at Ingonish Capt, J,D.Pottie: IVhen I was on the Aspy, before they built the Cabot Trail, every? thing that went north was taken in the Aspy. Everything. And there was no harbour in Dingwall and we used to go down there with--well, say the miners during the de? pression. They were hired to start to build the Cabot Trail. So we brought all the corn meal and corned beef and every? thing they ate to Dingwall and it was landed ashore. Those were hard days. We'd come in to Sydney at night and have to bunker • put coal aboard • 10, 15, 20 tons of coal • then take on cargo after that. During the depression we had the liberal government in in 1930. In 1932 there xvas a change of government and R.B.Bennett carae in. Of course we were a subsidized company. So they cut the subsidy 10 per? cent. So they cut our wages 10 percent. Worked twice as hard. 25 hours a day we used to work in that ship. I was on 7 years. Worked my guts out. There were a lot of things happened were ridiculous. You look back at it today you say no bloody way would I do it now. I mean, you*re talking about working • no? body knows what work it • it was the same as back 100 years ago in those days. We would go and open a train car of hay in North Sydney • you'd take hay by the car • I remember one Christmas Eve we went over. iVell, it was in the afternoon of Christmas when we opened the car • Roy Bennett and I and another chap naraed Westbury. We got one of the fireraen up to run the winch for us. We broke the seal and get in and start driving this hay aboard the Aspy. 47 minutes from the time xve opened the door till the time we had all the hay aboard the ship. Was all stowed and, jeez, one man in the hold • it was hard going. Big bales of hay right up to the deckhead. That was bales 147 pounds. Not the little things you have today--they won??t put over 50 pounds in thera. I was only short you know. And I couldn't get my arms around them. I'd get the wires and drive thera, Roy was up helping in the car. And of course he was purser, had to check each bale • so he'd help load thera and then he'd check it off. And sometimes you'd get 5 bundles in a sling. Well you*d have 4 away in the hold but you'd still have one to heave- when they'd drop 5 more on top of you. And finally this started to build up an extra one every time. Jesus, hard going. This was all stowed and going to put the hatches on and went and called the mate. He carae down and he looked down the hold and he says, "Go down there youi' fellow, and check raake sure none of those bales of hay are close to those pipes." Pipes running through the hold to the windlass and the winch. Had to crawl down through and move bales again. And they were nip? ping back a few. It was Christmas Eve. So we backed off of there and up almost to Point Edward and we turned around • and didn*t we go ashore right there at the coal pier. And this is Christmas Eve. Stuck there not too long but long enough to frig us up. We finally got her in the dock and it was too late to go anywhere. Cape Breton's Magazine/19
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download