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Page 26 - Life and Death of the "Aspy"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/8/1 (439 reads)

on her again as captain in 1946. I was on her till she was condemned. Sometime around the 10th of January we raade our last trip. It wasn't supposed to be our last trip. But we knocked one blade of the propeller in Sydney Harbour. Had to put her on the slip at North Sydney. They took a plank out of the Aspy. from forward to as far back as her first cabin door • and they exposed about 50 timbers and about 40 of those timbers were so rotten they didn't have to take them out of her at all • they fell right apart. And then she was condemned. And that's the end of Aspy 2. And that last trip I took the Aspy from Ingonish • we came out of Ingonish Harbour and it was blowing. And if I'd go straight from Smokey to Cranberry, she wouldn't make it. I kept her up the shore right to Breton Cove, then hauled her straight across and we had the wind behind her and you did't have to worry. The second Aspy was con? demned • she was then about 21 years old • and the Garnish Queen was the relief boat until the third Aspy. h. .'''' Henry Hollett, and a pre-1920 photo of a boat towed out to "Aspy" 1, with tubs of butter, homemade rakes and raore • taken by H. MacNeil. loaned by Robert MacDonald. Englishtown. Ihanks for photoes to the Kevin Donovans. Ingonish. Mrs. Robertson. Englishtown and Capt. and Mrs. Johnny Sraith. Big Harbour. Henry Hollett, North Sydney: I was on Aspy 3. Started in 1947. She was a mine? sweeper, you see, converted. She was never in operation as a minesweeper. She was fitted out there at the North Sydney Ma? rine Railway. I was second engineer when she was new. And the next year I went chief. And I suppose it's the best job I ever had, as far as living. The last few years we'd only be gone Tuesday and Fri? day. I'd be home all the rest of the time. In the end we weren't going to St. Ann's at all. Just two trips north. And the last year most of it was trucked from Dingwall to Bay St. Lawrence. And finally came that the highway got really good and everything went down over the road. The last eight years it was dropping off. Then the last three years dropped off awful fast. We travelled with practically no freight sometimes. Might have probably a truck- load, maybe two truckloads on board. But nothing compared. And the passengers were very scarce then • just the odd 3 or 4. At first when we were going down we used to have, oh, 45 and 50. Almost every trip. We knew it was going to end. The last few years you could see it, going so fast. People were sad to see her go. Not freight- wise. But they missed the scattered trip down on the boat, or see her coming or going for years and years • they missed the sight of her. But she could have been off the year before we did. The last two years, it wasn't paying thera at all. She would've never paid anyhow other than subsidy by the governraent. We could?ve had the subsidy for another year. But a fellow carae around, wanted to buy the boat. So just as well let her go. I was in her after, for about 3 raonths. We were out drilling for oil • out to Sable Island. We used to throw off the dynamite and caps. They'd go down so far and then they'd explode. Two boats go along toge? ther like this. We'd give the blasting and the other boat would go along record? ing what was stirred up on the bottom. Ihat was the end of the Aspv, We raade the last run in the fall and then sorae time in June we went at this blasting for oil. She sailed a couple months after that but she had all kinds of engine trouble and they give it up. She's up in Halifax now, around Cape Sambro soraewhere • using her for a youth hostel. I was aboard her in Halifax. They stripped all the engines out of her and raade one big hold. Oti, they had bands down there and bunks all over the place. She was a hard looking sight then. And that was her last days. Caraping Supplies Gifts Groceries PIPER'S Restaurant and Trailer Court INDIAN B R 0 0 K, on the Cabot Trail
Cape Breton's Magazine
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