Page 10 - Wishie Rose: From 50 Years at Sea
ISSUE : Issue 29
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/8/1
might make two runs. If you've got plenty of fish, you can get a load pretty fast-- you might make two hauls, two runs, before you eat. And now, the dress gang is splitting all the time. When the first fish goes on deck, he's put right in the gurry-kid right off the bat, start to split. The header will cut the head and throw him in and the gut? ter will take the gut out and break the head off, throw it overboard. The sound bone is taken out, and the fish is flat. Then when they get 6 or 7 quintal split and washed in tubs full with water, you fork it down the hold. The salter takes it then. You'd carry 30 to 40 tons of salt in the schooners. The salter has a little scoop and he spreads a layer of fish, then salts it, spreads another layer--the fish- side up, not the skin. Meanwhile, you'd go and the'third time you'd come back, you'd have your supper. Then you'd go again. But the last time you'd come aboard, you'd get nothing. The deck might be half-full of fish. Well, eve? rybody starts splitting. There might be four tables then rigged up, four splitting tables. Then more salters, Then there's flunkies--that's fellows washing the fish, putting it in the hold. And then when the last fish is down at night, the table is laid just the same as for dinner--that's a- board the Lunenburg vessels--and the very best of food, too, and good cooks. And the deck is washed off--oh, every night. The Lunenburg schooners, oh yes. Every bit of gurry and everything is washed off the deck. But the Newfoundland schooners, there's trawl tubs bottom up and there's blood and there's codheads--because they've got no dress gang, you see. The crew does everything, and they don't care too much about that--they're good and tired. But Lunenburg fellows, they keep those vessels just like yachts. You go to bed. You take off your oilskins before you go to bed--but you don't take off your pants, A lot of people sleep even with their rubber boots on. They're clean enough--they're washed clean--but they won't take them off. Never took your main clothes off--because next you know, prpbab- ly somebody would run into you--some other schooner or some ship. You'd go to the bot? tom with the vessel if you had to wait and get dressed. That's the reason. To be ready to go. If the watch would hear a horn blowing, a ship's whistle or some- thing--call everybody to be ready. If she'd get too close, dories overboard and out. It has happened, to other boats. It could be the finest kind of a night--see a steamer, for cripe's sakes, 20 mile--some people, they won't take off their rubber boots. So unless it's your watch--it might be your watch the very minute you're through fishing--you go to bed. (And what time will you be called in the morning?) Four, half past three. Summer- time--I've seen it' on the Grand Banks down the east of the Vi*rgin Rocks, we were splitting fish aboard a- Newfoundland schooner--and before the daylight was gone out of the sky in the west, you could see it coming back in the east, starting to get bright. Hardly any dark at all. A week at a time you'd hardly see the bedclothes. (Hard work • ) I don't know. It never killed anybody. (Did you like that work?) Oh, yeah. I mean, everybody was doing it, any? way, (But did you like it?) No. I never did anything yet that I liked. No, that's a fact. I didn't see anything to like a- bout it--if you've got to work for a liv? ing. But still, it's all right. (And Wishie worked for a living. For a couple of seasons he was skipper of a Banks schooner, but he didn't like that-- "Didn't like to fish the weather that I could see some of them were fishing--bad weather--I was scared of losing men." Then he took a spell at rumrunning, for awhile on a big American schooner, but mostly on the Canadian coast, "on a small running-in boat. We did all right. But I didn't like Jest drive this magnificent motoring event EUROCAR SERVICE LTD. Westmount, opposite Dobson Yacht Club 564-9721 A Neighbourhood Store ill a Beautiful Village Neil's Harbour oSrfie coqpeiMo0 • O Insurance Services For All Your Personal Coverage, Call: 539-6315 (toll free) NORTH SYDNEY SYDNEY GLACE BAY 849-4547 NEW WATERFORD 862-3350 PORT HAWKESBURY 625-0640 794-4788 MABOU 945-2514 LOUISDALE 345-2199 CHETICAMP 224-3204 (10) YOU CAN TALK TO US ISI.A.Jffr''man 'th. PRESCRIPTIONS-COSMETIGSTOiLETRIES. ETC. INVERNESS PHONE 258-2400 NOVA SCOTIA "Turn left at the Causeway • Route 19 • It's a lovely way to go." Tbe Grnbstake "Your meal with us may just be the best you'll have on your vacation- (902) 733-2308 Dining Room*Cocktail Lounge Main St., Louisbourg, Cape Breton
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