Page 75 - With Dan Angus Beaton, Blackstone: Farm Life, Dredging on the Great Lakes, and Tales
ISSUE : Issue 47
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1
right through (the bottom). (Did you haye to do any shovelling at all?) Oh no, no, no. No shovelling at all. (Did you have any manual labour to do?) Not too much on some of them. The bigger ones were all done with steam engines. You turned the steam on. But you had to be there to go out there and dump that. In rough sea, the tugboat that was hauling us would be as far away as that house over there. You know, away from you. And when you'd get back into harbour again, they'd shorten you up until they'd come alongside of you, and take you up and put you along? side the dredge. They couldn't come near you out there in rough weather. One would smash the other. The scow, when we went out with it, was dangerous in bad wea-'her. There's no question. And then in the fall of the year, like over in December--when the sea would come over it, the spray would come over it, it would freeze. It was as slippery as hell--you could go right out. Oh, yes. There was no building. You had to stand Centre for Intemational Studies UNIVERSFFY COLLEGE OF CAPE BRETON Films and Speakers provided free of charge to Schools - Community Groups - Churches Interested in: Global Issues? Development? Food & Agriculture? I TELEPHONE: 539-5300 ext. 277, or 929-2063 I right out in the ppen (on the scow) and take all the weather. But on the dredge you were inside all the time. I was only there (on the scow) for three years, when I went operating. I went oiling, then I went oper? ating. But some men scowed for 40 years, never advanced. You understand? It was up to the individual. (What would help you ad? vance?) Well, your ability. (To do what?) Well, okay. If you were a good man and a steady man, they'd take you aboard the dredge. And you'd go decking. On the deck of the dredge. When the scow would come in. There's a deck engine there. They'd take the cables, put it on the scow, move the scow back and forth. If you were good a- round that deck engine, you could run it like you would a sewing machine. And then you'd have to lift those big anchors, big spuds on the dredge. (What's a spud?) When the dredge was in 30 feet of water, this here spud was 5 feet square, standing 70 feet tall. And you put it down in the water. It's in a groove in the side of the dredge, and goes down in the water. You see them on the oil rigs. It goes right down on the bottom. And you'd jack the dredge right up on it. And that holds you while you're digging. Those spuds. (And then you do your dredging.) Then I can dig, I can use as high as a 20-yard bucket. Well, you take 20 yards of dirt alone, you've got a lot of weight. They'd dump it right over and put it in the pocket of the scow. And those scows hold--now they have 2000-yard scows. I ran the engine on the deck. But I wasn't there too long when I was running the main machines. The big dredge itself. (That's Island Crafts The Talent of Cape Breton Knitters Is but One Example of Excellence at Island Crafts Old-Fashioned Charm Is Our Trademark VISIT OUR STORE AND SEE THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF TREASURES Handknit Fishermen's Sweaters - Kitchen Accessories Designer l/Iohair Sweaters - Hand Carved Clan Crests Hats & Scarves for Every Age Group - Cool
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