Page 7 - Remembering Rum-Running Days
ISSUE : Issue 11
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/6/1
anchored off of George's Bank on the American coast • around 100 miles from Boston Lightship. It was a fine Saturday. Oh there wasn't enough wind to blow a match out. And this Boston beam trawler come along. I can remember as well as if it was yester? day. Her name was the Foam, she was going into Boston. They had a wireless operator so the old man hollered to him, "Have you heard any storm warning?" No, nothing. So he kept going. And he got about a mile from us and he turned around and come back toward us. "We got a storm warning just now. Gale of wind, northeast, and snow. All over the New England coast." Skipper said, "I guess we better heave up" and the Su? percargo said, "It may not be much." It was his cargo and his ship. So the skipper said, "We'll hang on then." Well, we hung on so long that by and by v/e couldn't heave up, couldn't get the anchor up • blowing too hard. And 11 o'clock Sunday morning she parted the chain. Well then we had to get underway, try to get the sails on her, get off the shoals • we were up on the shoals • 14 fathom of water • George's shoals. A bad • ?' • ??':rf%' . spot, oh yes. We got underway and we deepened the water a fathom an hour, getting off • till 12 o'clock that night we were safe. We had lots of leeway then in case any? thing happens* We came down toward Cape Sables and she was blowin' all the time. We stayed a couple of days till the wind moderated, and then we came backo We didn't anchor no raore but we laid there for raaybe a week or so and then it come on April and was thick of fog. We still had the cargo. And food is getting pretty well gone again. So we went back into Halifax and they sealed her up again. And that was the end of that voyage* Ha ha ha ha* Still got it all aboard* So we grubbed up again and we started out again* The next tirae we only went 4 or 5 miles off of Devil's Island. A boat by the name of Newton Bay came alongside and took about half the cargo* Then we went back into Halifax and that's where I left her* That was enough for me. They started shooting them off the States, started firing on thera. They shot a fellow naraed Captain Cluett. He was on the Josephine K. • shot him at the wheel. I give it up after that. I was on one after that but there was no liquor on her. But the customs came aboard her off of Cape Elizabeth. See, she had come in here to Louisbourg • she'd sprung a leak • and they ifere scared. So they took the cargo out and sent it back to St, Pierre on a boat called the Sambro and the crew all left • only the captain and he wanted to get his boat over to the States. So he got after my brother and myself. iVhen we got off of Cape Elizabeth this little American Coast Guard came alongside, asked where we were going. Captain said, "We're not much acquainted. Go ahead and pilot us in." But he didn't go ahead. He stayed behind so we couldn't throw anything over. We got up off the mouth of the harbour • he blowed his whistle, come alongside. They lowered a boat and two fellows got into it • and one fellow had a little travelling bag like a doctor would carry. He come aboard and took a tape measure and x'rent doivn into the hold, and he measured from one bulkhead to the other • so many feet. Then he come up on deck and measured the sarae distance. Then he measured the length of the forecas? tle, and then come up on deck and measured. And he went all through the boat like that. Then he went down With his little bag. He had cold chisels, hammers, hacksaws • tools of all kinds. And he's pounding on the bulkheadings to see if they're solid or false. Some rum runners would have false bulkheads and you could store 1000 cases of whiskey and you wouldn't think they were there. He took the best part of an hour, but he let us go. So we went into Portland, Maine. The captain v/ent ashore and next morning he came on board. Said, "We're getting out of here." We went to a place, what they call the Sacco River • about 15 miles from Portland. We went up the river. And there he was going to take the engine out of the boat and just let the boat go adrift. The boat was old, leaking. So we took her up. And he gave us our money and a ticket from Boston to Sydney. And that was the end of that voyage. Ya-hah-ahah-hahj.' Cape Breton's Magazine/7 Smootk Rock-tripe ' '
Cape Breton's Magazine