Page 2 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain
ISSUE : Issue 54
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1
the Zeppelins in London. (This is World War One.) We'd gone 25 miles out to a place in Buckinghamshire. And we saw this man coming down the road--country road. So we went dashing into the house: "Mommy, Mommy! There's a tramp coming up the road!" (Captain Cowlev laughs.) And this is Dad. He'd been picked up as a survivor, he'd lost all his clothes. Same as I was myself. Years later. And he just had any old clothes that they'd given him to dress up in. And he came home like that. (Did your father want you to go to sea, or did he have another dream for you?) I don't think he wanted me to go. But I think I had the sea in my blood. I really do, because I liked the sea. And I did all right, except the Depression put me back a lot. I went away to sea at the age of 16, in 1927. And I served my time as an appren? tice in the British Merchant Service, at the wages of $5 a month, which was a mag? nificent sum. So many times--sometimes we'd go 6 months, we couldn't even afford to go ashore. And then the old man'd be kind enough to give us a couple of dollars advance, and we'd go and have a spree! So anyhow, in those 4 years, I was 8 times completely round the world. Because we used Seatbelts Save Lives Caution is the critical factor >C Department of Transportation and Communications to sail from east to west: across to the States,...through the Panama Canal, up to Vancouver and San Diego and San Francisco. Load--take the rest of the cargo there, and take it across to Japan and China. And then we would discharge those cargoes there, and go down to the Philippine Islands. Start loading there. Peanuts, sugar, coconut-- and that's the dried coconut. And then we'd call at Singapore, and load canned pineap? ple. And we'd leave there and we'd go to Aden, and load dates. Aden--that's the bot? tom end of the Red Sea. And it was a Brit? ish naval outpost. And a very important one because it controlled the Red Sea and the entrances to all the oil ports. So we used to load dates there and then go up, maybe, to Port Sudan and pick up--I think we used to take dates there, too. Then through the Suez Canal. And then we wouldn't touch land again until we went right through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to the States, to start dis? charging all this cargo. We would go up to about half a dozen ports in the States, from Baltimore up to Boston, discharging so many parcels of stuff. Until we were empty. Then clean ship and load again--general cargo, or scrap iron for Japan, and, oh, many different kinds of stuff. And go back through the Canal, and across the Pacific again. So, we circumnavigated the world approximately once every 6 months. Now, it was a good life for a young kid. Because that's what you go away to sea WE'RE PROUD TO SHARE... Scottish arid Acadian Festivals Hiking trails, picnic and camping parks Museums and heritage The warmest waters north of the Carolinas! Cottage crafts and works of art The Cape Breton highlands National Park Fresh and salt water fishing Horse racing, canoeing, and other sports Fine accommodations, gift shops Restaurants WUdlife The Sunset Side ' | / -T- of Cape Breton Requests for Visitor's Guide, brochures, and general information may be made to: Inverness County Department of Recreation/Tourism P.O. Box 179. Port Hood, N.S. BOE 2W0 (902)787-2274
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