Page 1 - Remembering the "Aspy" : The First "Aspy" in a Storm
ISSUE : Issue 13
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1
Remembering the 'Aspy" The First 'Aspy" in a Storm Daniel K. Morrison Daniel K. Morrison; I was working at In? gonish. One evening I was down at Ingo? nish v'iarf when the Aspy came in. Captain Dan MacDonald came over to where I was and asked if I would like to go sailing with him. He said one of his deck hands was leaving and he needed a replacement. I was just crazy about sailing but I couldn't give him an answer then. He said he would return in a week and I could give him my answer. I told my mother and father about the job, but mother didn't like the idea of me going sailing. But, she gave in, and I met the Aspy on her next trip. I didn't know anyone on board except the first mate, Dan K. McLeod of North River. We called him Dannie Kennie. iVhen another deck hand quit, a friend. Collie Shaw, joined the crew. The time, I'm sure, was September, 1918, the year that World War I ended. The Aspy was making four trips a week. Ihe night before the big storm, a Teusday night, we came back to vVhite Point after going as far as Bay St. Lawrence. That day was a pretty day on the ocean, as calm as a pond. But at 5 o'clock Wednesday morning the captain woke up all of the crew and both firemen to get the steam up and under way. He predicted that a storm was on its way. He said the storm glass was way down to the bottom. At that time, this was all he had to go by. There was no radio and no weather report. The Old "Aspy" passing Englishtown So, we got the steam up, let the lines go, and away we went. Collie Shaw told me he was going to take a nap in his bunk, which was O.K. since we didn't work when the steamer was sailing. Not long after, the wind came up and became so strong that if you went outside, you had to hold on to something or the wind would go with you. The wind was coming up from the south. The Aspy didn't have much rigging on, but you couldn't hear anything with the wind whistling through those ropes. It was get? ting worse all the time, and the waves were swelling larger and larger. The en? gineer was strapped in his chair by the levers. He would shut off the steam of the engines when he felt the steamer plunging down since the propellers would lift out of the water. Sometimes he would miss, and you would think that the stern would shake to pieces with the propeller going a thousand times faster. At last, the steamer wasn't going ahead one bit. I'm sure she was losing ground. When she would come down from a wave, the next one would bust down on her bow, hit? ting her with tons of water. You couldn't see anything but the forecastle mast. You would think sometimes she would never come up. Dannie Kennie came to where I was, asking if I had seen Collie Shaw. I told him that Collie was taking a nap. He thought we should go and check to make sure Collie CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE, NUMBER THIRTEEN WRECK COVE, CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA SECOND CLASS MAIL • REGISTRATION NUMBER 3014 A Member of the Canadian Periodical Publishers' Association
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