Page 2 - Remembering the "Aspy" : The First "Aspy" in a Storm
ISSUE : Issue 13
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1
hadn't been washed overboard. We waited for a lull, and four or five times when we thought there was one, we would step out? side only to see a wave coming at us high? er than the bow. We quickly jumped back inside. One time, Dannie Kennie didn't have time to close the door. He didn't have to, as the wave hit that door and slammed it shut tight behind us. "Well," Dannie said, "if Collie is there, he will just have to stay there." Just then, the whistle blew, and the cap? tain told us to go around and tell the pas? sengers to be on the watch since he was turning the Aspy around and heading back to White Point as soon as he would see a good lull. A good chance came, and we noticed she was turning. She was broadside when the first wave hit her and put her over on her side. I was holding onto one of the string? ers for dear life since you couldn't stand on the deck because of the slant of the steamer. When the steamer started to come back I looked and saw how deep it was bet? ween the waves. I said to myself here she goes and sure enough I knew she went so far on her side that if you were on the other side, you could have seen the keel. But, what saved her was the next wave would hit her broadside and put her far to the other side. Well, she finally came around and we were going before the waves. Dannie and I ran to the forecastle to see if Collie was there. The bunks were built right in her bow on both sides. Wfe opened the door and here vfas Collie standing up, holding on to the bunks on each side. He had just about given up. He had been slammed around so much, he couldn't hold on and would lose his footing, and down he would go. Cai'tlt Court 2'E??!taurant and Minstrel Lounge FULLY LISCENCED 9AM to 12 PM Cape Breton Shopping Plaza We didn't take long getting back to White Point with the waves busting down on the Aspv's stem all the way. White Point was a great shelter from storms coming up from the south, but a gale from the northeast would come right in there. Anyway, we tied the Aspy up with plenty of lines at a new government pier. The pier had three big spools to tie her to. Around 11 o'clock, the wind shifted from south to south-east and then to east-north? east. The Aspy started rocking back and forth. Then the lines began snapping. There was a big coil of new rope in the locker room, and we got that out and put four new lines on her. No sooner had we done that than you could hear shot-like pounds of the lines breaking. Ihe captain came down and told us to get the steel hawser up from the aft storeroom. We had about eight fellows from White Point helping us. We always thought about how hard these men worked with us and without expecting any pay for their work. God bless them. We put one end of the hawser out on the stern, tying it to the spool on the pier with ropes. We ran the other end of the hawser through the steamer and out on her bow. We were tryii' to secure the hawser at the bow as the storm was getting worse. The cable was so heavy we couldn't take up so much slack at a time. This one time, the undertow pulled the steamer out and yanked that big spool right out of the pier. The captain hollered to take the hawser in, and the White Point men had to come aboard to help us. Then when they got a chance they jumped back to the pier. Capt. Dan came down and told us we would have to go out? side and anchor. He ordered us to get out both anchors to the last link of the chain. ' UMmo ''' ' PLUMBING. HEATINfi It ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS ' • OIL BURNER SALES & SERVICE • AIR CONDITIONING & VENTIUTING SYSTEMS • MAYTAG APPLIANCES FREE ESTIMATES 539-6200 ??' TELEX 019'9213 885 ViaORIA ROAD SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
Cape Breton's Magazine