Page 3 - Remembering the "Aspy" : The First "Aspy" in a Storm
ISSUE : Issue 13
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1
''Mtiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiitiifii'i Daniel K. Morrison on the square-rigger. Eagle; and Captain Dan MacDonald. We had another captain with us by the name the deck, knocking out the dynamo and all of York who had replaced MacDonald when he the lights went out. The people in White had an operation during the summer. When Point watching the Aspy's struggle thought MacDonald returned, York stayed on. He was for sure she had gone down. They sent a tele- a good, able man who was not afraid of any- graph to the owners in Sydney that the Aspy thing, and that helped us a lot to keep our was lost with all hands. After that, they spirits up. So, Dannie and Capt. York went couldn't get a message out to confirm it to get the anchors out after the Aspy was since trees fell across the wires, knocking out quite a bit. They tied themselves with out all communications, rope, and that saved them. A couple of times they had to jump into the rigging imtil the The wind had shifted again to northwest and big waves passed by. One anchor had a very swung around to west, and what a wind it long chain on it, the chain on the other was was, putting the steamer hard on her side, shorter. Anyway, they both had a good hold Talk about rolling. I was put on the 10 PM on the bottom, and when the steamer would up on a wave, the chains would become so taut you'd think they'd pull the bow out. We got out around 2 o'clock. I was staying up on the second deck, holding on. The wind was so strong, whipping the sea up like it was light snow. You couldn't see very far out on the ocean what with the spray. What frightened me was the big waves • sometimes in threes • would come together and break, then go some distance and break again. I said to myself if ever one of these comes down on the Aspy, she would never weather it. At last, I saw one of these waves com? ing right at us. You couldn't have timed it the west wind blowing this hard it would better as that wave busted right down on the calm the sea and the waves down some, and bow. She was so slow coming back up that I he was right. We made for Ingonish. About thought she was sinking. As I looked down on4;30 AM we arrived at the entrance to the the first deck, here the water was only a harbour. However, the entrance is not very couple of feet below the second deck where I wide, and the lighthouse on Ingonish Beach was, Capt. Dan came out to see what had hap-had been swept away. The searchlights on pened since they couldn't see through the the Aspy were little good in that gale, spray on the windows. He said he thought for and the captain couldn't pick up the chan- sure the housing, including the wheelhouse, nel. So we had to back out and anchor again was gone after the way the steamer had been in the shelter of Middlehead. VVe had a nap shaken. and a good hot breakfast. Later, we came into the harbour, and soon a crowd gathered About 9;30 at night, another wave hit her to find out how we weathered that awful and a lot of water poured down the stack, storm down north. to 2 AM watch. Around midnight I knew she was dragging anchor, although it was hard to make anything out in the pitch darkness. At 1 AM I went to wake the captain, but he was already putting his coat on. He agreed that the steamer was dragging anchor' and told me to go and wake the rest of the crew. I went to York's cabin and rapped at the door, but there was no answer. I open? ed the door and had to laugh at what I saw. He had propped the mattress up against the side of the bed so he wouldn't roll or fall out. I had to shake him before he woke up. So, we weighed anchor. Capt. Dan said with
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