Page 23 - Ferries in the Strait of Canso
ISSUE : Issue 20
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/8/1
trap boat and went out and brought him in. He couldn't talk to anybody he was so in shock. And I had been with Orman not 20 minutes before he was drowned. We had hauled a load of old pine railway ties from the Mulgrave dock over and beached them. He was going to use them for kind? ling wood. And he went over to catch the express train that came into Mulgrave at quarter to 3?? to see if there were any passengers. And there was this one man, waiting on the wharf. And coming back a- cross, he disappeared. It was three days after that before they got his body. (And was that the end of your family being in that business?) Yes, it was because just about that time the government was looking after all automobile traffic with the new ferry boats. (He wasn't meeting cars?) No, he was meeting the railroad train, between Halifax and Sydney. They would bring all those train cars across on the train ferry, the Scotia, to Point Tup? per, and went on through to Sydney with them. But a train passenger wanting to go to Port Hawkesbury would know that Orman would ferry him. And his father before him. Other families ferried along here as well. From the time that I can remember up until the time they quit, there wasn't too much time but what the boat wouldn't be on the strait going one way or the other. It was fairly steady. During the Pictou Cele? bration • that would be back in '24 or '25 I believe • I would have been about 12 years old • I made 24 trips across that strait during the day of the celebration or the day before. We made 24 complete crossings. Once the ice came in in the fall of the year, that was the end of it. Of course the motor traffic practically stopped the latter part of November. That's the Arctic ice that comes down through the Cabot Strait, down the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and also the same ice that's out around New? foundland. You couldn't cross on it on ac? count of the tide in the strait. There was just a stream of ice in the centre of the strait going to the southward for four hours, and when the tide would turn it would run to the north for four hours. You couldn't possibly cross. There were times late in the winter when it would jam up here at Cape Jack and that channel could be open water, because the ice would jam up and the tide coming down from the north would clean it out. Chedabucto Bay • it would get scattered around there and when the tide would change it wouldn't come back • unless there'd been a terrific flow coming. Before the jam there'd be a con? tinual flow so there was always ice to come back • but then the jam would catch and what was in the tide rip would be tak? en out of the strait, scattered around out there • and it wouldn't come back. There'd be days and perhaps there'd be a month that that channel would be open. The ice went through there so fast and so heavy that I've seen the Scotia go clean clear to the lower end of the strait with the express train on her. And it would be four or five hours, six hours • until the tide would slack and she'd be able to come back, up through it, she'd come back up with the ice when it would start running to the north again. I've seen 24 hours when there wasn't a train across the strait due to Ladies and Children's Vtear' ' 314 Charlotte Street SmNBT All Rooms Overlook Sydney Harbour Vista Motel King's Roady Sydney?? N.S* RBSBRVATION NUMBER: 539-6550 Zenith Number: 07940, Anywhere in N.S. CHALET fKed 4 outlets to serve'you- Mnms SI, N?lk '
Cape Breton's Magazine