Page 32 - Willy Pat Fitzgerald
ISSUE : Issue 20
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/8/1
shook me up when I realized my brother, who was pretty near as close to her as I was, told me he didn't see. And he was looking at me when she went by • and he nor my aunt didn't see anything. You know, there never was a storm, before or since, anything to compare with the great August Gale (l873). I was married 56 years in August • and at the time I'm going to tell you about, I wasn't married. Fa? ther and I were in Little Bras d'Or in a vessel. And we were tied up at the live lobster factorjr wharf. They had a live lobster hatchery. They used to take lob? sters in there and they'd spawn. When they'd grow up so much, they'd spill them out in the water. God, they had quite a set-up there once upon a time. Well, we were tied up at the hatchery wharf. We run in there in a north-easter. And the wind got so heavy that the vessel was tearing the wharf to pieces. So we let go from the wharf the next morning and we i?un up the harbour • bare poles, no sails on the ves? sel. And we had a lO-horsepower engine in her. And I had the engine going full speed astern. I believe she was making 25 miles an hour up the harbour before that north? easter. And we went up the harbour and there was a point came out this way, buck? ing in like that • there was a great cove in behind it • and father just doubled her in aroiind that point and stuck her bow in the bank. And I jumped out off of the bow? sprit and made a line fast to a tree, and father tied it up aboard. And we just layed there against the bank. The water was deep right into the bank. After awhile, there was an old man • well, he wasn't so terrible old. He was smart. And he came aboard. He was named Jesso or Jessome. He came down in the cabin. He and father were talking. And he started tell? ing about the August Gale. He rid the Au? gust Gale out in a 27-ton boat. And there was 5 sail of them, 5 vessels, fishing on a bank. The great August Gale sprung up and the other 4 vessels went down. He was the only one out of the 5 that survived. And he told father he had nothing left, only the two masts. He said there wasn't enough canvas left on her to blow your hose. The booms and the gaffs, everything, were beat off of her. He had nothing but the two masts. But he didn't lose 'ere a man. And he rid the August Gale out. My father was a boat builder. And he used to build vessels. Capt. J.J. Fitzgerald, they called him. He built little schooners and he used to run them himself. Used to carry freight. Coastal schooners they called them. Ran to St. Paul's. Haul from Cape North to Sydney and back. Louisbourg and up the lakes. He used to build them out of what they called chopped timbers' Used to cut the wood crooked, like that stem I've got there. Look for the tree with a bend in it, and hew it. They used to put the frames of 6 x 6 • 6 inches thick, 6 inches wide • oh boy, that was an awful, awful size wood • in a vessel about 60 feet on top. The vessel would be all framed with that. And then planked with inch and Housekeeping Units Available Camping Supplies Gifts Groceries PIPER'S Restaurant and TrailerGourt INDIAN B R O 0 K, bn the Cabot Trail '..-..CampGill ! '44. Lighthouse JW Cape Breton Shopping Flaza '" Sydney River, Nova Scotia Tbe Shop itfith the Ans • er to all Your Lighting Needs Iste Royale Beverages limited YoMT M?ieriz?f COCA-COU bolfUr 564'30 562-4439 At. Our: New Location Better Health Gentre 364 Charlotte Street, Sydney Offers a Large Range of Health, Vegetarian, Special Diet & Diabetic Foods and Yitaniins C??O.D • Orders Accepted/Bulk Rates OPEN MDN-PRl vm'iS'S'lprr Health is Happiness Now 208 Tears Old ROBIN, JONES & WHITMAN, LIMITED ' Cheticamp 224-2022 Inverness 224-3125
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