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Sunday, April 02, 2017

HISTORY: Entanglement in the Past

REMINISCENCES OF A LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER


August 6,1980 edition of the Saint Croix Courier (with permission)

Editors Note: Prescott Dines, 83, of St. Andrews is a retired keeper of the Green's Point light which
guided vessels through L'Etete passage through long years of service, prior to being de-commissioned in 1963. Mr. Dines has recorded his reminiscences and the newspaper is pleased to print these in
installments. Helene Nielsen of Ottawa, grand niece of Mr. Dines, helped in compiling the material,
gleaned from Mr. Dine's recollections of 27 years as keeper of the light.

Part V - A Whale of a Story

Years ago, one of the large Buoy Aids to navigation, known as the Roaring Bull (because of the great
groaning noise it made in the action of the rise and fall in the sea) was found to be about two miles from its proper position.

Our lighthouse tender ship proceeded to hoist it aboard, against the advice of a local fisherman who
declared the job impossible. He also mused on the size of what thing must have moved it.
However, for all that, the Captain of the tender assured him he could hoist twenty five tons with his
equipment and proceeded with much conviction and confidence.

As the winch started, things aloft began to creak and groan and a surprise shape came along side.
There, with the buoy chain wrapped around its jaw was the biggest whale I have ever seen.
It was apparent that the chain had caused him to panic and drown before he could free himself. The
whale measured seventy five feet in length!

It was towed to Wilson's Beach on Campobello Island where a crew of men with axes and knives 'set
to' and tried to salvage oil and meat from it. The going was a lot tougher than anticipated and after a
week the ripeness of the beached animal became too much for the men to tackle and still relish their
dinner.

The chain that trapped the whale was a 1 1/2 inch one and was thirty fathoms long, with a mooring
stone that would weigh many tons.

It made its way to Campobello in a round about way. When the chain was finally removed from the
whale, the local fisherman, William Tucker, whom I mentioned earlier, was given custody of it. He in
turn, sold it to Pat and Lewis Connors of Black's Harbour, for fifty dollars.

The futility of trying to salvage anything saleable forced the Connors brothers to sell it to Jackson
Bros. of Campobello for the sum of $75.00.

Here it met its untidy end, as I have just related.

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