Tag Archives: Cape Breton

My Fishing Adventure to the east coast

May 10th 2015

Today we caught word from the DFO that the Lobster fishery in our zone will be open as of Tuesday. This means that we should be loading our boat with the first set of traps by tomorrow May 11th, and setting them first thing Tuesday Morning.

Today was also mothers day, and yes I did get a hold of mom and didn’t forget although it is something I would normally forget. It seems that when you are away from family and friends for a long period of time that you spend a lot of time thinking about them so in my case I should probably head out more often, I might remember more important days this way lol.

I was not forgotten myself either today Capt Andy stopped in just as I was settling down to a big bowl of Kraft dinner with hot dogs when he stuck his head through the door and asked if I would be interested in heading to town and meeting him and his wife for a lunch, on him. I quickly put my bowl of KD and dogs in the sink and through some socks on and was out the door. We went to a community Hall in Mabou where they were serving a buffet style mothers day lunch CAPT Andy had paid for my ticket and the feast was on. An excellent lunch and meet and greet with some locals, some great stories shared and then back to the warf to help Capt Jody get the boat together for opener.

The New guy for our boat had also arrived in town today. A Palastinian / Canadian named Kallil ? I think, After helping the Capt with the boat I headed over the new guys place to meet kallil and to get his power and water on, I was half way from the warf and kallil’s place and I see a guy walking down the road a guy not from around here. I slowed down and the guy asked me how far to the wharf? I giggled and  I asked if he was here to work for capt Jody, he was about 4 miles from his new to him dwelling, and another 4 or 5 miles to the wharf.  Kallil’s car had broken down about 1.5 hours away, the transmition had blown so now he was here to work and no vehicle to get back and forth. Good on him to continue his way I thought.

I drove the guy back to his place and I got the power on, but not the water.  The place was a disaster. The landloard had not cleaned the place from the last tenant and it looked like the place had been abandoned and had had squatters living there for months. Cobwebs were everywhere, light bulbs burnt out in almost every room, the sheets and pillows still set up in the living room next to a wood stove and  made as if it were ready for the next squatter to crash out after their next drunken night. This was the place Capt Jody asked if I wanted to stay in for the duration of my stay. I told the guy to come down to my trailer for the night and tomorrow we will work on the traps and when we are done then we can sort out the water situation in his place and go from there. At least at my place there was a bed lol. This new guy had only brought a bag of cloths and a box of food no furniture and no bedding, we’ll have to sort him out tomorrow, looks like im not the only one out for an adventure this spring. LOL

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The Blessing Of The Boats

The Blessing of the Boats

Today was a special day down at the wharf. Father Angus of St Mary’s Parish in Mabou came down to the wharf today to bless the boats and fisherman of the harbour. It seemed to me this was a long ongoing tradition of the area, and a good one at that. However although it seemed that many people were numb to activity that was going on, and treated it as just a tradition, myself, I found it very inspirational, and rewarding to have been part of such a tradition. I have heard about the blessing of the boats in many other areas where I have commercial fished in the past but have never witnessed it before.

It is a tradition where the local priest comes down to the wharf and many or all of the local people/fisherman in the area come to pray for a bountiful catch and the safety of the fisherman that year. It is a tradition where locals come to support their local fisherman and remember the fallen, in years past. For me it brought back memories of the horror stories of fisherman lost at sea, and the close calls I myself have had. Knowing there is such a local support made me feel good I had landed in this small town for my next fishing adventure. With holy water flicked onto the Boats in the harbour and a short community social afterwards, the parking lot slowly emptied and I was back listening to the birds, the sound of the wind blowing through the rolling hills off in the distance, watching a few lone fisherman tinker around the wharf, and staring at the motionless boats tied to the wharf waiting for the season to begin.

I walked down to the waters edge, fishing rod in hand, and casted a line in to the water. As I sat back in my chair sipping a glass of wine and staring at the tip of my rod for any movement to happen, I began to take it all in, everything around me, the rolling hills, the Bald eagle soaring above in search of its next meal, (I bet it catches a fish before I do) LOL, the sea water beneath me, and the smell of fresh coastal air with a hint of salt. A true bit of Paradise can be found in Mabou.

There is still too much ice for the DFO to open the season although I have heard that they may be opening the season this coming weekend. Captain Andy and I took a tour to see what the seas were like.

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If anyone is looking for an awesome tuna fishing adventure this year take a look at the following and I can vouch for Capt Andy he is one hell of a good guy and by the word of the locals a great fisherman too.  Check out http://www.rankintunacharters.ca/ for a great day on the water and the catch of a life time.

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My Finshing Adventures On The East Coast

Day 13

Woke up over the past few days with about 5cm of the white stuff on the ground each day it has disappeared by about noon time and the locals have been calling it the poor mans/farmers fertilizer. I find it crazy to have this kind of snow so late into April. Again I still have my trailer parked in the public parking lot in Inverness with no power so you get the picture (its COLD ) apparently this is fairly normal for this time of the year.

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truck loaded with rope

Over the past few days I have decided to start working with the Captain and help him get all the gear ready for the season. Some of the guys think I’m nuts working for free but one of the reasons I’m here is to get the whole experience of being a lobster fisherman.  In life I have found that no matter what your activity or task at hand is, it is always easier when you have done the proper prep work. So my feeling on the matter is this. I can’t really know what it’s like to be a Lobster fisherman unless  I’m there to experience the entire job, and that means the prep work. Otherwise all I would be doing is taking a boat ride and hauling traps and sorting lobster.  No the real work is the time leading up to the season and the time to get everything put away after the season is finished. That is why I feel it important to haul and fix traps, hang and paint Bouy’s fix frayed rope, paint the haul of the boat, and any other work needed to go into the season before it starts. This is all the stuff that doesn’t make money and is a complete expense to the captain, also he normally does it all himself year after year with only the help from his wife Crystal.

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I’m super impressed with Crystal, she is super pregnant, and tough as nails, she is out doing all the tedious work such as splicing rope, tying string on to trap doors of each trap, and doing a general maintenance of all the gear, sometimes even moving the traps when she shouldn’t be lol. She also would be out fishing once the season opens, but this year she has a bun in the oven so to speak and that’s why I’m even here.

The Captain informed me yesterday that he has hired a 2nd hand for the season to help on the boat. Apparently the guy he hired is coming up from Halifax and has never been on the water, his last job was in a bank not sure exactly what he did at the bank but all I can say is good luck to him.

 

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My Fishing Adventures Out East (MY D’OH MOMENT)

MY D’OH! Moment

Well the other day while I was touring around the island I had made my way up to a little place called Cheticamp. While in Cheticamp I had decided to go and have breakfast at a small restaurant, there was a man also getting ready to have breakfast, I asked him if he was a local fisherman?, he said he was not and if I was? I said not as of yet but was trying to be, anyway we had a short conversation for a minute or so and all the while I was thinking he looked very familiar. He had some facial scruff and a toque on, a typical fisherman outfit I thought.

Anyway I thought nothing of it until a couple of days later when I was at my favorite sandwich shop chatting with my buddy Millan (the cook) LOL ,  Millian had told me he had heard rumors that Ben Affleck was spotted in the area, immediately my hand hit my forehead as I realized exactly who I had been chatting to back in Cheticamp only a day or so earlier.  I said to Millian I was aware of Mr Affleck’s presence.  I felt like a complete moron as I had asked the very famous actor if he was a local fisherman, I’m not %100 sure it was him but maybe %99.9 LOL.

I guess if Mr Affleck  had answered my question ( If he was a local fisherman?) with a “NO, Im Batman” I may have thought he has a screw loose and politely removed myself from his presence anyway.  And just incase you were wondering the breakfast was excellent. LOL

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My fishing Adventure out east part 4

Sea’s The Day Fishing (LOBSTER)

After a week on the road and visiting many places and speaking to many fisherman along the way I was now back in Inverness awaiting a meeting with a captain 25km south in Mabou I had been speaking with since January 2015, the deal was that if I made it here at least a week prior to the starting date of Lobster season that He would take me on his boat as his first mate for the season.

Ive kept in contact with him over the months so as to make sure he knows I have not lost interest I checked in with him along my journey out east. I texted his phone this morning in the hope of meeting with him for a coffee, no answer, & No problem so I headed to Mabour Harbour maybe he was around getting things ready.

As I arrived into Mabou Harbour I came across a young guy working on his traps I stopped and asked him if he knew A Captain Jody? He nodded and said “ eye!” Perfect I said would you happen to know where I can find him? And the young man replied are you his helper from Ontario? A stunned look on my face and I said yes sir im trying to be LOL.

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Mabou Harbour Lighthouse

 

The young guy took me around the harbour introducing me to a few of the fisherman and showing me where Captain Jody keeps his traps and then I he took me to have a look at the boat I may be working on for the spring.

Now I had been travelling to many places over the last week and visited many harbours and seen many lobster boats, now this as far as boats that are strictly lobster fishing vessles go was HUGE. Not as large as the boats in Advocate harbour or the crab boats in Louisbourg NS. But for a Lobster only vessel it was maybe the biggest one ive seen so far.

I thanked the young guy and was on my way back to Inverness. I’d have to meet the captain another day.

While I was on my way back to inverness I get a text from Capt Jody’s wife Crystal, asking if I would like to meet up with him for dinner at The Mull restaurant back in Mabou around 6pm. I happily agreed and went home to freshen up (ish).

At 6pm I was back in Mabou for the long anticipated meeting of my new boss for the spring. I had thoughts of what kind of an impression I should make,  for those of you that know me at first glance I can be a sight for sore eyes at times, Im a large individual a little rough around the edges so to speak lol so I had thoughts of trying to quickly find a rough looking fella preferably drunk & homeless, with no teeth. Id pay him $20 to walk into the restaurant and find captain Jody and introduce himself as me. The plan would be to stand back and watch the look on the captains face drop in horror to what he had just committed to working with,  then I would come in and shew the dirty dude away and he’d have no choice but to look at me in relief ha ha ha, but a quick look around and no one like that in sight, looks like I’m it.  If this had been Toronto the plan could have worked flawlessly, well accept most of the drunk homeless people wear designer clothing and live in better housing than I do lol.

As I walked into the restaurant I was greeted by a guy a bit shorter than me, clean (ish) shaven, with small round glasses and about as wide as I am, if I had shaved and wore glasses I could have been looking in the mirror.

Jody I asked he shook my hand we sat down and I know we were both looking each other up and down trying to size each other out lol, we had a great conversation over supper exchanging fishing tales from over the years. Captain Jody told me what to expect out there this season, I asked The Capt if he needs help with his traps he said I didn’t need to but if I was board hed appreciate the help, well I’m here to work and otherwise I’m not doing anything so I’d be more than happy to lend a hand. Capt Jody told me he would be on the dock 9am Friday morning, “ill be there” I said.  Capt paid for supper and we parted ways back to inverness as the newest lobster fisherman in zone 26B.

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the boat I will be working this spring

As I got back to the trailer it was night fall, now the first few days on the island was gorgeous with sunny skies, and plus temperatures. It has been cold over night but at least the day time has been great.

its now the 24th of April and the past couple days have been miserable, raining, overcast, negative temperatures, and crazy winds. Normally this kind of weather wouldn’t bother anyone, but I myself am still located in a public parking lot in Inverness. This means I have no power, or water hook ups to the trailer, also the little propane heater I brought with me has been giving me problems it only stays on for 20 minutes and then blows out for some reason, so I find myself curled up in bed under covers in the fetal position to keep warm, my face quite cold, no TV ha ha ha , and the worst part is no water to flush the toilet, so I will leave your minds to as what I have been doing (but it involves a grocery bag), if I need to go over night. The other issue now is finding a place to shower. I thought I found the solution the other day where I could just go to a motel and pay to use the shower, however the town had a major water break in the towns pipes which cut the water supply, it has now been a 3 day goal to have a shower lol, this actually has been quite the problem in town as the only hospital around the area is without water.  Oh did I mention with the high winds of up to 100km directly hitting the trailer it feels like riding the Toronto TTC subway, well that’s it for this blog off to work with the captain fixing broken traps.

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the fleet of Mabou Harbour waiting for the ice to leave before launching

 

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