It was ‘the fish of the sea’…and the promise of freedom…which led the first Europeans to dare the furies of the North Atlantic…and face the mysteries of Nova Scotia’s rugged coastline.
Seeking refuge in sheltered harbours and coves, they started a new life, in a new world. And with calloused hands, and cheerful songs which belied the hardships, these ‘sailormen’ coaxed a living from the sea.
In fleets of schooners, wind-burnt fish-ermen braved the stormy Grand Banks…to hand-trawl from small, open dories. Then, holds filled with salted fish, and sails filled with wind, they headed their schooners back to port…the decks washed by the splash of mighty waves.
The ocean was sometimes cruel, and often unforgiving. Many were the able crews that never made it back to port…victims of the ice, the storms, and countless reefs. Sable Island, one of the 3,800 islands off Nova Scotia’s coast, quickly earned its grim reputation as the ‘graveyard of the Atlantic’,
But the master boat-builders of Nova Scotia rose to the challenge by fashioning rough logs and crooked timbers into legends…boats and schooners built for speed and holding capacity, that could ride out the ‘windy weather, boys, stormy weather, boys’.
Today, the skill and courage of these ‘sailormen’ lives on…as real as the sting of salt spray in the air.
Target Marketing Inc.