Dangers of being a fisherman

The ice had left the Northumberland Strait during late March of 1958. Lobster season was able to begin as scheduled on April 30th. My father fished those years in his boat Slo-mo-Shun. Dad had built this 30-foot long open wooden boat on Pictou Island in 1951. My father powered this boat with a 289 cubic...

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The Pictou Island ‘White Woman’

I had previously written about how evenings on Pictou Island would sometimes be spent telling ghost stories. I had always considered a lot of my Pictou Island friends to be off a superstitious nature and anticipated that a lot of those ghost stories developed from a personal experience. One story which I vividly recall is...

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Cape Tormentine …

I’m going back in time to approximately 50-plus years ago. Lobsters were being fished in abundance and lobster factories along our shores were booming. My existence was perhaps just being considered about that time. I, however, have been talking to some highly respected people who remember those years as if they were only yesterday. There...

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2002 Pictou Lobster Carnival boat races

During past years, fishermen would often be the builder or participate in the building of their own wooden fishing boats. The fishing boats around these local waters were usually built with the design known as the round or barrel bottom. Those boats would be designed and built to a particular size and shape and unlike...

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The Bairds plus one

My parents and I left our longtime Pictou Island roots and moved to Central Caribou on September 2nd 1964. We were leaving behind a unique way of life and many adjustments lay ahead especially for a kid like me. I often think about those nights on Pictou Island when our lighting at night was obtained...

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What lobsters?

I have previously written a tale or two about Anderson MacLean from River John and his ways of life as a fisherman on Pictou Island. I thank those of you who have shared your accounts of past events thus allowing me to share them with others. One such recollection that was passed onto me concerning...

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Island produces hockey star

I reflect back 40-plus years when fishermen around Pictou Island would live in their fishing shanties during lobster season.  Art Ferguson and my father had their shanties side by side on the bank above the Pictou Island wharf. Art’s son Graham and I were approximately the same age and as tradition goes, we would usually...

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Things that go bump in the night

It was a warm sunny Monday morning, June 2, 1954 and my sisters Rita, Rosemary and brother Vincent had risen early. This was grading day and excitement filled our home. Vincent went into Grade 2. Rosemary graded into Grade 4 and Rita went into Grade 6. Miriam Wong from Pictou was Pictou Island’s schoolteacher and...

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Cow tripping in the dark

PICTOU ISLAND 1954 A very mild winter occurred 1954. There was no snow anywhere on the ground for the month of February. Pictou Island’s only dirt road was nothing but mud. March 3 was a sunny calm day and my father sailed his boat, The Slo-Mo-Shun from Pictou Island right up Pictou Harbour and tier...

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Boat ramming during lobster boat races

First snow of 1966 occurred on January 7. That was our third winter living on the mainland. I’m assuming that Mom was getting a little homesick for she wanted to spend a few days visiting with our former Pictou Island friends. On January 21 at 9 a.m., mother flew to Pictou Island from Trenton airport...

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