Friday, June 8, 2007

Snapshot of the Lois and Isabel

This somewhat fuzzy shot represents the early days of the herring seining business in the inshore waters of Grand Manan. These newly built, much smaller boats, were obviously based on the old schooners and did retain a single stay-sail, which was rarely used. They were all true "knockabouts" and carried up to three hundred horsepower. Herring were trapped rather than caught on hooks, the enclosures where they were fished being referred to as weirs. The remaining mast of the herring-seiner was most often used in conjunction with a lever and a dip net to remove fish from a purse-seine to the hold of the ship. The Lois and Isabel (named for my mother and her sister) then hurried back t0 Grand Harbour where the fish were sluiced into work-sheds where my grandfather's relatives impaled them on long rods, through mouth and gill. They were then transferred to huge nearby smoke barns where they were hung over a wood smudge-fire. In those days of the late twenties, and all through the thirties and forties, the Grace Darling freighted the product as wooden boxed bloaters to customers at Eastport and Lubec, Maine. Fresh herring carried in the holds of seiners, usually ended up at Connors Brothers canning factory at Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick. The Grace carried her last cargo of smoked herring to Eastportin March, 1952.

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