Shores of St. Ann's Blog
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Women in the Fishery (Part 1)
Nancy Smith I recently retired from fishing my own lobster license. It is a pleasure for me to share some of my experiences in the fishery, as well as some facts concerning women in the fishery. Can I say at the very beginning that I didn’t get into this business to make a fashion statement? You soon learn to wear whatever keeps you warm and dry, regardless of what it looks like. However, when browsing through a Helly Hansen store, Sydney Ship Supply, Vernon d’Eon, or a Fishing Industry Exhibition, you find yourself taking a peek at what’s new and hot in water-repellent wear! In other parts of the world, more so than in eastern Canada (Newfoundland is an exception), women have been a part of the fishing industry for many, many years. Men would go out and catch the fish and the women would be waiting on the wharf or the waters’ edge. The women would take possession of the harvest and begin the process of preparing the catch for home consumption or for market. They would take their product to market and get what money they could, or trade for something else they need. Once the boats set […]
Women in the Fishery (Part 2)
Amy MacInnis I’ve been fishing for over ten years already! I started fishing regularly with my father when I was in my early twenties. But before that, I would often go during my teens to lend a hand on setting day, or to do some banding – (putting elastic bands on the lobsters’ claws, to prevent injury). I guess I was always a morning person, because I remember sometimes getting up and having breakfast with dad before he left for a day on the water. Six years ago, I bought Nancy’s license when she decided to sell and I’m sure glad she’s still got a knack for it, because she spent a couple of Mondays helping us band lobsters this season, and what a difference it makes to have two extra hands on board! I think that women are really starting to get more comfortable in this industry, because there are two female license-holders in our harbour now [insert “Little River Harbour” sign], and at least a half dozen others working as deck hands. I like that I get to stay here, close to my family and close to the water. I love every sunrise I get to see and sometimes […]
Protesting the rate increases of the Englishtown Ferry
This is an article written by David Jala which was published in the Cape Breton Post in April of 2015. Click here for the original link. ENGLISHTOWN — Preschoolers Aven Murphy and Ellanor Burns are best friends who live on either side of the Englishtown ferry crossing. The two young girls were among the 150 people who braved cold, ocean winds Thursday when they gathered on the Jersey Cove sandspit to protest recent fare increases to the Englishtown ferry. With the Torquil MacLean ferry sitting idle on the Englishtown side of the crossing, demonstrators carried placards that criticized both the fare hikes and the unreliable nature of the service. “People use this ferry to go to work, to go to church, to buy groceries, to visit friends and family — the ferry is a part of the road system and the new fares are not fair,” said Wreck Cove resident Jitka Zgola, who added that she has a 100-kilometre drive to get her mail when the ferry is not operating. As of April 1, the cost of taking a one-way ride on the cable ferry increased from $5 to $7.50, while annual car passes rose from $162 to $250, and a 10-trip pass […]
Have you heard of the TimeBank?
Time Bank is a web-based tool that brings real life connection! We are proud to see the progress of new members and most importantly, the activities and tasks that are shared between neighbors. Here are a couple updates. Over 100 hours of exchanges Exchanges have included gardening, pet sitting, meal prep, wood stacking, and even just playing Tarabish! Our membership has grown to over 60 members Members log into the St. Ann’s Bay Time Bank website and in their profile, they list and describe the ways that they can be helpful to others in the community. Everyone has something to offer and all hours are equal, whether you are chopping wood, cleaning, reading a child a story or walking someone’s dog. Banked hours can be used on any service available. See more about how Time Bank works. Anyone can join! If you live in the St. Ann’s Bay area especially, we are available to help you make your profile and use this site. Time Bank coordinator, Patsy LeBlanc will help you create an account, show you around the functions available to every user, and she will connect you to other members who have similar needs to what you offer. Sign up by visiting […]
Take Aim at Highland Bow & Arrow
See original link here on WGo – Cape Breton’s Go & Do Guide. WRITTEN BY SHERRY D. RAMSEY Zip! Boing! Thunk! Hear those sounds? No, you’re not in the middle of a comic book fight scene. You’re learning archery at Highland Bow & Arrow, under the instruction and guidance of owner and operator Jay Rawding. Look left just after you pass Cal’s Restaurant on the Cabot Trail in Skir Dhu, and you can’t miss it: the tall lettering on the sign says SHOOT ARROWS. Located in an otherwise empty quarry, Highland Bow & Arrow is the perfect place to do just that. Wide open and accessible, the archery range can accommodate individuals, small or large groups. We went with eight and found plenty of room, equipment, and targets for all of us to shoot comfortably. There’s a safe spot for bystanders to watch the fun as well. Although drop-ins are more than welcome, Jay does recommend calling ahead if you’re planning on arriving with a group of five or more. You can get in touch quickly through their Facebook page. After opening on June 2 of this year, Jay has hosted more than 200 archers on the site, about 98% of […]
The People And Their Art
In the 1970s a new in-migration began. Young people, coming mostly from central Canada and the U.S., came to the area looking for a place to settle. They found the local citizens welcoming and willing to share their talents and skills, so they moved into the abandoned homesteads. Some became fishermen’s helpers. Others planted trees. St. Ann’s Silviculture operated for over 15 years employing up to 50 people. Some were drawn by the music, others by the chance to work a piece of land or to try their hand at a creative endeavour. Many of them remained to build a life and raise families here. Many found a place to express their art, whether it was theatre, music, writing, or visual arts and crafts. And were able through their art to reflect the natural beauty and history of St. Ann’s Bay. Ron Caplan One of them was Ron Caplan, an editor, who arrived on the North Shore in 1972 and upon seeing and experiencing the unique amazing Gaelic culture of his neighbours, began to produce Cape Breton’s Magazine to record the rapidly disappearing Gaelic culture through interviews with local residents for whom Gaelic was still their first language. He expanded […]
The Lobster Fishery
Lobster fishers in Canada must be licensed; the fishery is regulated by the federal government, with an eye to conservation of the stock. The fishing season, lobster size, trap design, and number of traps are all designated by the regulator. There are no new licenses being created to join the lobster fishery; new license holders will have to obtain them by purchasing from a licensed owner. Read about local people who work in the fishery in Cape Breton. Lobsters are caught in traps or “pots” that are baited and dropped to the ocean floor. A long rope bearing a float or buoy marked with the owner’s identity is attached to each trap, permitting retrieval and identification from the surface (several traps can also be linked to each other, with just one attached to a surface float, reducing the number of float lines). Traps are weighted with stone or concrete, to keep them on the ocean floor and reduce movement. Each trap can hold several lobsters; they are checked each day throughout the fishing season, to be emptied and/or re-baited. Lobster traps are made of wire, twine, and wood; there are several different styles in current use. Often, fishers build and […]
“Letters to Mac-Talla from John Munro”
Are you looking for the new book “Letters to Mac-Talla from John Munro, A Cape Breton Gael in New Zealand 1894-1902” ? 32 letters about New Zealand and St. Ann’s and 70 pages of historical background about St. Ann’s Bay from Mi’kmaq contact with europeans , to french occupation, through to the 1890’s. In English and Gaelic – composed by Bev Brett of North River and Alick MacPherson. A Nova Scotian Gael who immigrated as part of a community of 1000 on one of 6 ships in the 1850’s to New Zealand writes about St. Ann’s Cape Breton, the new land, birds and trees, industries, Maori and his fellow Scots in 32 letters translated from Gaelic in 2016. Interesting and humorous. Find copies of this book at the Gaelic College Craft Shop OR online here.