Friday, 24 April 2015

Twillingate Part 4: Down to the Sea in Boats

2013_NL_F16_0341B-2Twillingate is as tied to the sea as any other part of Newfoundland. As part of my "health check" on how the fishery is recovering, I wandered around the shore in the Twillingate area during my visit to the Fish, Folk and Fun festival. I looked at what boats, wharfs, sheds, and traps I saw, trying to get a feel for whether things were still declining, or whether they were on the rebound. This is not a very scientific method, of course, but a much more visually satisfying process than looking at reams of numbers on paper.

Of course there is the usual "standby" trade in tourism, such as this tour boat tied up at the Federal wharf.


But aside from this alternative source of revenue, I was looking for signs that the fishery was rebounding. As is the case everywhere in Newfoundland, there certainly are lots of signs of neglect. Even the Federal government is letting things slip into disrepair, although that may be a symptom of Newfoundland's "ABC" politics.


True, there are also a lot of private properties no longer being maintained, and the sight of weathered wood is everywhere. In contrast to the weathered wood, I saw bits and pieces of brightly coloured plastic, standing out like spring blooms pushing through the snow, hinting that a new cycle of life is about to begin.


There were sheds being used for actual work, and not shed parties.


I saw quite a few speedboats tied up and ready to go.





As I watched one speedboat come back in, I noticed something I have not seen in a long, long time. A motorboat.


In the photo above, the speedboat is the small vessel with people aboard. The motorboat is the longer vessel in the photo. Motorboats came about when engines were first put aboard fishing boats. These engines were usually quite large and therefore the boats had to be longer and bigger than rowboats in order to have space for the motors. The engines were "make-break" motors, and had a very distinctive sound. You can see and hear one in this Youtube video.

Motorboats are a rare sight these days, as they were long ago replaced by the faster, smaller, and more efficient speedboats and their outboard engines. So I took the opportunity to take a few photographs of this one. It seemed to sit higher and prouder than the other boats around it.


I came across one more motorboat while I was wandering around Twillingate. This one did not have an engine box, and I could not tell if the engine was still inside the boat or not. But it, too, seemed to ride high and proud.


I really like the above photo. It has a timeless quality in that it could be a photo from the early 1800's, or it could be a photo taken today. There is nothing visually that gives away when it was taken. So too with this image from a near-by shed. I took it because I could not figure out why there was a white dot painted on the door.


There were quite a few wharves around the area and they all seemed to be busy with fishermen processing gear and catch.



I saw a number of stands of lobster pots as well


This lot seemed to be ready to hit the water.


As I was taking the above photo, I heard a crow cawing nearby. It seemed to be coming from the stand of lobster pots, so I went and had a closer look. Sure enough, a crow had gotten inside one of the traps and could not get out.


I freed him and he squawked at me for a bit before flying away. I understand crows are quite intelligent and they can recognize human faces. I hope this crow's squawks were thank-you's, because I heard a lot of crows squawking just after he flew off, and I'd hate to have an angry murder of crows waiting for me in Twillingate!

Here is a list of links to all of the posts in my Twillingate 2013 series
Twillingate Part 1: Getting There
Twillingate Part 2: Wine, Music, and Whine
Twillingate Part 3: An Iceberg and a Lighthouse
Twillingate Part 4: Down to the Sea in Boats

Here is a list of links to all of the blog posts from my 2013 tour around Newfoundland:
Trout River and Gros Morne National Park
Cuckolds Cove to Carbonear
Signal Hill
Boat Tour!
Bird Watching!
Whale Watching!
Fogo Part 1: Getting There
Fogo Part 2: Walking Around
Fogo Part 3: The Fishery
Fogo Part 4: The Fogo Island Inn

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