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Notre Dame Bay ~ Exploits District

Log of Esau Moore aboard the Bruce, 1900

The information was transcribed by BEVERLEY WARFORD, August 1999. While I have endeavored to be as correct as humanly possible, there could be some typographical errors.

New Bay Head, Green Bay, Newfoundland Year 1900
I here state the time of the Bruce sailing for Labrador, Esau Moors in command for the first time, being less than 25 years old. We left home on Tuesday, July 3rd, were in New Bay, calm until near sunset when a gentle breeze sprung from the SW. We passed by New Bay Head just at dusk, going for Exploits for pump gear. We got to Exploits just as it was getting light on Wednesday. A beautiful time all day but we were delayed until seven o'clock for our pump gear. When we got ready at 7 PM we started down Sloops Run. We got to Cape St John at 12 o'clock. Thursday we had the wind from W to NW. We got to Crouch (Conche ?) at 2 o'clock and it was very stormy so we went in. We were there all day Friday with the wind from the NE. Saturday it was much the same but not so foggy, so we got out about 9AM. There was lots of ice about. We got down to Crock (Croque ?) Saturday evening, foggy with winds all Sunday and Monday so Monday evening the 9th finds us in Crock. All well. Killed two birds today.

We remained in Crock until Wednesday evening. At three o'clock there was a wind up. There was a trifle of fish about. We were calm by Grey Island all night. Thursday it was very moderate. We killed 25 birds just abreast of St. Anthony before dark. No ice. We got across the Straits on Friday. Plenty of ice on this side. We were in Assizes Hbr. Run all night. We went out again on Saturday but we got out in Lewis' Bay we found the ice too thick to procede. With wind E and foggy we put back into Assizes Hbr.

Sunday the 15th we are jammed by ice. Wind still E. The Julia came in here Saturday evening the l4th, Amelia supposed to have passed down. On Monday evening we left Assizes Hbr. and got to Square Islands. A good sign of fish there but lots of ice. We could get no chance there, so on Tuesday we left and went up to Soddy Islands. There was a good sign of fish there but the ice was very troublesome. Brown had over 200 barrels. We got our trap out on Tuesday the 17th. We only got a haul or two before we had to take up for ice.

Thursday we had it out all day and until 12 in the night when the ice came down and passed over it and we had it out until Saturday evening. We set it but got nothing Saturday. This is Sunday, July 22nd and we have only 6 or 7 barrels yet. The weather has been very changeable up to date, foggy most of the time with SE wind. The wind today being about S until evening with rain. It is very moderate in the evening. The ice is nearly all cleared from us now. On Monday the 23rd, we got 15 barrels of fish in the morning, but not much after. We stayed until Thursday but only made up 30 barrels of fish for all the time we were in Soddy Island.

We took up our trap on Thursday the 26th and got to Square Island Friday. We towed out of it and in the evening we took a breeze of wind up and ran in Venison Tickle. We got out of that again on Saturday. There is no fish there now, there had been a trifle. Some craft as much as 250. The ice seems very clear all the time. At the time I pen this, we are off Boultres Rock with the wind up from the ENE. We arrived in American Tickles on Saturday evening. We had the wind up all day Sunday hard. There was a very good sign of fish up in the bay but don't know whether it's true. We left again on Monday the 30th and got to Dumpling that night. We were into Snack Cove but no fish there, but plenty of salmon. One man had 30 barrels. The ice has been very troublesome.

On Tuesday the 31st we left Dumpling. We spoke the S/S Virginia Lake, reports all ice N of Cape Harrigan. Fish from Cape Harrigan to Hopedale. We got across Grosswater Tuesday night. We were out all night and got in Jigger Tickle about five o'clock that evening. A very good sign of fish but filled up with vessels. We went down to Cape Harrigan, it was the same there. Thursday we left and got up to Pombley in the night, no fish there. Had been a trifle about Double Island for a few days but gone then, so on Friday the wind was up and we beat down to Dogs Island. Lay there all day and on Saturday, August 4th, we got out of it with very light wind and got over to Rodgers Tickle. A very good sign with hook, had been a spurt with traps but scarce at present.

Amelia and Julia reported to leave here on Saturday morning. Both had been fishing but don't know whether they had any fish or not. Julia looked to have some, Amelia reported light. This is Sunday, August 5th. The wind is about W. A lot of craft lying here to spend Sunday. It is a splendid day. On Monday, the 6th, we put out our trap. We got no fish that day and Tuesday morning none so about 7 o'clock we went out to take it up and the fish was playing in it very plentyfully so we watched it for an hour, and pulled it up and got 8 1/2 barrels. No more after, so on Wednesday we shifted it but we got scarcely any fish out of it. After, we caught a few barrels on caplin and Friday evening we took our trap on board. We got about 19 or 20 barrels all the week and on Saturday we left it with a little wind down and a heavy sea running. About noon the wind increased, at two o'clock it was blowing strong from the SE. It veered around from NE with rain and blew very strong.

We got in Windsor's Hbr. about 6 o'clock in the evening, being my first time in there. Wind up all night but today, Sunday the 12th, the wind is more from the N and fine occasionally. Fish very scarce here yet. Mail steamer expected down all day, due yesterday.

Monday, August 13th, we left Windsor's Hbr. with the wind up and went in through Tickle Brichat(?). There was a lot of schooners there. We beat to Little Hopedale that day and next day we got to Green Cove, Cape Harrigan. Not much fish. We stayed there most all day Tuesday because it was blowing heavy up, but in the evening the wind came down so we left, out all night. Next morning we anchored just above Ford's Hbr. We heard there was plenty of fish out to the Lake so on Thursday the 16th we went out to Dog Bight. The trapping was nearly over but a good bit to be hooked for a day or two. Phillip was nearly loaded when we went there. Ansty welled fished. Julia but little. We hooked a trifle. We stayed there a week, only got 30 barrels, could not get a trap berth and we had two strong Northeasters on Wednesday the 22nd. Two of our boats was out and it blew so strong they had to stay out till Thursday, also a lot of other boats. Jim Cashin's vessel Rosa May dragged Wednesday night, being lost. Only the girl on board. So Friday, 24th of August we left and came around to the back side of the island for hooking Most have done well above Seal Tickle with traps and hook. Trapping is over there now for a while. We stayed on the upper side of Dog Island until Monday. We got 11 barrels of fish on Tuesday, but could get very little bait after that. Sunday we were aboard the Prima Donna just across the run, they only had 30 barrels then and not expecting to go no farther. We spoke to one of the E.Moors crew on Monday the 27th. They had 330, were in Black Island, not going any farther. Amelia gone down. The accounts of fish was very bad, then we heard there was no fish to Cut Throat. Minty's schooner, Goldfinch was down to Perries Gulch and came back about the time of the last breeze, reported no fish there. The J.W.O. was down to Daw's Island about the same time and they told me that there had been no fish trapped but a trifle with jigger. We got enough on Monday the 27th to finish our 100 and all the bait was gone so we beat down near Seal Tickle that night where the schooners was fishing. We got in there after dark, not a man of us was ever in there. We were talking of going out to Sandy Hook but we did not know the way so Stephen Newman came on board in the morning and said he was bound to Solomon's Island so we came after him. That was Tuesday, 28th of August. We moored that day and Wednesday we jigged 3 barrels. We got 19 barrels that week. It was not a good time for jigging.

Saturday, Hawkins in the Best Girl left Bear Gut with a load. He commenced 13th of August, had 400 before he saw another schooner, got his fish in 14 days. He got to Daw's Island Sunday and to Collier's Monday Sept. 3, he put into harbour because the glass was low. They are all low all day today, Tuesday, the 4th, but we have had no wind, yet it was very foggy this morning. Could not get out much fish, seems totally gone today all around the place. A trifle jigged yesterday, none trapped lately. Two schooners in this East Harbour when we came here, 6 here now. Jim Lanning and Bat(?) Driscoll was here when we came here. Jim Glassbury in Reunion and Thomas Burt is here now.

Burt talks down the shore. Fish 130 barrels.

It blew strong Wednesday and on Thursday we got out for a little while. We went off to a breaker off the harbour. A very heavy sea on the banks all breaking, and Friday it blew too strong to go out but the sea seemed to fall a little. We took our trap aboard that day, dry next day, Saturday the 8th we got out. We went down to the bank but there was too much sea. We only got one fish but Newman went there after and got 3 barrels. He came in and left for home, Burt left also with the wind about ENE, very dirty with rain. That night it blew very strong from the NE with a lot of snow, the hills were covered for days.

Sunday was a fine day, also Monday but a good breeze off shore about NW, we only got 1 barrel of fish and Tuesday the 11th we tried about but got nothing so we left for home at 12 o'clock. Reunion at 7 and Wild Rover about 11 o'clock. She went outside with a fine time. We came into the North of Dog Island same as went out, and got to Paul's Island. We tried to sell a boat there but they had no boots. Ford told me that Uncle John Moors was in there about a week ago going home, had 250 barrels of fish. Ford bought (sold ?) his new skiff for 28 pairs of boots. It's a fine time also on Wednesday 12th in the morning but when we got to House Hbr., we had it moderate. We got up just above Shoal Tickle in the evening, all the other schooners went into Quirk's Tickle but we came on all night. We got to Hopedale, Thursday, 12 o'clock. We only hove up for our mail. We got to Turnavick about dark, at it all night. Next morning it was very moderate with the wind down. We went up into Manor Bay and got some wood, left that and got to Iron Island just after dark.

We left that next morning with a free wind but it was moderate all day till four o'clock. We got a draft from the E and we tried to get to Cape Harrigan just about dark,. the wind came off from the SW and blew hard with rain. It looked stormy so we reefed our foresail and hove to under it till 4 o'clock Sunday morning. We also had our staysail and mainsail reefed so we ran to Grosswater Bay. The wind began to drop so we set all sail and got to George's Island before the wind veered down, but forgot to say that it was about 2 o'clock Saturday night when the wind came up from the N a gale. Sunday evening it was down again so we beat up throu the Horse Chops that night and next evening we got to Indian Tickles. About ten o'clock that night it came a squal from the N., it stood until about ten on Tuesday when the wind veered down. We got to Square Island that evening and on Wednesday September 19th we had a very good time first part of the day. We were to the Ribs at 8 in the morning when the wind veered farther down so we only fetched across the Straits.

It blew very strong, we took a reef in our mainsail just around Belle Isle, had all sail on before we got to the Cape. We went in Fourche and stayed there till Thursday 11 o'clock. We reefed our mainsail and came out. The wind was very scant and by three it was near gone, then we took the wind down all night. On Friday at 11 o'clock we stayed at Boutilin and came on, on the one reach we could by SSW. It blew strong until four in the evening then the wind dropped. We were in Cape St John Tickle at 4 o'clock Saturday morning September 22nd and we took a fine breeze from the NE. We got home about 10 o'clock. We did not do much that day being Saturday. We only got our boats out but on the following week we finished in three days. We weighed out at l6 1/2 per man.

Recap of Ports of Call Schooner Bruce; July 3 - Sept. 22, 1900
New Bay, Exploits, Sloop Run, Cape St. John, Crouche, Croque, Grey Is-land, St. Anthony, Assizes Hbr, Lewis Bay, Assizes Hbr, Square Island, Soddy Island, Square Island, Venison Tickle, Boultre's Rock, American Tickles, Dumpling, Grosswater, Jigger Tickle, Cape Harrigan, Pombley, Double Island, Dog Island, Rodgers Tickle, Windsor's Hbr, Brichat Tic-kle, Little Hopedale, Green Cove, Cape Harrigan, Ford's Hbr, Dog Bight, Seal Tickle, Solomon's Island, Daw's Island, Collier's, East Hbr, Bank, Dog Island, Paul's Island, House Hbr, Shoal Tickle, Hopedale, Turnavicks, Manor Bay, Iron Island, Grosswater Bay, George's Island, Horse Chops, Indian Tickles, Square Islands, Ribs, Belle Isle, Fourche, Boutilin, Cape St. John Tickle, New Bay.
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Exploits District