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Notre Dame Bay ~ Exploits District

Log of Esau Moore aboard the Bruce, 1901

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.

Memorandum, schooner Bruce
E.Moors, Master, 1901
Left New Bay on Monday, July 1, 1901, went to Fortune and took Byrne trap. Had a storm going in Furtune. Calm all day Tuesday till evening when we lef for Twillingate. Wind about SW. We got to Twillingate at 2 o'clock at night barometer 29.0. We stayed till 11 o'clock on Wednesday night with free wind then we left and got the wind from all points of the compass on Thursday an right up the shore on Friday so we beat down as far as Kirpoon. We anchored there on Friday evening along with several other schooners.

Wind up all day Saturday till evening. It came down but up again on Sunday. Fish reported to be scarce on this shore, loose ice very troublesome, Straits pretty near clear.

Monday, July 8th, we crossed the Straits, wind SW, foggy, with a lot of loose ice. We took the wind up at noon but we got as far as Mechlenburg that evening. There was a sign of fish there but the ice was very thick. We left on Tuesday, wind down, called at Scrammy, no fish there, so we ran on, got foggy off Venison Tickle but we ran on until we made the Hiscocks(?) Islands. Anchored there for a few minutes and we hove up and ran in Partridge Bay. Fair signs of fish there. We put out our trap and Wednesday, the 10th, we got about 1 barrel till Friday morning when we took it up and left; but we saw a lot of fish just inside Hiscocks Island but it was all going off so we came on. Heard reports from all along, fish scarce and plenty of ice just outside of the land.

We took the wind up at Mark's Island and beat to Domino. Left Domino on Saturday morning and ran to Shoal Bay. We got on a rock there and lodged all day till about 4 o'clock. Just as she floated, there came a heavy squal from the N. We were off just in time but we received no damage. So we set our traps in the evening. John Miller in the Klondyke was here a day or two before us, he got about 20 barrels of fish. On Saturday, Joe Miley in the Cornwall got only about three barrels. One man had about 30 barrels one haul. Seems to be a good sign of fish. On Sunday, July 14th, it's blowing very strong from the N all day.

We hauled our trap on Monday, got nothing, so we took it up. There was a lol of fish showing all around. Joe Miley got about 20 barrels after setting his trap but lots of men got nothing.

So we left and runned to Quakers Hat in Table Bay. We set our trap there but we had to take it up for tide and ice. Two other men left their's out for a few days or a day or two but got only one or two barrels. So on Wednesday, the 17th, we left and just at Gready we met the ice, very thick. We had to go up around by Long Island and we went off for across the bay again but the ice was too thick. We had to pass inside of the Haypook. The ice lay just off the shore so we came on to Cape Porcupine, lay around in the calm all night and Thursday we got a very moderate breeze and got along farther. Spoke to some men off New Harbour, report no sign of fish yet. We had to go up around inside of the Lu(?) Island. When we came through, we saw a schooner on Duck Island Shoal. It proved to be the Olive from Strong's employ, Little Bay Islands. We stayed to assist him if needed but she soon floated with no help. We were out all night owing to it. Next morning we tried to tow into Ice Tickles but the ice was too thick so we towed around to Edwards Harbour. Stayed there till evening and the ice cleared, and we came around to Ice Tickles. A lot of schooners there. We hauled into the Island along with three other schooners stern to the sea. There was five or six Fortune Harbour schooners there before and a lot of Twillingate vessels left on Friday. The Julia was reported to be here on Thursday or Friday, only had about 20 barrels. Saturday, the 20th the wind was up and foggy. Noah Manuel in the Merley came in about 1 or 2 o'clock. Wind kept up all day Saturday, a good breeze at night.

Sunday the wind was still up and Monday the wind kept Easterly to SE with rain and in the evening the ice began to trouble us so we had to leave and anchor on the E side of the tickle.

On Tuesday, the 23rd, the wind came down about noon so we left and got to Sloop Harbour next day. The wind was Westerly, strong, and the glass low and ice thick so we stayed in harbour. Lots of schooners left. The S/S Kite left Ice Tickles on Tuesday, she was disabled, her propeller gone, but they reached on N in the ice till Thursday evening the S/S Algerine came down / and took her in tow. Captain Bartlett had the Kite hired to carry down settlers to Turnavick.

On Thursday we left Sloop Harbour and got as far as Holton when the wind came up and very foggy so a lot of schooners ran back to Holton and Horse Harbour. We beat on and the fog soon changed so in the evening we got to Lyland(?) Point. Wind still up on Friday. We left and got down by Mousie and all up around Byron's Bay inside of the ice. Just got to Cape Harrigan at dark; lay around all night.

On Saturday, the 27th, we got to Double Island, Stag Bay. Spent Sunday there with up wind and on Monday morning the 29th we left it. Wind still up. No sign of fish there yet. There seemed to be a little slack in the ice about Black Bear and Ironbound Islands but no sign of fish. We tried to get along outside that night but before daylight we ran into the ice off of Turnavicks and had to put around. So on Tuesday we ran in by Flagstaff Island and came in just N of the NW Run. We were coming in by guess. We saw a few shoals but got in all right. By Manuel's Island seals were numerous by the ice. That morning we got to Shoal Tickle, off Cape Harrigan that evening. Left next morning and beat to Quirk's Tickle, had to come down inside of the islands to get clear of the ice.

The wind was up all day Thursday, the first day of August and the ice came in and filled up all so we are here still on Friday, the 2nd., with a little wind down and a fine day; it's full of ice. We stayed in Quirk's Tickle till Monday, August 5th. Ice still very thick, then we left and poked out through the ice. All the others stayed there. We got over to the opposite shore with four other schooners and spent the night there. Next morning we stayed long enough to get some wood, then the five schooners of us got under way and came over to House Hbr. The Maud was there before also Takelets(?), a few other schooners that got there with them the day we got to Quirk's Tickle had gone up to go down Maine Run.

The ice is very thick yet, no water to be seen and no sign of fish. On Saturday, August 10th, we left with a Westerly breeze, ice loosening. We just got to Dog Bight when the wind blew very strong, had to reef, so we ran for Shoal Cove. Got in the Lakes in the evening. Stayed till Monday, we left and came to Seal Tickle, no sign of fish. Tuesday, we rowed to Singen's (?) Tickle. First sign there on Monday. Tuesday a lot of fish seen. Traps about 1 to 6 barrels. We saw a lot of fish at the trap islands. Both us and Purdy set our traps on Wednesday, August 19th. No sign at noon, at evening we had 1 fish. Ice has been clear about 10 days down here. Two fish. Got to the Gull Island. Amelia left Paul's Island on the loth(?). Purdy had no signs in the evening. Noah Manuel passed down here about the 15th or 16th. No fish. It continued to be very little more than a sign of fish for more than a week. Sometimes, some of the traps on the outside got a few barrels. One man got two puncheons of livers on Saturday and Monday the 17th and 19th. We got from one to twenty five to a haul all along till the 22nd. We took up to go down to the shore but we came to Sandy Hook and found a good sign. We set one trap and got a little over a barrel on Friday.

Monday three other schooners came here after us. They left Indian Islands and went down to Fish Island. No sign of fish so they ran back. Report goes that there is no fish below as far as Hebron. One vessel passed up this morning, supposed to be Lady Thorburn. Captain Fowler(?) passed down last Monday. Kenneth Yates in E.Moors left the Lakes yesterday also Jim and John Gusburry and Bryant. The winds are SE since yesterday noon. Friday evening we set the other trap and got five out of the small one. Saturday evening we got about 16 barrels out of the large one and 8 on Monday morning. We only got from 1 to 3 barrels since and can seldom haul the other for tide. Peter Galton came up on Saturday as far as Spracklen's Island. Only three barrels got there yet so he came back here on Monday. Left again on Tuesday, went to the shore and returned but went in again in the evening and returned again this morning. Fish are scarce in there. Some did fairly well at Chronical yesterday. Very little fish got here the remainder of that week. Saturday, the seines did fairly well. I jigged 2 barrels late in the evening. Sunday, the 1st day of September, it blew strong from the N., very little fish all week up to date, Friday, the 6th. Some did fairly well on Tuesday with jiggers. Wednesday we had another gale of up wind. Two boats had to run to Savages Island for the night. Thursday it blew strong off. Glyveens left to go in on the main shore to dry their trap. We stayed till Monday and tool up our other trap. Took them on over on Tuesday.

Wednesday, the 11th, we left for home. Got to Fanny's Island at 6AM Thursday the 12th. At dawn we were at Ironbound Island and took the wind down. We stayed at Cape Harrigan in the evening. Lay there under reefed foresail all night and took the wind up in the morning, so we ran to Tumble Down Dick and took the wind down. Stayed at the Black Rock at 6AM, passed the Gannets at 10AM. Wind down all day Saturday till evening we took a slight breeze from the E. Daylight Sunday we were to Cape Bluff. Spoke to Abram Knight in the Straits, He came from Jeruselam, no fish. William Knight not on board.

We were at Belle Isle at 6 o'clock on Sunday evening. Took the down wind and were at Cape Bauld at 12 o'clock at night. Stood in by Trigut at half past six on Monday morning, Septemberl5th. That evening we hove up at Little Brochat(?) for water. Stood off about SE for three or four hours and hove around aiming in the W or thereabouts, expecting to come in about St. Anthony but owing to the tide we only reached Great Brochat and lay there till morning. It was blowing very strong about W so ran back to St. Lunmais and stayed there till Wednesday about 1 o'clock. The wind about WNW, we left and reached outside of Grey Islands.

We were under single reefed sail all night. On Thursday morning the wind slacked. We were in sight of Cape St. John but a long way off. We still held our reach till we took the wind Southerly a long distance N of Fogo taking it to be Twillingate. We reached on until just after dark, thinking we were in sight of New Bay Head till Twillingate light showed out in the fog and we took that for Dennier, so we turned in and made the land taking it to be Leading Tickles and New Bay, so we ran in but it turned out to be Main Tickle. We were in the mouth of Merritt's Harbour so we fired a few signals and got an answer and sent a boat ashore. It brought off a pilot and took us in and today, Friday the 20th, we are lying here with a strong breeze of wind. But in the evening we left after the wind dropped and came to Kettle Cove. Stayed till 1 or 2 o'clock and left for home. Got home before dinner, Saturday, September 21st.

We only weighed out 9 quintals per man. E.Moors came home the night beforeus with 30 barrels. Prima Donna, Monday, September 23rd with 25 barrels of fish. Edward Boone same day with 11 barrels.

Recap of Ports of Call Schooner Bruce; July 1 - Sept 21, 1901
New Bay, Fortune, Twillingate, Kirpoon, Belle Isle, Mechlenburg, Scrammy, Venison Tickle, Hiscock's Island, Partridge Bay, Hiscock's Island, Mark's Island, Domino, Shoal Bay, Quaker's Hat, Table Bay, Gready, Long Island, Haypook, Cape Porcupine, New Harbour, Lu--- (?) Island, Duck Island Shoa2 Ice Tickles, Edward's Hbr, Ice Tickles, Sioop Hbr, Holton, Lyland Point, Mousie, Byron's Bay, Cape Harrigan, Double Island, Stag Bay, Black Bear, Ironbound Island, Turnavicks, Flagstaff Island, Northwest Run, Manuel's Island, Shoal Tickles, Quirk's Tickle, House Hbr, Quirk's Tickle, Dog Bight, Shoal Cove, Lakes, Seal Tickle, Singer's Tickle, Gull Island, San-dy Hook, Fanny's Island, Ironbound Island, Cape Harrigan, Tumble Down Dic Black Rock, Gannet's, Cape Bluff, Belle Isle, Cape Bauld, Trigut, Little Brochat, Great Brochat, St. Lunmais, Grey Island, Cape St. John, Merritt' 1-Ibr. Kettle Cove, New Bay.
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Exploits District