Book launch planned for June 15
The carpenters were paid $2.50 a day.
Lorenzo Simmons from Green’s Harbour, an experienced boat builder, oversaw the project.
In addition to stories about the adventures of the schooner, “Wooden Ships & Iron Men” also includes biographies of several of the schooner’s crewmen as well as a glossary of terms found throughout the book.
The book is written in simple terms — and intentionally so, Wheeler says.
“I wanted it to be a book that the average person could understand.”
Wheeler uses drawings, maps and photos to help illustrate the story and includes entries from her uncle Bill’s (Eli William Rowe) diary written during a fishing trip to Labrador in 1945. The voyage lasted from June to September — the longest fishing trip ever taken by the Fronie Myrtle. The diary’s author takes the reader with him on the stormy sea.
June 27 – The Skipper has us up this morning at the break of dawn to show us that we are in a critical place. The sails are hoisted and we try to make the run again. Soon our good ship strikes and the cry is heard, “We have struck a rock.” The sails are lowered; the schooner is beginning to pound on the rocks. “My ship is doomed!” cries the Captain, and the order is given to make ready the motorboat. We are going to abandon the ship …
Wheeler says one of the stories that brought tears to her father’s eyes was the near fatal accident of his brother Reg Rowe during one of
When I started this book I wanted people to remember the kind of men that worked on these schooners and the
hard work they did.
Reg’s first trips on the schooner. The young boy fell overboard but lived to tell the story to his wife Doris (Dodie) Wilcox and others.
He sank twice and on his third time down, he felt a floating sensation.
Then his father grabbed hold of his hand and pulled him in. Reg told this story many times, about how his father saved his life …
Those who pick up the book will read other tales about how treacherous life on the sea can be as heroic fishermen battle snowstorms, icebergs and growlers.
“When I started this book I wanted people to remember the kind of men that worked on these schooners and the hard work they did. And I wanted to write about Chance Cove where I grew up,” Wheeler says.
Max Rowe is well-known as a retired Newfoundland Power employee. He worked in the Whitbourne area for many years and throughout other areas of the province. He and his wife Dorothy
(Dot) Rowe enjoyed spending time at their cabin on Thorburn Lake.
Dot Rowe still lives in Chance Cove. Wheeler says her mom is excited about the book and feels it’s fitting that, although not planned, “Wooden Ships & Iron Men” will be launched the day before Father’s Day. The launch takes place at the Salvation Army Hall in Chance Cove at 1 p.m. on June 15.
Wheeler agrees the
couldn’t be more appropriate.
“I promised my dad when he was sick that the book was going to be published. I was doing this as a gift for him. But, as we worked together on it, it became a special time for us. And it was more like he was giving me a gift. I really appreciate that.”