Book launch planned for June 15

The Compass - - NEWS -

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

Max Rowe

(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

tim­ing

Suzanne Wheeler

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.”

danette@nl.rogers.com

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