Book review “The Trawlermen”
PORT AUX BASQUES, NL – As a child Clarence Vautier used to hear many tales about the adventures of fishermen and sailors. As an adult his interest in these legends remained steady, and Vautier began writing them down.
“My father spent his whole career in the fishery on the southwest coast,” said Vautier via satellite phone. The author has also built a career at sea but as captain of a cargo ship instead of f i s h i n g . “So as a kid growing up I heard a lot of t h e s e s t o r i e s and every time you go to try to find s o m e - t h i n g , n o t h i n g was ever written about our area.”
Vautier attended the Marine Institute in 1994 and one day on a whim decided to see if he could find any records of some of the incidents he’d heard about over the years. He delved into archives at Bestselling author and LaPoile native Clarence Vautier has released another collection of sea stories.
Memorial University, newspapers and began visiting homes to hear stories that had been passed down over generations, eventually cobbling together data and uncovering new stories in the process.
“As I dug deeper I found out more stuff that had happened,” said Vautier, who has so far found enough material for four novels, far more than he initially expected.
After releasing his first novel in 2001, people began seeking him out to tell him their stories, and when he returned home from sea he would research those stories too. Usually that process takes a few years, and once he has enough compiled, Vautier likes to write
during his down time at work.
In his fourth novel “The Trawlermen” Vautier has delved into the fascinating lives of some Atlantic sea captains.
“I have a lot more stories now so I’m thinking I might write one more that would totally be geared around the long line fishermen,” said Vautier, who is In his fourth novel, “The Trawlermen”, Clarence Vautier guides the reader through the challenges and triumphs faced by sea captains on ships belonging to large corporations and some of the men who worked under them. The story matter is fascinating and for those who love stories about the perils of life spent working on the water “The Trawlermen” delivers. There are the expected stories of men lost at sea during a time when fishing was the backbone of the Atlantic provinces, but there are also tales of courageous
still weighing the pros and cons of taking on a fifth book.
While digital archives and Internet sources can help make researching faster, they aren’t always as easily accessed as old newspaper clippings or family members. And as the old fishermen pass on they take crucial parts of the stories with them, which in some cases have never rescues. While the subject matter is truly fascinating and Vautier’s love of them obvious, the delivery is not that of a typical hero narrative but a historical one.
These are forgotten tales rediscovered and finally shared, a tribute to the memories of men and ships lost at sea and the family and friends they left behind. As such “The Trawlermen” appeals largely to those history buffs with an interest in sea faring and the Atlantic fishery, including during the time of both World Wars.
been shared with family members. It makes the research that much more challenging, but Vautier believes the long line fishermen have stories that need telling too, just like the trawlermen.
“I’m going to try for one more. I’d really like to do it.”
The author ith his crew on the deck of their cargo ship (from lefT) Seaward Herritt, Larry Meade, Captain Clarence Vautier, Brent Walters, Dave Buckland, Dean Bobbett and Terry Anderson.
“The Trawlermen” is Clarence Vautier’s fourth book, exploring the adventurous lives of some of Atlantic Canada’s wellknown sea captains.