Canada’s Deep-Sea Sailors
Canadian Inheritance Series # 1
The Salt-Water Men is a tale of great captains and great seamen. They were Canadians, or they sailed in ships Canadians had built, and most of their names have been forgotten, even in the ports from which their tall-masted vessels put out. But now Joseph Schull has brought these iron men in their wooden ships to life again. Here is James Smith who built the Marco Polo at Saint John, New Brunswick, and Bully Forbes who sailed her (“the fastest ship in the world” ) and wore her name on his tombstone when he died. Here is W.D. Lawrence and his son in-law, Jim Ellis of Shubenacadie, and the mighty W.D. Lawrence, “the largest sailing ship afloat.”
This is the story of these men, and others like them who came late to the age of sail with the new age of steel and steam advancing on them even as they began their brief career on blue water. Yet they had time to forge into the front ranks of the world’s seamen, and to make the name of “Blue-nose” famous on every sea. Shipbuilders and shipmasters, they were sharp business men, and they were sometimes tough and brutal sailors. But they knew their trade and they loved it, and we shall not see their like again. This is their story, against a background of storm and shipwreck, drownings and disasters, and triumphs over the cruel sea.