February 3, 1997
The following story was written by Barry Vineham. Barry worked in a fish plant in his outport town in Newfoundland until the plant shut down. This was the opportunity Barry needed to go back to school and finish his high school education at the top of his class.
In 1961 Canadian and Norwegian ships were stuck in the ice off the Grey Islands, Northwest of Long Point. They drifted South to Twillingate in Notre Dame Bay. Northwest of Twillingate one ship went down, the rest were stuck in the ice for fifty-five days and never moved. The men from Norway walked to shore in Twillingate to be helped by the Red Cross so they would be in good health when they left for home.
On the 26th day of May, a man named Ralph Horwood and his dog walked out four and some half miles to where the Norwegian ship was and killed a beater seal for a meal for their family. On the 27th day, Ralph and his cousin walked out to the ship again and killed another seal. Ralph and his cousin were then asked to board the ship and have dinner with them.
Ralph took letters from the ship to mail home to Norway for the men. On the 28th day of May the men on the ship walked to shore because they had no food left on board.
The next day wind from the South West came up strong and made water, so the ships started to move. The lighthouse keeper told the Captains to use life boats to reach their ships, rather than trying to jump them. That evening the men reached their ships just in time to stop them from hitting the rocks off of Baccalieu. Finally, after 55 days, the men were on their way home to Norway and their families.
[This story was taken with the kind permission of the Newfoundland & Labrador Rural Development Council from their publication "From Me ...To You"].