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Cape Cod The Fleet’s In

One hundred twenty-five years ago, the last Grand Bank fishing vessel of a fleet of forty-two craft arrived at Provincetown. The total catch was 58,500 quintals (100 pounds to the quintal) of codfish. The bay fleet of eight vessels landed 6,000 quintals. This fleet of fifty vessels also brought in 1,100 barrels of cod oil for dressing leather.

Try to see Provincetown Harbor in your mind’s eye as that eager fleet began arriving. Let us suppose the wind is fresh, the day fair, the water rough. Schooner after schooner races in, every sail full until the last moment, then a quick rounding-to at their mooring, or a daring “landing” at the wharf—water splashing, sails and lines shaking and rattling, sails coming down on the run, and lines being made fast in a hurry, while the fishermen, shouting and calling, make all secure before going ashore or begin at once rapid-fire bargaining for disposal of their catches.

Remember, there is no place on East Coast or West Coast now where fifty fishing schooners are ever at anchor, ever leaving, ever returning and such vessels as they leave, are engine powered, equipped with modern conveniences, and up-to-date safeguards. Even so, life at sea fishing is still dangerous and hardy.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/03/06
Categories: FishingHistoryProvincetown
Keywords: fishing, provincetown, history


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