Jim Wellman

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Contributor - Newfoundland

Posts by Jim Wellman 101 results

Baffin Fisheries’ New Trawler – a Giant Among Fishing Vessels

Above: The Inuksuk II preparing for launch   It’s ironic that the largest fishing vessel in Canada is owned by one of the least-known fish companies in the country. The new Inuksuk II is in the water, but still at the construction shipyard in Turkey getting final interior jobs done and installation of deck gear before delivery this fall to Baffin Fisheries. Incorporated in 2001, Baffin Fisheries is owned by five Inuit Hunters and Trappers Associations in the Nunavut region. ...

Unbearable Grief: Fishing Industry is Fraught with Tragedy and Loss

Above: Island Lady. Photo by Joe Jenkins   Fishing is one of the most dangerous commercial occupations on the planet. Statistically, Atlantic Canada has lost an average of about one fisherman per month over the past six or seven decades despite just about everything else in the industry going through dramatic change in that period. In fact, the death rate is even higher these days if compared on a percentage basis — there are fewer people fishing but the number of lives lost ...

Finnish Icebreaker – A Leader in its Field

Above: Captain Hanna Kujala and Captain Sid Hynes chat about new marine technology on the bridge of the Fennica.    What was touted a few years ago as one of the most powerful and efficient icebreakers in the world, recently spent four days in St. John’s harbour in September. The Fennica is from Finland and will be working in waters off northern Baffin Island for several months a year over the next two years. Arctia Icebreaking Ltd., a state-owned company in Finland, operates a ...

Remembering Gordie Gore

When an obituary describes the deceased as “our professional blueberry picker, baker of pies, weapon on the dance floor and ruthless card player,” you know this was an interesting person. When friends describe that person with words like integrity, kindness, honesty, humour, respect, caring and trust, you know this was an awesome person. Those are words we heard over and over again when we asked Gordie Gore’s friends and former colleagues what word comes to mind when they think ...

Henry Vokey: Man of a Thousand Boats

Henry Vokey was truly a legend in his own time. He was a quiet, unassuming and humble family man who grew up in the small fishing village of Little Harbour, Trinity Bay — certainly not the kind of person we usually think about in a line that includes the word “legend.” A master boatbuilder, Henry was known as the man of a thousand boats. Like many Newfoundland and Labrador men, Henry developed a keen interest in the art of wooden boatbuilding when he was a boy. From a family of ...

The Mysterious Loss of the Sarah Anne – Part II

Above: Doughboy Cove, where Isaac Kettle’s body was found, 11 days after the sinking of the Sarah Anne   When the longliner Sarah Anne, out of St. Lawrence, was overdue from crab fishing on May 25, 2020, a quiet anxiety quickly spread throughout the town. Captain Ed (Eddie Joe) Norman, his son Scott, his nephew Jody Norman, along with a family friend Isaac Kettle were experienced fishermen but the town was no stranger to tragedy at sea and everyone was aware of the deadly ...

The Mysterious Loss of the Sarah Anne – Part I

Above: Jody Norman, Captain Ed Norman (Eddie Joe) and Scott Norman Monday, May 25, 2020, was just a few minutes old when the fishing longliner Sarah Anne pulled away from the dock in St. Lawrence on Newfoundland’s south coast to head for the snow crab fishing grounds. Captain Ed Norman, age 67, known to everyone as Eddie Joe, was a meticulous and precise man and if the plan was to depart at midnight, his crew knew they had better be there before then because midnight was when the ...

Port de Grave Peninsula Pays Tribute to John Efford

Above: John Efford accepting a street sign bearing his name from the President of the Port de Grave Harbour Authority, Ross Petten. To many people, the name John Efford and the fishing industry are synonymous. But yet, the Port de Grave native who is best known for his 20 years in politics, spent less than five years as Minister of Fisheries. And despite being surrounded by fishermen while he was growing up, including several men in his own family, Efford never fished commercially. ...

The Final Final

This is Final Voyages #264 — the last of a 22-year series that began in the first Navigator Magazine in November 1997. When I pitched the idea of writing a monthly article called Final Voyages in The Navigator, the magazine itself was only a concept. TriNav Group of Companies directors/owners Paul Pinhorn, Trevor Decker and Rick Yong were considering launching a fishing and marine industries publication and asked my opinion on which direction they might follow. I thought a magazine ...

Providing No More – Part III

Just before 8 p.m., Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the fishing vessel Fisherman’s Provider II ran hard aground on a shoal nearly three miles from Canso, Nova Scotia. Three crewmembers successfully abandoned ship into a life raft and were taken onboard another fishing boat. However, the Provider’s captain, Roger Stoddard, refused to join his crew and stubbornly ignored repeated calls on VHF Radio, cell phone and even refused to respond to shouts from fellow fishermen near enough to the Provider ...