Jim Wellman

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Contributor - Newfoundland

Posts by Jim Wellman 98 results

‘I Married into it. Divorced out of it. Still Passionate About it.’

Joy Barker sums up her association with the fishery with her wry sense of humour by connecting it to her married life but adds the fishing industry is still in the cards for her — someday. The Baie Verte, Newfoundland, businesswoman explains that she didn’t know much about the fishing industry growing up in Coachman’s Cove and Baie Verte, although her mother ran a business that, among other things, sold fishing supplies, including fish gear. It wasn’t until she met and married a ...

We’d Have Been Better Off Staying Home – Part II

On February 3, 2003 six saltwater bird hunters left Musgrave Harbour just after midnight to hunt in an area known as Offer Wadham Island. The plan was to hunt saltwater ducks when the birds took flight at daybreak. Weather conditions deteriorated and seas turned rougher than expected during the 12-mile trip to the island and a thick fog made it uncomfortable for Irving Faulkner and his crew of five men, including his three sons, Dion, Darren and Danny along with friends Roger Hann and Draper ...

Klaus Sonnenberg: One of a Kind

Klaus Sonnenberg died with his boots on. For those of us who knew Klaus, that was not surprising because he hardly stopped working long enough to take them off. In fact, Klaus died on the job at a time when everybody else in Atlantic Canada was sound asleep on the weekend. It was 5 a.m. on Saturday, August 16, 2014, when the plane Klaus was piloting crashed just metres short of the airport runway in his hometown of Grand Manan, New Brunswick. He was returning from an air ambulance ...

We’d Have Been Better Off Staying Home

“We’re goin’ birdin’ tomorrow,” an excited Dion Faulkner exclaimed to his wife Sue as he entered their home in Musgrave Harbour on Sunday afternoon, February 2, 2003. “Birdin,” meant saltwater duck hunting and like most men in rural Newfoundland communities, bird hunting had a huge appeal to Dion for various reasons. Duck was a delicious food staple and good to have in the deep freeze for great meals in winter, but it was also a thrilling sport. And, it was more than that ...

Don’t Worry Buddy, You’re Not Going Back

Black Tickle, on the coast of Labrador, was one of the most prolific cod fishing areas on the east coast of Canada in 1974. Vessels from all areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, along with some from Quebec, would congregate there at certain times of the year and fishermen could always depend on good catch rates. In fact, in the era of mainly gillnet fishing, one of the biggest problems was too much gear in the water that would often get tangled in someone else’s nets. Like others from ...

The Harbour Grace Trawl Rigger

If they ever make a movie about Anne of Green Gables in her 40s, married with children, then Kim Pike would be the perfect Anne. The 42-year-old mother of two from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, has striking red hair that is often braided, along with greenish-blue eyes and freckles — just like Anne. But unlike Anne, the fictional character in Lucy Maude Montgomery’s famous book, Anne of Green Gables, Kim didn’t grow up on a farm in P.E.I. and she knows a lot more about fish than ...

Respecting Tradition but Embracing New Technology

The North Harbour Johnson Brothers, Earl and Oakley Earl Johnson has taken a vacation every year since he turned 40. But unlike many people, Earl doesn’t always go to Florida — he likes to take the path less travelled. For example, a few months ago, he spent a couple of weeks in Mongolia with stops in a few other countries along the way. So why does a 64-year old fisherman from North Harbour, Placentia Bay Newfoundland go to Mongolia, a landlocked country between China to the south ...

Foolish, Is What He Was

To some people, ‘foolish’ may sound like an odd way for 19-year-old Gilles LeBlanc to describe his best friend who is no longer with us, but in this case it is truly spoken as a term of endearment and spoken with huge affection. The ‘foolish’ one was Michael (Mike) Doucette from Wedgeport, Nova Scotia, who was loved by everyone because of his crazy fun-loving pranks and his wild sense of humour that often translated into “acting the fool.” And, Gilles still smiles broadly when he ...