Jim Wellman

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Contributor - Newfoundland

Posts by Jim Wellman 98 results

Fish, Fun, Folk and Helly Hansen in Twillingate

It’s hard to believe that what may appear to be just an ordinary t-shirt at first glance can be a thing of extraordinary construction complexity. But that’s exactly what Damien Etchaubard and David Finlayson from Helly Hansen explained to several Canadian journalists, including yours truly, in Twillingate, Newfoundland on July 24 and 25. It was part of a two-day event, sponsored by Helly Hansen, attended by four journalists — one each from Newfoundland, Quebec, Manitoba and British ...

A Nasty Labrador Sea – Part III

Last month we told you about Wade Earle and his fishing partner and nephew, Leslie Dumaresque who were thrown overboard when their speedboat was struck by a huge wave about 20 miles north of Red Bay, Labrador. Wade surfaced in the shallow water, but the only thing he could see was the overturned boat —there was no sign of his fishing partner and friend. Intuitively, he started wading through the foaming water toward the small boat located about 250 feet away. After feeling strangely ...

Too Smart to Be a Fisherman

Eugene O’Leary didn’t want to be a fisherman. His father fished out of Upper Whitehead, Nova Scotia all his life and although as a boy, Eugene would join his dad in the boat from time to time, he almost always got seasick. Eugene says his father offered the most bizarre ideas to cure seasickness — remedies like eating raw cod livers. The only upside to that was the fact you weren’t sure what was making you lose your breakfast; the remedy or the seasickness. If that wasn’t ...

A Nasty Labrador Sea – Part II

Last month we told you about Wade Earle and his fishing partner, Leslie Dumaresque, traveling to their fishing station in a place known as Green Bay, about 18 miles north of their home in Red Bay, Labrador. They left home on Monday morning, June 8, 1987 to spend the week in Green Bay fishing their salmon and lumpfish nets. The weather was fine but a menacing sea near shore in shallow water made things a little uncomfortable on Monday evening, but otherwise things went reasonably well on their ...

A Captain For All Seasons

Tommy O’Brien was the strong, quiet type. And, according to Barry Hawkins, his first cousin and close friend, Tommy was as smart as they come. He was the youngest ever appointed captain with the Canadian Coast Guard, achieving that status in 1993 at the age of 28, just nine years after joining the Coast Guard as a deckhand. Tommy grew up in Cape Broyle, Newfoundland, on the southern shore of the Avalon Peninsula about halfway between St. John’s and Cape Race. Although the town ...

A Nasty Labrador Sea

Red Bay, Labrador is best known these days as a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing a Basque whaling station that was active there almost 500 years ago. This southern Labrador community is now world-renowned. In the 1500s, the shores of Red Bay were part-time homes to hundreds of Basque whalers who hunted bowhead and right whales for blubber, which were rendered into oil for export to Europe. On Saddle Island, located at the mouth of the harbour, remnants of whale oil rendering ovens ...

A Lifetime of Volunteering

Norma Richardson is not tall, but she casts a lengthy shadow in the world of fisheries in eastern Nova Scotia. In fact, someone said if Norma was not there to help fishermen 40 years ago, they would have had to invent her. Norma is steeped in fisheries. Her dad was a fisherman, her husband is a fisherman and she is also a long-time fisherwoman from Harrigan Cove, situated about halfway between Halifax and Canso on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore. She is best known as the voice of all ...

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

On February 03, 2003 Irving Faulkner’s 22-foot speedboat capsized throwing all six men onboard into the frigid ocean near the shores of Offer Wadham Island on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Only one survived. Irving’s son, Dion Faulkner, was rescued but the accident triggered a string of unbelievable torments and grief for family members back home in Musgrave Harbour that day. This is Part IV of “We’d Have Been Better Off Staying Home.” When the Coast Guard helicopter landed ...

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

On February 3, 2003 Irving Faulkner’s 22-foot speedboat capsized throwing all six men onboard into the frigid ocean near the shores of Offer Wadham Island on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Only one survived. Irving’s son, Dion Faulkner, made it to the ice-covered rocks and despite below-freezing temperatures and being soaked to the bone, he started walking to the opposite end of the island. Dion hoped that some fellow bird hunters would be there and could rescue him. Against incredi...

A Trawlerman’s Son

Rick Hunt is fascinated, some would say, “obsessed,” with offshore fishing vessels, although he has never worked as a commercial deep-sea or inshore fisherman. “My interest started when my dad started work on the FPI trawler Zandvoort out of Catalina. I was only three years old at the time — I’m 36 now,” he says. Rick’s dad, William (Billy) Hunt was a lifelong trawlerman who loved the adventure of working on the sea. Billy relished recounting every last detail of those heady ...