Sea Folk 32 results

Defying the Odds

Valance (Val) Cull from Port Saunders, Newfoundland is a steady-as-she-goes kind of guy. His friends describe him as dependable, fair, hard-working and very smart, to name just a few descriptors. Born 60 years ago, Val lived his first 10 years in Great Brehat on the tip of the Northern Peninsula. When Val was 10, his family moved to nearby St. Anthony. Val is highly respected in the boatbuilding and repair industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. He got his start by building a small ...

Staying the Corporate Philosophy Course

Adlai Cunningham is a tall, fit man who is a self-confessed sports nut. He is also modest and appears a little uncomfortable talking about himself, even though he is an accomplished man, both in his professional and personal lives. Adlai is CEO and co-owner, with his brother Fenton, of Sea Star Seafoods in Clark’s Harbour, Nova Scotia. Sea Star is a little different than most Nova Scotia fish companies — they don’t process lobster as do the vast majority of fish operations in the ...

Creating Art from Wood

Building-supply store salespeople look at Alex Howse kind of odd sometimes. They’re not sure what to think when he asks for the knottiest piece of pine board they have. But then, Alex is no ordinary lumber buyer. The 70-year-old builds model boats and often needs small pieces of wood that posses a natural curvature and wood surrounding knots has that intrinsic feature. For larger curved pieces he does the same as many regular boat builders — he finds crooked trees to cut. Those ...

Internationally Renowned Fisheries Scientist Retires — Sort Of

Dr. George Rose is one of the world’s leading authorities on codfish. Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland 67 years ago, Rose never had a family connection to the sea; his father was a geologist, but somehow George knew at a young age that ultimately he would wind up working in the marine world. “It must have been the salt sea air in St. John’s,” he laughs. That salty air must have had a powerful impact because his family had moved to Ottawa by the time young George started ...

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 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 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 ...

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 ...

‘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 ...

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 ...