Monday, June 19, 2006

Last of the Whale Catchers - Sposa

The "Sposa " was a whaling ship of the Newfoundland Whaling Company. In 1940, the company's whale catchers, as these ships were called, were requisitioned for coastal defense duties off Great Britain dealing a severe blow to an already troubled industry. Whaling ceased for 3 years and, in 1943, activities began anew when the company relocated the Sposa and several other whale catchers from South Georgia in the South Atlantic. However, the introduction of modern whaling ships and a decrease in local whale stocks necessitated tying up the old ships at Conception Harbour. Today, the wreck of the Sposa remains visible on the beach. Close by, in deeper water, lie the rusting bones of the Soika, scuttled offshore in 1968.

If that old boat still at the beach (the Sposa) could talk, the tales she would tell. She whaled out of Hawke Harbour in 1935. That’s history right there on the shore.” - Eric Pretty (Sr.) Iron Worker from Trinity Bay


Genevieve Netz said...

The colors in that photo are beautiful. I suppose the rusting wreck is a form of litter, but it sure makes an interesting photo.

Tudorw said...

Shipwrecks speak to me stories of long ago. They reflect our cultural history and I feel nostalgia for the past when viewing these "beautiful" rusting artifacts. My wife, however, sees these decaying wrecks in a different light - pollution.

The wrecks also create a reef habitat for marine life. This whaling vessel and her sisters that visited death on large sea going mammals have in the end become a source of life and a home for myriad marine animals as well as a place of enjoyment for divers.

Genevieve Netz said...

I can understand your view of them as well as your wife's. Certainly, for as long as man has ventured out into the sea in ships, there have been shipwrecks.