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A story of Sea Scalloping with a couple of videos

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posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 05:39 AM
Here is a vintage Scalloping video that was made way back in 1963 as a marketing tool for the city of New Bedford Ma. and to promote Sea Scallops.

I was 5 years old when the vid was made and I remember the green and white striped tents you see in the video.
My father was a Dragger Man who loved the stories of the old Wind Jammers that sailed out of Gloucester Massachusetts, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to dory fish the banks. Watch the movie Captains Courageous on youtube. It’s a great movie!!!!!

Canada has a huge fishing industry and some of the best fishermen on the planet work the Georges and Grand Banks for seafood! Fact!

Believe it or not little has actually changed aboard an Eastern Rig even after all these years. Navigation aids mostly and the cargo winches were actually a capstan, rope and pulley system. I know it’s not politically correct but I learned to call these capstans “****heads“. The same kind of thing was used to haul the anchors aboard the old sailing ships.
I worked on the Explorer seen in this video and it’s sister boats as well. One of them, The Navigator was lost during a Christmas trip in 1977 with all hands, 11 men. Nothing was ever found of it.

I had been offered a site for this trip but turned it down.
So glad I did.....🤪😳👍.

You can find a memorial plaque to it hanging in the Seaman’s Bethel on Johnny Cake Hill across from the huge Whaling Museum in New Bedford Massachusetts.
I highly recommend a trip here to be put on ones bucket list!!! The Seaman’s Bethel was the church seen in the original movie of Moby Dick starring Gregory Peck. Another great movie!!!

Here is the video. You can stop it when they get to the cooking part. I always do.....🤣

Here’s another video. This one is on a modern steel Western Rig with hydraulic pull-master cargos. Notice how slow and LOUD they are.

Thing is, the more time you spend handling the gear wether it’s the slow cargos or having to stop to fix busted chains or replace rings and links it’s all time the drags are not on the bottom fishing. Time you can never get back!

Notice how the hydraulics bog down and scream as the boat hauls back the drags and it rises up on the 20+ foot swells passing under the stern.

The hydraulic pumps on this boat are driven by a 16 cylinder 1,800 hp Caterpillar engine that can drink upwards of 40 gallons of fuel and hour when hooked up, or running wide open.

If you listen closely you can also hear the clinking of the shells as the boys cut out the scallops and toss the shells in the overboard discharge trough.

It may not look all that rough in the video but trust me, it’s blowin hard. These boats can fish in seas 35- 40 feet with the right crew. Weather is o much fun!
Here is the second video .

Commercial fishing is not a forgiving environment.
You need 360 degree situational awareness on deck at all times and you need to know your escape routes when things go South, and go South they do, fast!!!
Young men can make crazy money working the offshore commercial fishing boats right now but know this if you’d like to try your hand. Less than one percent of the men who try actually succeed.

Know this as well. IF you do become a fisherman, your done, you’ll never be happy doing anything else ever again.


edit on 08-19-2021 by PiratesCut because: words

edit on 08-19-2021 by PiratesCut because: words

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:13 AM
Hate to say this but you need to edit the “n” word, this thread will be deleted and that would be a shame
Great story
Spent a bit of time on the water but don’t have your words, nearly brings the brine to the scope

Spent years on a jinker, pulling pots, hauling sails, drinking way to much port and sleeping through storms that scared many others nearly to petrifaction, while the sea anchor dragged us away from anything I didn’t know or care about.
Love the written words
edit on 17-9-2021 by Raggedyman because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:18 AM
Done, thanks......!!!

a reply to: Raggedyman

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:21 AM
a reply to: PiratesCut

Seriously, I was diving once and noticed a box, didn’t pay any real attention to it and it had about $250,000.00 in it, swam by, someone else scored it. Remember the box as clear as day, love the stories, warms me

As for the box, I was collecting sharks teeth, they seemed more important than a box, $250,00.00, I kid you not
edit on 17-9-2021 by Raggedyman because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:28 AM
What a bummer!!!
I did a bit of commercial diving myself.
Worst day was looking for and finding one of the two boys who drowned in the inky black Mashpog Pond in Providence RI back in 86 I think.
Diving the Andrea Doria off Nantucket was an awesome dive but it was deep and cold.
The 2 1/2 hour accent to de-gas sucked!!!
Once was enough.....


BTW, I don’t doubt you. I’ve witnessed much crazy stuff during my 63 years in this planet!


a reply to: Raggedyman

edit on 08-19-2021 by PiratesCut because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:37 AM
Little does it matter what takes us offshore, for those of us lucky and blessed enough to find ourselves out there it can be a world most can’t even begin to imagine!

Since boyhood I always wanted to sail the Southern Ocean and circumnavigate Antarctica.
Didn’t happen.....😟

How’s that for a spot on ones bucket list?.....🤪

a reply to: Raggedyman

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:39 AM
a reply to: PiratesCut

Was diving for abs, came up, can’t remember why I came up, but as I went back to hit the water I saw, fair dinkum, must have been at least a 5meter white under the boat, two other friends where in the water and nothing I could do, couldn’t tap, couldn’t get back in the water, just couldn’t. Half an hour later they were in the boat, just a story now.
Half an hour of terror and guilt
The waters
Like another life

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:43 AM
You would be such a great neighbor to have, I love hearing about anything on the sea. I was an avid fisherman back in the day, but somehow scallops do not hit my taste buds right. Lobster, crab legs, and no problem with fish of many sorts. Maybe I never had fresh scallops, but I tried with bacon, grilled, fried and finally gave up. If I ever get back up north again, I will be eating cheap lobster like the locals, but for now I just eat meat/real meat and vegetables of course. I like the way you tell your ways, It would be fun over a bottle of scotch with a grill session and maybe we could get flyingclay to send us some good cuts of beef.

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:44 AM
The ocean!!!
I used to blue water snorkel with a spear gun years ago with a couple of buddies.
Best catch was a 37lb. yellowfin.
I’ve been circled by Tigers, a White, Hammerheads and bluedogs.
The White population has exploded here around Cape Cod and the islands because of all the seals.

a reply to: Raggedyman

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:46 AM
a reply to: PiratesCut

Yeah, nah, it gets a bit boring, hence my penchant (not so much anymore) for port. Tell you a few stories about my cousin, pirates cut or devils?
Wild, cheating, thieving bastar.. who always made you smile and then laugh till you were sick of laughing
Stole so much business of me then asked me to help him finish the job and I could never say no, loved him, hope I become like him.
It’s a water thing, sure of it

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:51 AM
People not liking scallops is not uncommon. I must say I’m rather burnt out on them these days.
I like king crab better than lobster but lobster for me is free sooooo.
Just yesterday I made the Sarge her favorite breakfast, lobster scrambled with sautéed onions and some cheddar folded in.
Funny you mention Clay, I told him if he ever found himself up this way to drop me a line and we’d see him fed but he never replied....🤷‍♂️
Man, I love a good steak.....mmmmm!!!


a reply to: paytaplay

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:55 AM
I do believe there may be some kind of form guys like your friend are made in.
Heard this kind of story a whole bunch of times.....LOL
Many commercial fishermen fit nowhere else in society.

a reply to: Raggedyman

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 07:12 AM
a reply to: PiratesCut

He was my offered a heap of cash to take a yacht 600kms odd south, didn’t like the guy offering me the cash, his name was Michelle Michelle, more money than I could refuse.
Asked my cousin to check out the boat, said it was not worth the drama, 600ks travel, poor rigging, just seaworthy.
5 days latter he called me saying, “I need help”. Got a few drinks and had to navigate my way south for him, in brutal water in that storm, God bless port.

Love your stories, keep them up

That boat, brand new from Europe
edit on 17-9-2021 by Raggedyman because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 11:37 AM
The first video I posted here is an oldie but goodie.
It may seem corny now but it is spot on.
You’ll learn more about Sea Scallops watching this than you can imagine.
Watching them swim is hilarious IMO.
The boat Explorer featured in the video, sadly, no longer exists but I fished on her and the other 3 boats the man owned as well. It was known as the Marter Fleet.
The Navigator was lost with all hands in Dec. 1977 as I’ve stated here elsewhere.

When it comes right down to it the only things that really changed aboard these boats since 63 was navigation tools and a more efficient and faster cargo winch which hauled the drags over the rail.

Again sadly, the new, “modern” steel scallopers took a step backwards in this regard.

At some point I’ll go deep in to navigation here but I’ll throw in a teaser now.

I’m sure some of you know what LORAN is so for now I’ll keep it simple.
Loran displayed two sets of numbers, one gave you your latitude, north south as in 40 degrees north latitude.
The other set of numbers gave you Longitude, east west as in 70 degrees west longitude.

These numbers corresponded to imaginary lines drawn on a marine chart.
Today Loran has been replaced by GPS and the Loran towers that broadcast the signals have recently been decommissioned.

We navigated by watching the numbers on the Loran and they rise and fall depending on which way the boat was heading.

Cross bearing navigation was exhausting. Again, this takes much explanation to describe....that later.

I often left the wheelhouse absolutely exhausted!
Not a physical exhaustion but a mental one.

My body may not have hurt in ways it would after 6 grueling hours on deck but my brain was well and truly rung out.

I have so much I want to get on record. So much!

My career spanned the end of a fishing era and I see it’s story being lost in the pages of time.

I hope I can do a little at least to keep some of it alive and if I do well enough maybe educate but more importantly to me, make people smile and enjoy learning about the sea.

Thank you everyone for all the kind replies I have so far received.
While I am no way a professional writer I promise to continue to do my best!

Don’t be afraid to criticize or make suggestions.
Even if it may sting me for a minute I still take them seriously and try to continually improve.

Thanks again everyone!!!’

Cheers.......DaPirate. 😎

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 12:53 PM
a reply to: PiratesCut

Just watched the first one and I never realized i wanted to know that much about scallops. Very interesting and I just love old programs from the 50s and 60s. I thought when they showed the scallop on the sea floor with all of it's eyes that it kind of resembled a ufo.

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 03:49 PM
Interesting uptake! UFO.....I see it.

I loved my job! Wish it had not been cut short for me by getting injured and losing my left leg...’s all good!

a reply to: Chalcedony

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 04:03 PM
This may amuse you Chalcedony.

I have to keep proof reading over and over because while I type I keep slipping back into my native Swamp Yankee English which really seems to mess with peoples minds. LOL
On the boats lands-folk would barely understand us most of the time.
Like I say, it’s a learning curve. A big one......😆

a reply to: Chalcedony

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 04:31 PM
The old wooden mine sweep I served on could have easily run scallop drags as we had all the wenches needed to drag and haul them aboard.

Streaming mine sweep gear was very similar to streaming nets or other fishing gear.

Our main mine sweep wenches could be used to tow ships the size of a US navy destroyer at around 4 knots.

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 06:07 PM
Oh yes! Absolutely!!
Years ago there was an old minesweeper from WW2 Ireland fishing out of Nova Scotia towing for Scallops.
I may even have a picture of it somewhere...🤷‍♂️
I’ll bet you’d feel perfectly comfortable in the wheelhouse of a scalloper!
With todays navigational aids the wheelhouse does not require the brute force mental power it did back in the late 70’s, early 80’s.
Today the boat does everything. Throw the lines and once outside the dike it will bring you right to within 50 feet of where you want to set out the drags.
It will wake the crew an hour before if you choose then throw the boat out of gear and engage the hydraulics if that’s what you want.
It will even idle down and just jog on station for hours until you tell it otherwise.

Yeah, their is still mental gymnastics involved for sure but nothing like we dealt with. Different times indeed.

Most of the big boats have shaft ratings from 1,100 to 1,800

After WW2 the USA built and supplied huge GM powered Eastern Rig Beam Trawlers to France, England, Norway etc etc etc.

They are still found in many Nova Scotia ports today.

Before Canada took the USA to world court and seized the far Nor’east part of Georges Bank away from us American and Canadian scallop boats would actually raft up together while cutting out the huge piles of 60-80 count scallops that were discovered there.
Of course this only happened in flat calm water, mostly in August.

Once the Bank was divided by the Hague Line things got real hot, real fast!
But that story would take multiple writings to cover.

Thanks for the reply and I deeply thank you for your service!!!


a reply to: ANNED

edit on 08-19-2021 by PiratesCut because: words matter

posted on Sep, 17 2021 @ 07:40 PM
a reply to: PiratesCut

Since I was a toddler my family has travelled to spend every summer in Fairhaven, MA, just across the bay from New Bedford, to see my Grandparents when they were alive, and now I return to see my parents, who live there in the summer still. I have always wondered what happened on a scallop boat after it passed out of the harbor.

My grandfather had worked on a 'scalloper' when he was a young man, and would make a big deal about them when they passed by between Sconticuit Neck where he lived, and Smith's Neck across the way. I knew what these boats looked like, and how to identify them, but never saw what they did until right now. The scallops that those guys catch are huge compared to the tiny little scallops in the bay hah

Thank you so much. Those videos are treasure!

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