Saturday, 11 July 2009

Cape Ann Seine Boats

Seine fishing boats are still raced at Gloucester, the old fishing port at Cape Ann, Massachusetts, but they are very different from the inshore boats used in the Teign estuary.
Gloucester seine boats were designed to be carried on the deck of a schooner to hunt mackerel in the St Lawrence Gulf and Cape Hatteras, up to fifty miles offshore, so they are much longer at 38 to 40 feet. They were double-ended, rowed by ten oars, double-banked, and steered with an oar in rowlock on the stern.
The method was much the same as on the Cornish coast. A lookout in the rigging would cry 'School-oh' when fish were spotted, and the boat would set off with the net, often with a dory to tend to the other end. When the net was secure, the schooner would come alongside and the fish would be bailed into the fish hold for salting, or, if the voyage was nearly over and a port was close by, put on ice.
The pictures are from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration archive.
Seine fishing boat races are a big feature of the annual St Peter's Fiesta at Gloucester, held on the weekend closest to the saint's patronal festival on June 29. Three boats, Santa Maria, Nina and Pinta, are enthusiastically raced over a mile long course.
This year competition was intense, as captured by local blogger Jay Albert. Jay has lots of extremely atmospheric shots here, plus pictures of the other great attraction of the fiesta, the greasy pole.

1 comment:

goodmorninggloucester said...

Here are many Pictures and Videos From The International Dory Races In Gloucester-
http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/?s=dory&x=0&y=0

Here are many from the Seine Boat Races at The Saint Peter's Fiesta-
http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/?s=seine&x=0&y=0

And David Cox Seine Boat Black and Whites-
http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/david-cox-fiesta-black-and-whites/