Wednesday, February 5, 2014

from "Among the Deep Sea Fishers" | July 1912

New York, May 5, 1912

Dear Mr. Editor:

Some of your readers may be interested in knowing a little something of the trip that I have just completed from St. Anthony.

Two weeks ago, Thursday morning, with Alec Simms, Dr. Little’s driver, and a team of eleven fine dogs, I left St. Anthony for Boston. For six days I averaged over fifty miles a day; the first day we made sixty-five. From St. Anthony we went across country to Flowers Cove on the Belle Isle Straits, where we spent the night. The next four days I was scudding along the bays that indent the coast of the Straits.

The going was fine, thawing somewhat in the afternoon and freezing hard at night with an early start we made good time.

Alec brought me to a place called Parson’s Pond, about half of the distance. The going as we had come father south had become soft and we thought it unwise for him to venture any farther from home, it being so late in the spring.

After leaving him, I came on by way of Bonne Bay to Deer Lake where the railway touches. The last half of the journey was made by walking or with the mail-men. None of the dogs that I found South were quite equal to our own, though our mail-men who go from Bonne Bay to Deer Lake had a splendid team of nearly twenty dogs hitched to a shed nearly twenty feet long. This was piled with mail as there had been no communication with the outside world for nearly two months, and I had to run behind a good part of the time.

The first part of the trip was nearly level, being along shore and only rough where the ice was heaped up as we crossed some wide bays. This last stage of the journey, however is up hill and down,, and with the slight crust on top and the rackets cutting through, it was very difficult walking.

Owing to the snow and other hindrances, it took nearly three days to accomplish the last one hundred and fifty miles by railway. This was about the same rate of travel that I had made with dogs and I must say that I prefer the travel with sled to that on the Reid-Newfoundland Railway in winter.

This journey of two hundred to two hundred and fifty miles (distances always seem longer than they are given by the people) was made in six days, which is only possible under the most favourable conditions of weather and snow.

Yours very truly,
Jesse Halsey

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