Atlantic Ocean, NL - Sam Party
My name is Sam Party and I’m from Bay Argent, Newfoundland in Fortune Bay. I’m a tug captain now with McKeil Marine – I’ve been with them for 9 years now. Pretty interesting job and places to go.
My most powerful of the water is the time when I was 5 years old. It was in the May of 1967. My grandfather was the captain on a large schooner at the time. When the left home there in the Bay Argent to head to Labrador, the final trip the schooner made for work purposes. After that it was brought to Toronto and turned into a tour boat. When grandfather left to Bay Argent to head down the coast he took along myself and my mother. He went into Grand Banks which is about 55 miles from home and dropped us off en route.
That was my first trip on the water and first time on the wheel of any vessel. I always wanted to be a wheel guy from then on. That was my first ride, a great day – calm. Interesting enough, the company that owned that schooner was a tug company from Toronto. When I grew up, I went to work for them for 4 years. Later on, Blair bought out the tug company in Toronto. So their equipment became part of McKeil Marine. So indirectly I guess I started with McKeil a long time ago. That was good; we got lots of pictures and good memories of that trip on the schooner when I was 5.
Water is very important because its the means that all my family for generations made their living, kept their families and their homes going. Everybody’s employment, most everybody in the family, has come from the sea. Whether it is the Atlantic Ocean or the Great Lakes. And of course we all need water to survive – it’s a big part of life. I’ve spent 11 years as a ferry boat captain. I was 9 years as a deep sea fisherman.
I certainly found life on the Great Lakes and rivers a lot easier than on the Grand Banks in the middle of winter and all that cold. It’s nice to be working for McKeil. Get to see the land. Girls go by on the yachts, a lot better than the seabirds.