St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet


  • St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 2]

long, the afterdeck measuring about 15 feet by 15 feet. This large space is
necessary to a shrimp boat, as this part of the ship is the dumping area for
the net, and the work table of the fishermen. Below decks, forward,
were the quarters of the crew. This "V" shaped enclosure had two spring
bunks suspended from the roof, and were so constructed that they could
be folded out of the way when not in use. Under the bunks and on each
side of the fo'c'sle were wide wooden benches which could be used as
beds when a larger crew was carried. In the center of the room was a
table containing a small oil stove, with kitchen utensils carefully hung to
the wall. Joining the stove was another small table with sideboards to
prevent dishes from sliding off in stormy weather. Oilskins (liberally
drenched in fish oil), soiled dungarees, and the call-pervading odor of
departed shrimp soon make the visitor avail himself of the small
companionway ladder leading to the wheelhouse.

The wheelhouse was fitted up simply, with a three-foot wheel
geared to the steering apparatus, a compass, a throttle, and a reversing
lever completing its furnishings. Directing aft of the wheel a sliding door
opened upon a neat little room with two bunks. This cubbyhole served
as the cabin for captain and mate, chart-room, commissary locker, and
chapel. Numerous religious paintings depicting the lives of the Saints
spoke eloquently of the piety of Captain De Cruz, although at several
times during the succeeding day he seemed hard-put to preserve his
pious character.