Ships and Men — The Golden Age of Wooden Ships in Cape Breton Island
by Capt. John Parker, M.B.E., Master Mariner • drawings, appendix, index • photos • 208 pages
CAPE BRETON'S RICH HISTORY OF WOODEN SHIPBUILDING, and of men who plied the world's oceans under sail. Ships and Men includes Capt. Parker's own story of the life and death of the deep-sea schooner St. Clair Theriault—his personal experience as an extraordinarily unsuccessful shipowner.
Born in the seaport town of North Sydney, Parker's only interests were sailing vessels and the sea. He attended Royal Military College, Kingston, served as an officer in the Canadian Army (infantry), and tried the very risky life of international trade under sail. He was master of the troopship Lady Rodney in the Second World War, and later Superintendent of Pilots for Sydney Harbour and the Bras d'Or Lakes. With his wife Mary he established in North Sydney a gracious, welcoming home—a happy port for grateful travellers.
Ships and Men includes drawings of early ship construction by marine illustrator Samuel F. Manning, an appendix of sailing ships built in Cape Breton Island, and individual chapters detailing the communities and captains who built and sailed these ships. A joy to read, this is a lasting portrait of Cape Breton's seafaring heritage.