Mother/daughter duo Trina and Sadie Grandy say they are truly blessed to earn a living at sea
Trina Grandy is the baby in her family and the one who joined the merry fishing crew led by her parents, Sadie and Lloyd Grandy. Sadie, now 71, thinks having her daughter around is simply amazing. “I thinks it wonderful because she turns after me. I love it. Right from the heart. Haven’t entered me mind to retire. My husband’s been fishing for over 60 years and I’ve been fishing for over 35.”
Trina laughs. “We’re the only boat that has two ladies as crew. We laughs, we have so much fun. No matter the weather we are all still in good spirits,” says Trina.
Trina, however, doesn’t quite feel the same about passing her love of fishing down to the next generation, explaining she has a son who works in Alberta, and that’s just dandy, thank you very much.
“Not if I can help it he won’t go in the fishery,” she says. As for her? Even when her parents eventually retire, she is staying put. “It’s all I know. Being a child of fisherpeople, there were no babysitters back then. You had to go in the boat with your parents and sit up front and stay there until the nets were hauled.”
She remembers living at the fishing cabin from April to July. You stayed put until the fishing was done, she says.
‘We are fisherwomen’
Trina says it was important to get the word out about what she does for a few reasons.
“People look at me and say; you are in the lobster fishery? No! Actually, yes, I fish. People say, you look too pretty. Well, you might be cleaned up and look fine when you are outside, but inside that boat you are working. There’s no pretending. We are fisherwomen. And Garnish has a high rate of fishingwomen and they should be honoured.”
Mom Sadie is also proud of what she does for a living. “I got up at 4 o’clock this morning and now I’m just in through the door 12 hours later. Fishing’s been good to us. No matter how bad it was, you still made a living.”
And she loves fishing dearly. “If I wasn’t fishing I’d just be doing housework. Get me out there,” Sadie laughs. Her daughter smiles.
“We’ve seen alot of spray in our face. When it’s flat calm and the sun is in your face it’s beautiful, but you pay for it on windy days.”
When Sadie started out, the pots were made of wood and times were hard.
“Before the lobster season began, we would comb the beach for ‘tumblers’ as they called it to put in the pots for weight, repairing and taking pots out of storage, haul herring nets trying to get bait on hand for the upcoming season. Preparation had to be done to the slipway where we land our boat on the shoreline. After the winer, large boulders and other large rocks would wash in the dockway area where it all needed to be removed to put the slipway down again.”
‘I love fishing’
Life has become a lot easier, she shares. The pots are made of wire and requires less work to maintain and their boat is larger. But the way it makes her feel is what is key, she says.
“I can absolutely say I love fishing. It’s the best time I feel when I’m out on the water. I can’t wait to get back at it in the spring time. To watch the sunrise in the morning really does your heart good.”
Given a choice, she’d still pick fishing, says Sadie.
“If someone gave me a choice of a prepaid vacation to Florida or go fishing, hands down fishing all the way. I’d rather be on the water, that’s how much I enjoy it. I will give up fishing when my body tells me that I can’t go, other than that I’m staying fishing. Fishing may not be for everyone but as for me I’ve always had the nerve for fishing and as long as I continue to have my health and strength, I will continue still in the fishing industry.”
Trina smiles at her mom. She feels the same way.
“I am truly blessed to be able to say that I still have my parents fishing by my side. They are the two eldest people still fishing in Garnish. They have showed me throughout my fishing career that hard work pays off and you really have to enjoy what you do.”
The three spend their time laughing and enjoying each other while out in boat, but there’s always something more somber at play as well; the feeling of keeping a legacy alive.
“I am proud to carry on a legacy that has been in my father’s family for many generations. Fishing will live on in the Grandy family.”