Ann Harvey’s Weblog

dedicated to the lives of those lost and retrieved at sea

Harvey’s Fishing Boat

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 Harvey’s Fishing Boat

was many an Irish family now had left their homes behind

and gathered on the Derry docks,

awaitin on the tide

in fair winds all had bravely sailed.. to go across the sea

the tears they shed for Ireland

they didn’t think to hide


the open sea was crossed quite well.. Despatch was running true

in westerlies that held so fair,

an rain squalls left behind

Newfoundland came up close t’hand,

Quebec was not too far

Despatch’s crew look’d sharply now n icebergs kept in mind..


she carried plenty sail onto the Grand Banks up till now

her Master ever careful with

the sailin calls e gave

look sharp m’lads, n reef the sails

smartly now e says

n steady at the helm e was and callin to be brave


the dreadful driving galin winds they’d come upon them hard

at forty days had struck they did

a tearin at her sails

a lee shore now.. just off the bow

the thunder it was heard..

escape was sought from sharp black rocks.. an wicked Newfie gale.


In lashing rain at Six bells now, she comes ta run aground

on angry rip n tearin rocks

offshore of Isle aux Morts

first lifeboat lost to waves she was

and skipper swept away

just thirteen mile away they was.. from shelter of a port.

mornin broke on a pounding beach near five mile down the way

a young girl there in blinding rain,

an down the hill she ran

upon the shore were shiny oars

she spied with sinking heart

a brave wee lass wit thoughtful eyes.. whose family called her Ann


an to the wreck the Harvey’s rowed despite the stormin seas

some on the ship and some that stood

on the rocks off Isle aux Morts

a boy and a man in the dory boat…

the Newfie dog and Ann

a rope was throwd in howling wind.. and the first ones got to shore.


When second day had come n went why some of them was gone

she rowed steadfast n never stopped

just went n got some more

a baby wrapped within a shawl,

while mother grasped the rope

in her teeth the shawl was clenched.. Ann rowed em safe t shore.


A dyin on the beach was some n in the water too

an not a tich a letting up..

the hellish storm she raved

an still she rowed as Daddy built

some shelter from the wind

her brother fed the lucky ones.. the dog n her had saved.


The last was saved in darkness.. and barely that, y’know

pulled from rocks by the big black dog

and rowed away to shore.

a wailing babe in the darkest heart

of the third and blowing night

those on the beach might live it seemed.. the rest, they are no more.


of all they had, the neighbors gave and came to help as well

wit open hearts and gintle hands

n soothing words they’d say

a hundred fifty souls ashore

was safe n fed n warm

kindly done n well it was.. in a fine an Newfie way


Now rowed agin Ann Harvey did along the shore y’know..

t’get more food n clothes and stuff

and other things they lack

n tell of folks now on the beach..

and could they get some help

so rowed she did n fast she was.. to Port aux Basque and back


A week she passed the storm was done and then a ship did come

the Tyne came close to Isle aux Morts

but under careful sail

some talked of Ann you know they did,

while gintly took aboard

and seamen stout was moved to tears but proud to hear the tale


And so Despatch was lost she was as were so many souls

with infants took by hungry waves

and some did lose their wives

were children lost n parents too,

and spite the dreadful loss

them’s made it into Harvey’s boat.. owed Ann with all their lives


with ten years passed a Scottish ship went hard upon the rocks

she rowed then to the Rankin’s aide

and saved the ship’s full crew

a life well led you’d have t say..

she died at thirty four

a mom she was of eight y’know  .. that grew up straight and true.


And so the tale is told agin ..

by those who  know the facts

so one could know or hear about

Ann Harvey’s brave young acts.


Thomas D’Arcy O’Donnell


Written by annharvey

June 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hi, I am reasearching my family history and have recently established from my great great grandfathers death certificate (William Harvey, born 1816), that he was born in Newfoundland and that his father was a George Harvey, occupation Sea Captain. William emigrated to New South Wales in approx 1851 and had lots of kids. I was wondering if any of your folk may have seen the light and moved downunder in the mid 1800’s.
    Ross Harvey Brisbane Australia

    Ross Harvey

    October 3, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    • I too am a descendant of William Harvey of Newfoundland, who came to Australia, and was the son of George Harvey.
      Would love to learn more information about the brothers and sisters of Ann Harvey, the rescuer.


      July 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

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