A Real Gouyave Man

Did, and do you know that the correct name of the net boats that we Gouyave children used to love swimming out to and relax, or dive to pick up sand, or play king of the hill were not called SAINT BOATS?

I learnt that the hard way. The first time that I sat the Under 14 Scholarship exam, I failed, because I wrote Saint Boat and did not get the four points I needed to edge out the last placed Grenville student who passed with one point ahead of me. After all, didn’t Compere Jimbow, Till-Away, Shilling and Agnes, War-Wet, Petite-Bet, Saga-Boy, Cap’n We-Have,Swell, Boley Head, Bayrum Renwick, my aunts Georgie and Helen, Tilda, Rosie,Miss Nita, Miss Leanora and Mr. Manny, and even the young guns like Kuiks, Saddah, Bluggoe, Birdie Legs, Carve, Tan-oy, To-to-Pride, Ma-kee-kee, and Drakes, all called it Saint Boat? This was their field of expertise, it was their boats and this was our Gouyave, the fishing capital of Grenada’s world. Who would know more than they? So they had to be right, and by extension, I had to be right too.

Imagine my astonishment and embarrassment when Teacher Eli pointed it out and told me that the correct name and spelling was SEINE BOAT. I, a proud Gouyave man, born and raised on the L’Anse, did not know the correct word for those boats laden with their nets and peacefully anchored in our bay. I could have sworn that those boats got that name because most of them were named after St. Anthony, St. Peter or some other Saint’s name. Me, a real Gouyave man? Another lesson in life that I’ll never forget

By Tony DeCoteau