It was during this period that the legend of a Newfoundland Flying Dutchman was started. A skipper Babbitt of Burgeo, having had a successful seal fishery in 1882, went to Sydney, N.S., and bought a small 60-ton schooner. Unable- to hire a crew he set out single handedly to sail the vessel back to Burgeo. After two days at the ship’s wheel, hunger and thirst over-came him, so he lashed the wheel and went below to brew tea. Almost immediately he felt a bump and rushing out on deck discovered his vessel barely grounded on Round Shag Rock off Burgeo. Babbitt jumped down onto the rock and a sudden breeze blew the vessel off leaving him stranded. He was marooned on the rock for a day and night until the fog lifted and he was rescued. But of his new schooner there was no sight nor was there ever any definite report on its fate. Rumors circulated that it had been seen on the South Coast, Cabot Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There were even reports of a ghostly mariner at the wheel, probably fanciful inventions, but the basis for a Burgeo Flying Dutchman.
Date Entered on Web: 01 October 2002