September 28 - 1889: Cape fishermen heading for South Africa for mackerel

"Fishing widow" will now become a year-round occupation
In 1889, Cape Cod fishermen were heading to South Africa for mackerel.

1889: Cape Cod fishermen sail to Cape of Good Hope for mackerel

"Fishing widow" will now become a year-round occupation

A century ago the fishermen on Cape Cod were making plans to spend the winter fishing for mackerel off the Cape of Good Hope off the southern tip of Africa, a distance of almost 8,000 miles away from homeport.

For the wives of the Cape's fishermen that would mean nearly year-round widowhood as the trip a century ago took weeks under the best of conditions and mackerel were believed to abound in South African waters after December 1st, the same fish seen here six months later.

The Cape Cod schooners will salt the mackerel and return to Provincetown to sell their catch.

The reprint of the story in The New York Times from a century ago is below.


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