At the extreme extent of our vision, the sea and sky merge
together, becoming only a line on the horizon. Sailors and
fishers exist in a fragile, self-contained world – the ship –
which serves to separate sea and sky. Ever subject to the
elements of weather, wind and sea, these individuals,
particularly in times past, survived through their skill and
knowledge, coupled with a propensity for hard work under
trying circumstances. That so many survived is a testament to
that skill and knowledge; when skill and knowledge weren’t
sufficient, survival usually became a matter of good luck. The
eighty stories in Between Sea and Sky tell of courage,
hardship, self-sacrifice, misadventure, and plain good luck.
Robert Parsons' newest book, Between Sea and Sky has over 80 Stories, 75 pictures and at 300 pages, his longest publication yet.
The cover, a beautiful piece of artwork by Newfoundland artist Lloyd Pretty, is of the Marionand shows the nefarious French trawler steaming up in the background. The story contains the complete crew list (never before published) of the ill-fated schooner.
In this book there's stories of ship losses, disappearances, war, murder, and unusual events on the sea -- all filled with local heroes and strange happenings from nearly every coast and bay in Newfoundland and Labrador. The index has two hundred entries of towns and ships.
Wherever possible Robert researched the names of our people and included them in ship and crew lists, victims, ship owners within each story. Several tales are related from a first person point of view and are first-hand experiences of wrecks, fire at sea, survival in war and on the water.
Creative Publishers, the leading book publisher in Newfoundland, says of Between Sea and Sky, "I believe this is Robert's best and most interesting book to date."
About the Author
Born in Grand Bank on Newfoundland's historic South Coast, Robert C. Parsons already has seven successful books published -- Lost at Sea Volume One, Lost at Sea Volume Two, Wake of the Schooners, Toll of the Sea: Stories from the Forgotten Coast, Vignettes of a Small Town, Survive the Savage Sea and Committed to the Deep: Stories and Memoirs.
While in St. John's, (although he lives in Grand Bank, a traditional fishing community) Robert can usually be found researching historical files in the Historicial Society, the university and the provincial archives. A significant portion of his spare time is devoted to archival detective work and in collecting/taping the true tales of heroism from the older residents who experienced life in Newfoundland's olden days. He currently has a book under contract from Pottersfield Press, Nova Scotia tentatively entitled In Peril on the Sea: Nova Scotian Shipwrecks.
Parsons always brings us back to our roots in the maritime provinces especially Newfoundland. He provides crew lists, details of town life and historical data all wound into exciting sea and shipwreck stories. If you have an ancestor that went to sea on the Atlantic there's a good chance his name is in one of Parsons' books and articles.
Many of Robert C. Parsons' articles of heritage and history have appeared in local and national magazines or newspapers: Newfoundland Quarterly, Newfoundland Lifestyle, Legion Magazine, Reader's Digest, Rounder, United Church Mandate, Decks Awash, Evening Telegram and the Southern Gazette. His articles and stories number over 120 in twenty-five different publications. His award-winning entry in the 1995 Arts and Letters Competition was an excerpt from Vignettes of a Small Town.
In Vignettes of a Small Town, Parsons once again reminds us of what a rich and colourful place this island of Newfoundland is. This is a 300-page book (with over ninety photos) of prominent people, unusual and unique events, and intriguing titbits from Grand Bank, one of Newfoundland's oldest and attractive outports.
His latest release Committed to the Deep: Stories and Memoirs (Fall 1999) contains 39 stories of unique, mysterious, and fascinating true stories of Newfoundland seamen -- many yarns told by the seamen themselves.
Parsons was once an educator (M.Ed.1982) in his home town of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, and has an active community involvement: past president of the Royal Canadian Legion, past master of the Masonic Lodge, ToastMasters (Schooner branch), member of the local library board, executive member of the Newfoundland Historical Society, and has served on other provincial/local committees. He has given several presentations on the writing of local events to teachers' provincial workshops and to Elderhostel groups.