The Captain’s Table, Mobile, NL

When trekking the East Coast Trail I passed the Legendary Captain’s Table Restaurant in Mobile. Unfortunately, the hikes never seemed to match up with dining at the Restaurant, until we did the shorter pathways in Aquaforte.

The restaurant is very inviting from both outside and in. The customer service just phenomenal and the food is unbelievably good. I just had to try their fish and chips with homemade fries, dressing and gravy. It was nice to pair with a craft beer from Quidi Vidi.

According to their Facebook Page:

The Captain’s Table Restaurant received its name in honor of Newfoundland’s greatest hero, Captain William Jackman, the great-great-grandfather of the Owner Melissa Jackman.

It was October 9, 1867 – A day long remembered for the vicious storm that lashed the rocky Labradour coast. William Jackman, a strong but soft-spoken sealing captain from Renews, had taken his ship and crew to his property at Spotted Island.
At the peak of the storm, Jackman bundled himself in his warmest clothes and headed outside. The third crewman, named Crosie, pulled on his clothes and followed him.
Their heads bowed, Jackman and Crosbie pressed on through the blowing snow towards the coast until they saw a fishing schooner being pounded to pieces on a reef several hundred metres from shore.
“She’ll not last a few hours in a gale like this”, shouted the Captain. Instructing Crosbie to fetch as many ropes and men as possible he tore off his coat and boots and dived into the violent surf.
Thoughts of the schooner’s doomed crew and cries of those on board spurred Jackman on through the icy water. Looking up, he saw a crowd of faces, most weeping with joy.
Jackman soon learned there were 27 on board, more than her usual number since she had collided with another schooner earlier that day and had taken all of its passengers and crew on board as well.
After Jackman had caught his breath, he took one of the crew on his back and swam through the raging sea back to shore, stopping only long enough to catch his breath. This he did ten more times.
When he returned to shore with the eleventh man, Crosbie and the Howell brothers had arrived with coils of rope. Jackman, blue with cold, tied the rope around his waist and again plunged into the sea. After four attempts to reach the vessel, he soon returned with another crew member on his back. The men on the shore pulled with all their might until Jackman delivered the survivor to shore. Then he was gone again.
Jackman managed to rescue 15 more this way.
“Is that all of you?” He asked the group huddled on the rocks.
A voice cried out, “There’s a woman on board, but she’s close to death and she’ll not survive bein’ hauled through that water. And it may be the death of you too, captain!”
Jackman had stopped listening. He pulled himself to his feet, saying “Living or dead, I’ll not leave her there!”
He threw himself into the sea once again. Reaching the schooner, he found the woman lying on her berth in the cabin below. Once onshore, he covered her with his heavy coat and she lived long enough to thank him for his kindness.
Throughout Newfoundland, the 30-year old captain became known as “Jackman the Hero”.
In 1868, he was awarded a medal by England’s Royal Humane Society for his great courage. Jackman himself was quite modest about his bravery. After he had received his medal, he asked his wife, Bridgett, to put it away and never speak of it again.
Captain William Jackman’s life was tragically cut short when he died in 1877, aged 39 years. His funeral was the largest ever seen in the history of St. John’s.

Captain Jackman was a very brave man, a hero and it’s nice that this restaurant with family connectivity many generations apart dedicated its name to him.

I would highly recommend the Captain’s Table to anyone wanting a great meal less than an hour from St. John’s, NL. I look forward to future returns.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

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