In 1898 a political firestorm surrounded the creation of Newfoundland's Alphabet Fleet. But before long these coastal boats became a beloved part of the fabric of life in Newfoundland and Labrador. These ships carried bright - eyed young teachers to their first outport assignments. They brought wedding dresses to excited brides and Christmas parcels and letters to eager hands. They carried people home from city hospitals and the dead to be buried in family plots. Through crew and passenger recollections this book brings the Alphabet Fleet to life.