Photography: Luís Costa | Article written from a testimony collected by Luís Costa


The man who appears in this photo, next to the boat called “Samas”, is José Manuel Serrão, better known as ‘Baiana’.

He started fishing at 13 years old, in Ericeira, where he was born in 1940, dedicating himself to this activity for almost seven decades. At the age of 20, he went cod fishing, like what happened to other locals of his generation, such as ‘Xico Porras’, for example. Throughout his life he traveled the world and pursued other professional activities, always having the sea as a common denominator.

“I spent six years fishing codfish, I left at 26. Then I went to Ras Nouadhibou (or Cap Blanc), in Mauritania. I was there for four years and then went to Holland, where I spent five years working on long-haul cargo ships. In 1975 I went to South Africa – I took a six-month trip to earn barely anything on fishing boats. From there, I returned to Cap Blanc, then went on to fish for shrimp in Guinea. I was there a year and came back to Ericeira again. Then I went to the United States of America to work on passenger ships. I was there for seven years and then returned to Portugal in 1984. I ordered a new boat for me in 1990. I spent five years with it here in Ericeira, but as this is rough for the sea, I sold it to Algarve. Then I bought another smaller boat to sail here, where people fish for sport. Now I am helping these guys here on the boats ”, his maritime chronology unfolds while he works on the inside of the vessel, having the comrades’ conversations as a background. “And so it is… And I am almost 80 years old.” May you count many more, with health and energy, to continue active through the fishing port of our village!

Esta publicação também está disponível em | This article is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)