National Geographic : 1968 Apr
half of it-and I was determined to keep it as high in the water as possible. Now I began to feel the Arctic cold, just above freezing. The icy air penetrated my sweater, two shirts, and long underwear. De spite three pairs of heavy socks, my toes felt frozen. Wooden Soles and Leathery Hands Joaquim pointed to my rubber hip boots and shook his head. Then he propped his huge leather boots on the seat of the dory and showed me their inch-thick wooden soles. These insulated his feet from the cold. Nothing, however, protected his hands. My own felt numb in fur-lined gloves. Watching him bait the cold steel hooks, I decided his powerful hands must be made of leather. If he could stand the cold, so must I. But what about the thickening fog? I knew dory men sometimes lose their way in it, some never to be seen again. I also knew that Por tuguese fishermen do not show fear, no matter 576 Adrift on a sullen sea, dorymen pull in their long-lines a last time before returning to the In quest of cod, the Portuguese dory ships more than half the entire fleet of 66-sail from Lisbon each April; trawlers ply the seas with their nets for most of the year. First, dorymen probe the Grand Banks, then sail north to the grounds off the west coast of Greenland. The men hope to see home again by October; with luck, they'll have a full cargo. how bad the situation. Joaquim's placid face did not reassure me. Suddenly I heard a rich baritone wafting through the fog. Joaquim heard it too. "Jos6," he said, smiling. Somewhere out there his brother-in-law was singing a Portuguese folk song. Hearing another voice in this gray wilderness, I felt like singing myself. I had little cause for concern. After Joaquim dropped his last hook in the water, he opened his lunch box and pulled out a small two-way radio. Soon he was talking with Capt. Alvaro Abreu da Silva on the Josi Alberto. Had we used all our bait? No. How were the cod hitting? Fair. Would we be ready to come in at three? Yes. Ship-to-dory radio is a new wrinkle in cod fishing, and Joaquim had one of the few sets in use. Eventually all the dorymen will have them, for the radio has demonstrated that it is a timesaver. Some day it might also prove to be a lifesaver.