Don Fernando, Bahia’s last fisherman

Don Fernando - Fisherman - Photo by Dagmar

Don Fernando – Fisherman – Photo by Dagmar

In the village, they call him Casco; he came 30 years ago from Quepos to Bahia – Uvita, Costa Ballena.  Back then, he worked as captain of a 39-feet boat, with a crew of six men.  Sometimes, they spent 22 days at sea, usually only eight days because the fishing used to be very good, and the boat filled up quickly.

“I know more about the sea than the land,” says Fernando, “I traveled across the coast from Nicaragua to Panama.” Every other day, regardless of good or bad weather, he goes out to sea in his small 22-year old boat, the Lonely Eagle.  “Once,” he recalls, “we were drifting on the ocean for four days because we lost a propeller.”

He loves to be offshore during the full moon, mainly because the fish bite more, and it is likely to see dolphins and whales below the surface, and sometimes is possible to hear them singing.  Today anglers go fishing with LED lights, GPS, and even a gas stove.  In the past, we had oil lamps, a compass, and a little portable iron stove to cook at sea.

“Birds are a great help, many times they indicate the passage of a big fish.  Sure, I fish to eat – but I admire the beauty and courage of the inhabitants of the sea.”

Posted in Art & Culture, Pioneers, Uvita and tagged .