Some of the hardiest fishermen the world has known were the Dorymen of the Newfoundland Grand Banks and the Greenland Channel, for although they fished in summer the weather in these waters is always fickle and never warm - and they fished alone in these tiny boats, brought to these inhospitable waters from Western Europe and North America on the decks of mother ships.
They sought cod and every day, when the weather was suitable, the mother ships launched the 30 to 50 Dorys, each with a single man, and every evening they would hoist them all on board again.
During the day a single man might fill his boat twice or even three times fishing with long lines with as many as 500 baited hooks, returning to the ship under sail or oars each time but at the end of the day his work was not finished, for he would have to join in the cleaning of the fish before they were salted down. This form of fishing continued into the late century but has now given way to trawling.
This boat came from the four-masted Portuguese schooner ARGUS about which Alan Villiers wrote his fascinating book "The Quest of the Argus".
We are grateful to Senhor Albano Nogueira who, as Portuguese Ambassador, opened the Ellerman Collection and who subsequently presented us with this boat, again brought to England freight-free by the Ellerman Container Line.
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