The religious tone present in many of the expressions used in cod fishing demonstrates the relationship between popular Portuguese devotions and the experiences of the high seas that mark the temperament of the fishermen. At sea men appeal to the divine. Consequently, the daily repeated gestures are interspersed with short litanies evocative of their devotions.
With only a few hours of rest the men were awakened by a comrade who to the sound of the praises announced the new day of work. "Be Praised and adored Our Lord Jesus Christ, look it's 6 o'clock, time for lunch!" - This is how "Paxita" recalls waking up every day. Another version of the "Louvados" was, "Praised and Adored Holy Name of Jesus, for your sake brothers, Jesus died on the cross. Jesus died on the cross and died to Save us, O below jump up that the one above is finishing..."
After lunch, as they dubbed the first meal of the day, they prepared the long line and the boats. The praises were not the only litany heard on board the ships in the morning. With the following order from the captain - "Let's lower our boats with God" - the dories were put in the water, the fishermen hoisted their sails, and set sail for another day of fishing.
1 "Paxita", nickname of António Pereira da Silva, born in Figueira da Foz
** Praised in the movie 'Terra Nova Mar Velho' (1983), directed by Francisco Manso.