Captain Mano (Judy’s Dad)
Judy is the Great Granddaughter, Granddaughter, Daughter, Wife, and Mother-in-Law of a fisherman. Scallop Vessel Co-Owner, former President and the only female member of the Offshore Mariners Association. Her father emigrated from Portugal.
“My father was a fisherman. I was raised in fishing in our family. My father owned boats. My husband was a fisherman. My son in law is a fisherman, great grandparents, grandparents all the way down the line. I was a president and vice president of the Offshore Mariners Association. I was also a president of Offshore Mariners Wives, organizations that were ad hocs to the industry, with the regulations with National Fisheries and such, and that was in the early 90s. It’s just in my blood.”
One rule that we always had, we’d argue ‘cause every, every couple does argue, you never let them go fishing mad. And we never did. It’s “Have a good trip, keep safe. I love you, God bless” and a hug and kiss. Always, no matter how bad the fight was the day before. 24 hours, that’s all you’re allowed to go without talking…You always respected the fact that it could be your last time. You know, we’re very lucky, we have a lot of friends that weren’t.
I was always very political. I wanted to get involved. So, I became a member of the Offshore Mariners Association because I owned, we bought the Elizabeth and Nikki from my father in 1986. You had to be a boat owner to be part of the association. There was 180 members and I was the only woman. I got involved and after about a year and a half the guys invited – voted me as vice president. We’d go to meetings and talk to all these politicians, National Fisheries, all that wonderful stuff. Then about a year afterwards, they voted me in as president. I was still the only woman and I was president up until it closed down.
“Blessing the Nets” – I can say this is a Portuguese tradition because I’ve talked to Norwegians and Newfoundlanders and they said no, that’s never happened to have a virgin ‘bless’ (wee wee) on the nets. Well, you’re not going to get a teenager to do that, it’s a little bit kind of inappropriate. So, they got a little girl and I was the little girl. They would put me on top of a big mound of nets, and they’d have all the men circling the nets. The nine guys on the boat, and they’re all around me and just clapping their hands. saying “Shush! Shush! Shush!” and then when I did do the shush, oh, the clapping! So they each would give me $1, which is great. It was nine bucks back in the day. It was a lot of money.
If you were a son, a boy, you were going to be a fisherman. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about that. Doctor, Lawyer? You crazy? No. You think you’re taking the boat out? You’re a fisherman. If you were a girl, you were gonna marry a fisherman and like I was told: “You can marry whoever you want. We’re not going to interfere. As long as he’s Portuguese and he’s a fisherman. You’re fine.”