Art by StarTwo
Portugal is typically known as a country of sailors and fishermen, and many are the tales of glorious journeys, discoveries of unknown lands, cultures, treasure and also death.
When it came to shipwrecks the men, in their sublime rudeness expressed their sense of loss and belief in something extraordinary, moved by religion and superstition. And so came to be the idea that when a helpless ship got lost at sea or was devoured by a storm’s cruel waves, the soul of its Captain would rise and roam alone, eternally lost.
They respectfully called them “Alma de Mestre”, literally translated to “Soul of Meister”, and they would forever wail amongst the night ocean’s waves until their bodies could be set on the earth and finally reach Paradise.
In truth, the wailing sounds the sailors claimed to hear were nothing else but the plaintive sounds of birds called storm petrels that come to fish at night and thus the Portuguese sailors dubbed them too, “Alma de Mestre”.
It is a tragic memory left behind and yet another testimony of human sacrifice and desire to go further beyond.