Photographer's Note

Moliceiro is the name given to the boats that circulate in the Aveiro Ria, the lagoon formed by the Vouga river, on the north-western coast of Portugal. This vessel was originally used for harvesting algae, but nowadays they are mainly used as sight-seeing boats.
The moliceiro is considered the most elegant amongst the various types of traditional boats found in the area. Despite its colourful and humorous decorations, it is a functional algae-gathering boat, which was the principal source of fertiliser in Aveiros farmlands.
They have low sides to facilitate the loading and unloading of the algae. The moliceiros have a very elegant prow and stern, which are normally decorated with satirical paintings depicting topical subjects. They have a length of around 15 metres and are 2.5metres wide. They sail in shallow waters. The forecastle is covered. It travels under sail, pole or sirga. The sirga is a tow rope used to tow vessels along the canals.
The origin of the moliceiro is lost in the passage of time. It is not possible to say with absolute certainty how the vessel came into being, but it is thought that its origins date back to the Phoenicians, who arrived in the region hailing from the Mediterranean.

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  • Copyright: Tiago almeida (tiagoalmeida) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 261 W: 0 N: 210] (1475)
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  • Date Taken: 2009-09-05
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  • Exposure: f/6.5, 1/250
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  • Date Submitted: 2010-09-11 11:17
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