"O Homem Peixe"
Martin has achieved superhero status in Brazil. Everywhere he goes he’s mobbed by excited fans who chant, “O Homem Peixe,” or in broken English, “Feeesh Mawn.” The fish is a sacred part of people’s lives here along the banks of the Amazon as it makes up the bulk of their diet, and their sustenance depends on it.
The nickname started back in Peru where they called him, “El Hombre Paiche.” The official name of the Paiche is Arapaima Gigas. At 4.5 meters long, it’s considered the largest freshwater fish in the world.

After struggling through the wind and waves to distance himself another 93 km from the site of yesterday’s pirate attack, Martin and the team looked for the safest place possible to anchor for the evening. We chose a religious commune of seventeen families of vegetable farmers just downstream of the small village of Nazare. Some of the team attended an intense evening ceremony. Martin is still having problems with skin abrasions from rubbing on the wetsuit, but is in better shape than expected after 39 days of swimming.

>>Matthew Mohlke, photo: Corrado Filipponi

Monday, 22. April 2024
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