Above Boston Harbor’s murky waters, gray and white seagulls swirled and screeched at one another in the morning sunlight. The air reeked of dampness and dead fish. Riggings clanged against the schooner’s mast pole. Waiting in line to answer the captain’s questions before heading down the gangplank and onto the wharf, I watched sailors hurriedly stuff canvas sails into the boat’s hold. After six weeks of battling waves on the voyage across the Atlantic, they wanted to secure the ship and be off to enjoy their free time, before the boat loaded again and sailed with the next high tide…

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