Canada: NEWFOUNDLAND: Swilin' Time

In the Arctic icefields off Newfoundland's east coast, hardy, wind-bitten swilers (sealers) were out on their annual seal hunt.

With sirens screaming and bunting gay in the rigging, a dozen stout-planked ships had slipped through the Narrows of St. John's Harbor and out of sheltered northern ports. If they came back in four to eight weeks with prime pelts stowed fore & aft, every swiler would get around $200 apiece for his voyage. If they came back clean, both they and the merchants who backed them would get nothing. As always, the hunt...

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