Collection: | THE STORM | wholesale

The storm announced its arrival on the high seas as the boats began to leave the dock, passing the imposing Barra Lighthouse on their port side. The full moon and its tidal energy already made navigation difficult, foreshadowing a challenging trawling expedition.

Boats under twenty-four meters in length furiously rode the waves, which themselves were enraged by the interference of the celestial bodies. They ventured further from the shore, hoping to find vast schools of fish while the power of the waves broke over the bow. The sea's tempestuousness made casting the nets difficult, but at some point, nature ended up turning the wind in their favor. Now, they had to trust that in a few hours, the trawled fish would be worth the storm's wrath.

The lack of calm in those waiting hours confused the crew's emotions. "We'll have seagulls onshore when the fishing is done," remarked the boatswain. Daylight stretched with the returning boats, which were followed by yellow-beaked seagulls all the way to the Aveiro dock.

Guida landed on the bridge, near the master of the vessel “Eusébio”. Her skill always earned her one or two sea bass in her beak. She had been recognized since she wore the colored F753 band on her left paw, for migration pattern observations. Rescued while still young after fracturing her right leg, she had been ringed and protected ever since. "Here you go, Guida! These can't go to the fish market," said the captain. She grabbed the fish and promptly vanished before any hungry bird could steal her generous feast.

Satisfied, she perched atop the tallest lighthouse in Portugal, observing hundreds of other seabirds soaring among the boats in search of sustenance, where the sea and the estuary met. The bolder ones stole fish from the careless and exhausted fishermen, but it wasn't fatigue that diminished their joy when the night's fury gave way to the chatter of the yellow-beaked seagulls. A sign of fish in the market... A sign they had returned home.

Maria José Carvalho de Almeida, 2023

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