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Santa Maria Pirate Weekend, May 2012 - Columbus, OH

Mission the surgeon pondering
Photo: Dolphin Dani
Mission the surgeon, pondering something at his table of tools
Introduction: This, being the Journal of the Mercury pirate surgeon Mission relates the details of the journey... well, it wasn't really a journey... let's say it was the shipboard adventures of the pirate surg-... well, they weren't so much 'adventures' as they were happenings... come to think of it, what with all the weird things that have occurred while the surgeon played pirate over the 5 years preceding this particular journal, it's really just adding to the story... let's just say it's another entry in the surgeon's storied existence... well, you can hardly call them DULL, and the things that happened are somewhat curious, actually... You know what? To heck with the introduction! Let's just say this is about what happened during the Santa Maria Pirate Weekend from the perspective of your ship's surgeon. How's that?

Chapter 1st - Friday Evening: Of what occurred before the surgeon arrived; The surgeon's arrival (which will read like this... "Then I arrived."); His wearing of the Peter the Grat hat and more info on that than you'll ever need; The appearance of several looters with their booty (you know, I wish the 70s had never happened, because it makes me hate writing that word anywhere); The crew's commencement of drinking and what followed.

pirates loading boats
Photo: Trish Gallatin
Michael Bagley, Michael Colosimo and
'Michael' Shannon Gallatin at the boat ramp.
There was a great deal of interest amongst the crew leading up to this event. It was so crazy that when Mark Gist posted on the Santa Maria Pirate Weekend Planning Page that he would like to have some help getting the various small boats into the water, he received no less than 10 volunteers! Jim Shipley actually said (and I copied the quote, so I know he said it exactly this way): "If I had known that [getting there] early to help was in the cards I DEFINITELY would have been there."

This is, of course, crazy talk. Loading boats using the difficult-to-access and usually mud-covered ramp is hard work. Well, in all fairness, I should say it looks and sounds like hard work. I wouldn't actually know, because your ship's surgeon is an avowed avoider of all such ambitious activity. Mine is the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. So after reading about all this planned boat-loading and seeing so many folks being willing to show up and pitch in, I decided to arrive late and miss this bit of fun entirely. Fortunately, some of the many volunteers were on hand to record the floating of the boats as you see here.

Michael Colosimo at the boat ramp
Photo: Trish Gallatin
An entirely too cheerful Michael
Colosimo and the Firefly
The Persephone
Photo: Mission
Stephen Priddy and Nathanael Logsdon on the
Scioto in the Persephone (say it: Per-sa-fon)
boats at night
Photo: Mission
The Green Black Sheep and Firefly, moored
to the Santa Maria dock at night.

Photo: Mission
Far too glamorous to photograph?
Then I arrived. The first thing I did, upon boarding the ship, was to call out to 'Becka so that she would look up at me so that I could take a photograph of her. She works in opera, comes out to these events in fancy garb and yet has this bizarre fear of having photos of her taken and published for reasons involving vampires. (Seriously.)

The next person I ran into was Diosa, who was wearing a big floppy hat. It turned out that this was a Peter the Grat hat, which we had been discussing on the Pyracy Pub in this thread. The hat belonged to Ivan Henry, who also happens to be the person who started the thread. He took a photo of your author wearing it, as you see below left. I should explain that this hat is one shown in a drawing of Russian czar Peter the Great (Grat in period speak.) Ivan Henry explained to me that Peter was greatly enamored with the British Royal Navy, managing to even hang out with them while studying their naval bases. One of the souvenirs he took home with him was a Monmouth cap, which has also been called the Peter the Great (Pig) hat.

Ivan explained that the hats were much more shapeless than some of the people discussing them in the forum thread thought they were. He told me that they must have never actually seen the hat, which is why some of them posted images like the one below center with a stiff brim and calling them Peter the Great hats. Ivan Henry felt this was all wrong as his hat was based on the Monmouth cap that was in a museum. (Now those of you who read these Journals for enjoyment are scratching your heads saying to yourselves, "These people need to go out and and get, or possibly even purchase - at retail prices if necessary - a life." While those of you who are historical reenactors are scratching your chins thoughtfully and saying to yourselves, "Yes, I see the problem...")

Mission in a Peter the Great Monmouth Cap
Photo: Mission's Camera
Correct Pig hat (Patrick Hand Original™ looking on)
Not a Peter the Great Hat
Image: Dead Dutch Guys
Not actually Pig Hats
Ivan Henry and his hat
Photo: Mission
Ivan Henry in his Pig hat with AJ Coco

Speaking of AJ Coco, let's speak of AJ Coco. (Although I really wasn't speaking of him at all, he was just in the AJ Coco's Shoes
Photo: Mission
AJ's nifty deck shoes.
AJ Coco's Ropework
Photo: Mission
AJ displaying his rope work.
last image - let's just pretend I was so we can keep the narrative going along smoothly without any interruptions. An interruption here would be annoying.) AJ is a friend of the Thatchers, whom regular readers will recall from several previous Journals. (The rest of you can follow the link if you like.) AJ was quite the researcher and handyman. He had learned about canvas and rope boat deck shoes from somewhere and had gotten a pair made. He explained to me that they were just made out of extra material during their time period and were thrown away after they got dirty. Based on the effort it took to make them, he couldn't see how anyone would just throw them away. He also was handy at fancy rope work, which you can sort of see in the photo at right. OK, you can't see anything of the rope work in that photo, so I blew up the sword scabbard and included it below. AJ had come for his first reenactment on the Santa Maria with his father Carl and seemed to have a pretty good time.

AJ's Rope Woek on his Sword Scabbard

Bryan with 'shovel'
Photo: Mission
Bryan, looking like a pirate with a shovel. If you squint.
News came that we could get our vehicles into the designated parking lot now, since the route there could be blocked at any time by the random barricades being erected for Race for the Cure on Saturday morning. (Yes, the Pink People were coming...) So I drove my truck there and then walked the six or seven blocks and checked into my hotel. On my way back to the ship, I encountered Bryan who said he was heading to the parking lot to get some booty (Ahem. Pirate booty) that Shannon Gallatin was bringing. He had a shovel slung over his shoulder, so I assumed this would involve digging up the City Hall lawn. (That's where the parking lot was.) Clearly an adventure was afoot! So I legged it in that direction to lend a hand, all the while keeping a weather eye.

Now, those of you who have studied to photo of Bryan (left), or even glanced at it think I am talking through my Patrick Hand Original™ Planter's Hat because he is clearly not holding a shovel. Give me some artistic license here. We were actually going to help Shannon bring back some ice. (Do you realize how much ice would have been worth in the Caribbean in 1720? Well, for as long as it lasted, anyhow. That would be some serious...booty. (Ahem.))

Once there, we ran into Michael Bagley who was carrying McDonalds for some of the crew. (Again, keep in mind that period pirates would probably have killed for a Big Mac. Literally.) Michael decided to help us grab the booty. (Ahem. Pirate booty.) Shannon showed up not long after, but decided his booty was too precious for us to grab (A-HEM), so he grabbed all the booty (I'm watching you.) for himself.

We walked back with him like some sort of ice guard or something. When we got to the ship, there was actually a great deal of stuff there that might have actually qualified as booty had we decided to go to the all trouble of picking it up and taking on board the Santa Maria, but that looked like too much work. So we left it there. And that was the adventure. (Remember you don't have to read this stuff, you're here voluntarily.)

Michael with drinks
Photo: Mission
Michael Bagley, bearing drinks
Shannon carrying bags of ice
Photo: Mission
Shannon doing all the heavy lifting
Booty awaiting loading
Photo: Mission
Stuff that actually MIGHT qualify as genuine booty

Regular readers of these journals may have noticed that there was an addition to the Santa Maria this year: lights on the masts. These were added this season to make the ship more noticeable to those going by on the street at night. They also provided a bit of a festive air to the proceedings. You can see a little bit of what this looked like in the photos below.

Looking up at the lighted mast
Photo: Michael Colosimo
A view of the main mast, new and improved - with added lights!
The main deck at night
Photo: Dolphin Dani
The newly lit main deck of the Santa Maria at night

The crew meeting
Photo: Mission
People bending an ear during the pre-meeting meeting
I should also note that we had another first this year: crew meetings. I think there may have been individual safety meetings in the past and maybe even a group battle planning meeting or two, but it was going to be serious this year. Yessir. We actually had a meeting on Friday evening about the meeting we would be having tomorrow! (And I was told that when you're a professional pirate, you don't have to wear a suit.)

Pro pirate
Photo: stolen
Trish was somehow designated to be the responsible one (better her than me) and she sort of spearheaded the meeting about the meeting. This new procedure was due in part to the fact that over 50 reenactors were scheduled to be on hand and the battle needed to be well organized and safety taken most seriously. Not that it hadn't been in the past, it was just a bit more challenging with all these people.

Anne Marie and Trish prepare breakfast
Photo: Mission
Anne Marie and Trish Gallatin pre-preparing breakfast.
Following that, the few responsible people started getting things ready for breakfast in the morning, as you see at left. The rest of the pirates were engaged in one of their favorite past times: drinking. Now, your surgeon has taken a vow of alcohol abstinence this year. (Why? Why not?) So I was sort of on the sidelines for part of this. As it happens, there were several fellow pirates who were likewise abstaining, meaning I was in good company.

Those who were not so shackled were doing the drinking business fine, however. M.A. d'Dogge had arrived with his brother Billie and they always avail themselves of interesting alcohols. This weekend was no exception.

In addition to bringing Absinthe, as he had done last year, Mr. d'Dogge had brought two mason jars of moonshine with fruits in them. One jar contained cherries and the other contained blueberries. The consensus seemed to be that a) the fruit was much more potent than the liquor and b) the blueberry was better than the cherry. M.A. d'Dogge and Billie told stories about their grandfather running shine and it all seemed very appropriate.

M.A. d'Dogge led random, various rounds with a toast, beginning with that hoary old one about ships that everyone at every pirate recites, usually heralding it as if it's the most unique and clever bit of poetry since Poe took up his pen. It goes something like: "There are one ships and two ships and red ships and blue ships, but the best ships are friendships that you make while at sea." Or something like that. You'd think I'd remember it after hearing it so many times, but most of the time I was joining the toasters (heh) which may have something to do with my shaky memory.

M.A. d'Dogge actually had several toasts, most of which I won't reprint here in case you are children who happen to be reading the journal because you found it via Google and though it must contain wild stuff because it's about pirates. (Besides, like jokes, I never remember the punch line right and the whole thing just falls apart when I try to repeat it, even in print.) Michelle Murillo aka Diosa, seemed particular enamoured of the Absinthe, although Mr. d'Dogge made sure to intersperse her rounds with moonshine.

Mr. d'Dogge Toasts
Photo: Mission
Diosa, Jim Shipley, M.A. d'Dogge and Dennis Dufrense
The crew drinking on deck
Photo: Mission
Billie, Dan & Dennis on deck
fuzzy drinking
Photo: Mission
M.A. d'Dogge & Diosa and how they saw it

When you mix rum, moonshine, absinthe and who knows what else together with a pirate crew, you get curious behavior. Ivan Henry's friend Chris decided to kick 'Becka out of bed and join Blue Jess there as you see below left. Never leave your bed during a pirate drinking party is 'Becka's new motto.

M.A. d'Dogge eventually solved the problem by abducting the governor's daughter a bit early. He eventually took her up the gangplank and off into the park somewhere. You can see him heading out below right. You can also see Dan Curtis holding his glass and one of the Mason jars of moonshine. I believe that was the cherry moonshine.

When I left for my hotel, the festivities seemed to just be beginning, so I'm sure I missed a lot more bizarreness. (Which means you missed it too, unless you were there. So you should have been there.)

Chris and Jessica in bed
Photo: Mission
Chris kicks 'Becka out to join Blue Jess in bed
MD take the Governors Daughter Early
Photo: Mission
M.A. d'Dogge takes the Gov's daughter early
Governor's Daughter Taken, Moonshine consumed
Photo: Mission
M.A. d'Dogge abducting, Dan drinking


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