Sidebar Header Graphic


Haunted House Art HEDZ Horror Props Costumes

PSJ Title Main

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   E       Next>>

Pirate Fest, June 2014 - Put-in-Bay, OH

Introduction: Being the fifth journal of the Surgeon Mission's pirate adventure at Put-in-Bay Mission and a Bull
Somehow This Seemed Appropriate
on South Bass Island in Ohio during the 2014 Pirate Fest. Containing an exhaustive list of what happened when the pirates invaded the island including photos and descriptions of every minute of their long weekend beginning on Friday. This Journal will no doubt start out being planned as six chapters and wind up running into nine or possibly ten as the author tries to incorporate every possible photo posted by anyone anywhere NEAR the event who...

You know what? It's not going to be that. Oh, sure, all the previous ones have been a bit like that, but change is good for the soul. (This is code. It means 'the author is too lazy to do another exhaustive detailed journal.' Besides which, the event kind of went the same as last year, so rehashing everything again, even though there were many new players, would be sort of tedious. You could just as well read the 2013 Put-in-Bay Journal instead. (In fact, go ahead and read it. It took over a month to write and I want to get all the mileage out of that puppy that I can.))

Anyhow, let's start again...

Being the fifth journal of the Surgeon Mission's pirate adventure at Put-in-Bay etcetera, etcetera. Containing the highlights of the trip... at least as far as Mission was concerned... and a lot of the usual useless twaddle that you expect to find in these Journals.

There. Short. To the point. 'Nuff said. Let's get on with it.

Chapter 1st: Of the events that occurred during the weekend. Talking very briefly about camp and Site B setup; the camp displays put together by the reenactors including a few spontaneous ones; the costume contests; the two battles which have been sort of melded together and an evening on the Brig Niagara.

Setting Tents in the Rain
♪♫ Set-up in the Rain! It's Set-up in the Rain! What a waterlogged
feeeeling the canvas has again!
When we arrived on Friday morning, people immediately started industriously setting up tents in the camping area because the skies were threatening rain. (Even I was helping, not wanting to get wet.) True to their threats, the clouds opened up on us a bit while tent setting was happening. Fortunately, it wasn't too bad.

Not to get off topic so soon (it must be a record), but I can remember when my Patrick Hand Original Planter's Hat was shiny and new and I worried about it getting wet and losing its form. Friday afternoon was not one of those times. It proved to be a good defender against the rain and I was happy to let it do so.

With the majority of our tents set up, Michael and Jessica Bagley, Bryan Brubaker and Carla and Dave of the SoS Boss crew all headed out for the (now) traditional First Group of Pirates on the Island Lunch at the Boardwalk. (It is tradition because in 2011 Michael Bagley and I had wanted to check it out after Friday Lunch at the Boardwalk
Lunch at the Boardwalk. My hat had cole slaw.
seeing signs claiming they had the best lobster bisque on the island. Which they can safely say since I think it is also the only lobster bisque on the island, but that's besides the point.)

On the way back to camp, I stopped off at my digs in the Park Hotel allegedly to get something. I say allegedly, because upon entering the air conditioned room, I immediately slipped into a coma-like nap. By the time I got back out on the street, several of the Site B tents had been erected and many new folks had arrived at Site A and put their tents up. (So I avoided all that work.)

The Site B tents proved to be a problem for us. The idea had been to get them set up on Friday so that we wouldn't have to deal with them on Saturday morning (and could sleep in a bit), but the crack team of Friday Night Put-in-Bay Drunken Rowdies had torn several of the tents down (and torn one apart for some reason). So we ended up having to reset several of them on Saturday as you see below right. (Note that I am once again helping.) (I specifically picked images for this section with me doing work.)

Mission and Bryan Setting a Baby Tent
Mission and Bryan Brubaker Set Up His
Baby Tent For Storage
Re-Setting the Site B Tents
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Saturday '
Site B' Fly Re-erection. (How many pirates does it take to set a fly?)

Shananigen's Leather Display
Trish at Work in the Shananigens In Leather Booth
Fortunately much of the Site B setup work that had already been done was not undone by the vandals. As a result, the tent flies were back in shape in a reasonable amount of time.

Like the past few years, we had a variety of informational displays this year along with a few impromptu ones. I am continually impressed with the material we manage to trot out for this event, especially when I compare it to our first Site B display which we set-up in 2010 where we only had two tents: one for the girls' and one for the boys'. Even then, we managed to put several informative displays together. Now it seems that we come up with something new each year as new people with new skills are added.

With that in mind, you can see the displays in the series of photos below.

Food Display
Rebecka (and Ed Rembert) Watch
Richard Enjoy the Food Display
Gun Display
Harrison Pease Explains Weapons From the Golden
Age of Pyracy at Smee Curtis' Table
Info Display
Marsha Manning Bryan
Brubaker's Games Table

The Navigation Table
Dan Needham and Jennie Gist at Mark Gist's
Navigational Display
The Kid's Booth
SoS Boss's Carla & Dave At
Their Children's Table
The Surgeon's Table
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Mission Explaining His Surgical Display

The Writing Table
Photo: SoS Boss
Mary Diamond at Her Period Letter Writing Table
Sewing Display
The (Empty) Sewing Disp. Chair
(With Jim and Becci Behind)
The Black Sheep
Mark Gist Discussing the Green Black
With Deb Collins & Smee Curtis

Of course, not everyone had a display to man, so there was also an on-going Pirates Sitting Around and Chatting display. (Which, when you think about it, is probably period correct given that there were often so many of them on a ship that there weren't enough jobs to keep them all busy.) In fairness, I should note that Smee Curtis is actually checking weapons in the last image of the set below, although you will note that a lot of the pirates are basically just hanging around watching. (Kids, this is what it was like before they invented TV.)

Hanging Around 1
Hanging Around 2
Hanging Around 3

Some of those without tables to man did decide to set up impromptu displays, such as the folks below.

Crew of the Harlot's Virtue Singing
Pirates Unplugged: (from left) Cat Kenny, Clare Borrelli, Joshua Douglass Stahl, Eric Hartmann & Vinnie Mendicino.
(The sign in front of the bowl in the foreground reads "$10 for 5 minutes of Silence")

The Kid's Costume Contest
The Kid's Costume Contest. Mr. Stinky-Pants is the fourth boy from
the right.
(Cuz' you couldn't find the skeleton pirate without help.)
As in past years, there were two costume contests on Saturday afternoon: one for the children and one for the adults.

The kid's contest this year was won by a young man dressed as a skeleton-pirate who called himself (or perhaps was called by his parents) "Mr. Stinky-Pants." I was never near enough to him to verify that this cognomen was accurate. (Which was perfectly fine with me.) However, I was pleased to see that a kid dressed as a skeleton pirate won, whatever his name was. (Those of you who know me will understand this instantly. Those of you who don't have probably already stopped reading this part so it doesn't really matter.)

While our group doesn't usually get involved with the kid's contest, we often have a strong showing in the adult contest. This year we did not, however. A few of our group got involved including first timers Jeremy and Amanda Nichols, P-i-B veteran Mary Diamond and friend of the pirate crew Matt Vincent and his fiancee Jennifer Hoyle. Event organizer and red-tricorn-wearer Ty Winchester was again the master of ceremonies, briefly interviewing each contestant.

Costume Contest: Jeremy and Angie
Ty and... someone... with Jeremy and Angie
Costume Contest Mary
Ty Interviews Mary D.
Costume Contest Matt and Jennifer
Ty, Some Girl, Matt Vincent and Jennifer Hoyle

After everyone had been interviewed (in an enjoyably brisk fashion this year), Matt Hughes and Cindy Meyers of Off Keel Entertaining the Contest Crowd
Off Keel's Matt & Cindy Entertaining the Crowd
Off Keel were brought up on stage to entertain the folks while the judges pondered. (You regular readers may recall them being at the Columbus Santa Maria Pirate Weekend in May 2012.) Then Ty returned to the stage to announce the five finalists.

Of the folks I knew in the contest, only Matt Vincent made it into the bonus round. The finalists were re-interviewed and then the judges (again, quite quickly) Costume Contest Finalists
Finalists: Scottish Pirate, Matt, Ty and the
Grand Prize Winner
ascertained the winners.

Third was a Scottish pirate (in tartan pants, I'm told) who was actually a Scot visiting from Scotland (where they make Scots. Second was friend of the pirates Matt Vincent. First was a guy whose name I don't recall who is (apparently) famous for drinking beer through his feeding tube upon being released from the hospital while making his way back to Put-in-Bay. So that seemed appropriate.

As in previous years, the first prize winner was rewarded with a trip to the Cayman Islands, courtesy of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. Also as in previous years, the second and third prize winners were extended a laurel and hearty handshake. (Actually, they received some nice wall-sized images from a local photographer.) Thus endeth the costume contests.

SoS Boss's Dave Killed in Battle
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography - SoS Boss's Dave (Clearly Out of Powder)
There was a battle each on Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday battle was the more intricate of the two, involving a land skirmish followed by some of the pirates scurrying back to their boats and getting involved in a water skirmish. I had agreed to be the gunner in the Green Black Sheep on Saturday (as I often do), so I know little about what happened during the land battle.

OK, I actually do know what happened, mainly by inference. It was the same thing that always happens - people fire back and forth, those without guns to fire who are willing to lie on the ground go down first, those with guns to fire who are willing to lie on the ground go down when they run out of powder and those who aren't willing to lie on the ground don't. (Lie on the ground. Or die. Technically speaking.) Some of those unwilling to lie on the ground ran back to the boats to get involved in sea battle, which I though was a nice touch, tying the two battle fronts together.

A sampling of photos from the Saturday land battle are seen below, the first two being of the defenders and the last two being of the pirates.

The Defenders on Land 1
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Defenders (front) Smee Curtis, John Deery and Darin Fisher

(Ignore the people in the background, I'm not sure who they are.)
The Defenders on Land 2
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Defenders Vinnie Mendicino & Dan Needham Fire While
John Malkovich and George Lucas Take Photos.

Saturday Battle Pirates 1
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Pirate Attackers Sarah Miller, Jeremy & Angie Nichols and Jim Shipley
Saturday Battle Pirates 2
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Pirates Rick Ross,
Tim Clark and Dave Nevill Attacking

The Sheep Waiting to Load
Photo: Jessica Bagley
The Sheep, Waiting for
Her Passengers - Michael
Colosimo, M. Bagley, me, and
The pirates having been (presumably) rebuffed, they appeared on the sea wall near our boat, the Green Black Sheep where they jumped in. Well, that's being generous. They climbed carefully in because no one was too keen on swimming, even though it was a fine afternoon. Saturday Battle, Loading the Sheep
Tim and Shannon Climbing In
They'd have probably opted for lying in the ground if they thought they were going to wind up in the bay.

Now, I don't want to tell tales out of school, but this weekend included a lot of first timers to the event. I think they picked the greenest of the green to perform oar duty in our boat. While the photo on the left is nice and neat, Michael standing heroically with the boot hook awaiting our riders, it is a lie. It was the devil's own work actually to get the Sheep positioned there. I don't believe 'cadence' was in the lexicon of our rowers. Nor was 'direction'. Nor possibly even 'rowing'. Early in the voyage, I grabbed the emergency canoe paddle just to keep us from hitting things like small boats, the dock, the Jet-Express ferry, the land, whales, etc.

Once we received our two passengers (in the form of Shannon Gallatin and Tim Clark) things improved. A little. We still managed to collide with the defender's boat, the Firefly. Mashed 'em right into the dock, we did. But at least we didn't hit the ferry.

Saturday Battle Defenders: The Firefly
Photo: Jessica Bagley
The Firefly Defenders: Mark Gist, Harrison Pease, Mary
Diamond, Bryan Brubaker & Amanda Whipple Clark
The Firefly and Sheep Collide
Photo: Jessica Bagley
The Green Black Sheep Smas
hes the Firefly into the Dock.
Now That's One Way to Win the Water Battle!

The Amphibicar in the Water
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
The Amphibicar Appears During the Battle
My responsibility during the battle (outside of pushing us away from off shore islands with the canoe paddle) was to keep firing the deck gun mounted in the front of the Green Black Sheep. I'm proud to say I did this without any problems. Six charges prepared for me, six charges fired. Like that.

The Amphibicar and the Deck Gun
...it's just SO tempting...

One thing that sorely tempted me as gunner was the appearance of the Amphibicar in the area where we were awkwardly rowing about.

The Amphibicar clearly belongs to a local resident, as we have seen it in 2010, 2012, and 2013. (They must have been on vacation in 2011. Although, where do you vacation when you live in Put-in-Bay? Tonganoxie, Kansas?) I didn't really want to shoot at it because it is cool, but I did really want to shoot it because it was there and my weapon was loaded. So I pointed the maw of my gun in another direction and fired. Just to keep the Amphibicar folks on their toes, you know.

A Gilmour Cannon in the Smoke
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
A Gilmour Ordnance Cannon, Post-Firing
The Sunday battle was confined entirely to land. As usual, the defenders were lined up with the battery of Gilmour Ordnance Cannons while we pirates were at the far end of the field trying to take them. Those of you who follow these Journals know that we nearly never manage to do this. So we were pretty much doomed from the start.

I was packing my clyster syringe, not because I think it's still funny (it was really only funny the first time I did that in Key West in 2009), but because it's now expected. Some visitors from last year actually stopped in my tent before my battle and asked me if I was going to bring it! (And the pirates... well, they automatically figure I'll have it with me now. They wince at the very thought of it, but God forbid if I don't bring the darned thing.) Next year I'm going to bring something else. Maybe the balance scales. Let 'em try and figure out what I'll do with them.

Battle 2, Defenders Firing
Photo: Jessica Bagley
The Battle Defenders Fire at the Pirates
Battle 2 Defenders Up Close
Photo: Jessica Bagley
Double-Barreled Mary Leads Defenders Clare and Bryan

Pirates Attacking
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Pirates Tim Clark and Sarah Miller Among the Wounded
Mission Reviviing Richard
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
Mission's Magical Clyster Cure Employed on Richard Conroy

Of course, we lost because we didn't have a bunch of cannons on our side. Such are the fortunes of war. (Although I warned you we were doomed from the start.)

The last official event of the weekend was not truly official at all. In fact, no one but the Bagleys knew about it - it was a surprise for the rest of us. (There were several such surprises during the weekend, but I'll save them for a later chapter.) This surprise was a party aboard the Niagara - a replica of Oliver Perry's flagship. Ty Making Niagara Announcement
Ty Proudly Inviting Us to the Niagara Party. Here is is
finishing with, "...and please don't bring Lob."
The party had been arranged by Ty who had invited all the pirate reenactors and all the local civic dignitaries to get together on her 110 foot long open deck. Ty informed us of this on Saturday, presumably to inspire everyone to take showers after Site B closed for the day. (Curiously, this did not happen for the most part. Most of us went to dinner and then went directly over to the party.)

Now, you would think that inviting the pirates to dine with the local elite would be akin to inviting Delta Tau Chi to the Dean Wormer's Annual Fundraising Soirée, but things actually went quite well. They had hors d'oeuvres, featuring a really good garlic dip to help disguise our lack of showers, and an open bar, featuring local wines and beers to help disguise our lack of decorum.

Of course, we pirate reenactors kind of hung around with each other and the locals kind of hung around with their friends. (The Niagara crew seemed to like hanging out with us. This is probably because they were all in their teens and early twenties and anyone actively engaged in pirate reenactment is mentally somewhat younger than that, so, all in all, we were closer in age to them.)

The Niagara
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
The Niagara in Port
The Pirates Hanging Out at the Bar
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
The Pirates Hanging Out By (Where else?) The Bar on the Niagara

Of course, you can't get a pirate reenactor on a boat without them wanting to get snaps of themselves looking jaunty and nautical. This is the result of the reenactor being surrounded by ropes, sheets, lines, sails, cords, masts, scuppers, bilges and whatnot combined with the fact that, despite their interest in reenacting the life of sailors, they are almost never on a tall ship. Below are a handful of the many, many photo ops grabbed with the Niagara. If you want to see more, I highly suggest you toddle on over to Tilted Pirate Photography's Facebook page and flip through the album there.

Dan Needham and the Flag
Photo: Jessica Bagley
Medusa Crew
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
The Crew
Photo: Mission's Camera

Probably the best shot was the one of the majority of the pirate crew, taken at the bow of the Niagara.

The Crew Aboard the Niagara
Photo: Tilted Pirate Photography
The Pirates of Put-in-Bay 2014. From Back left - Abhik Bhawal, Mark Gist, Smee Curtis, Richard Conroy, Dave Nevill, Tim Clark and Amanda Whipple Clark. Next row: Jim Shipley, Michael Bagley, Lob LeSinge, Jeremy and Angie Nichols, Jeffery Douglass and Faith Stahl, Bryan Brubaker, Shannon Gallatin, Rick Ross, and Matt Hughes. 3rd from back row: Eric Hartmen, Dan Needham, Richard Warren, Ed Rembert (behind Richard), Sos Boss Dave, Sarah Miller, Becci Rollhous, Cat Kenney, Trish Gallatin and Cindy Meyers. 4th Row from back: Jessica Bagley, Raphael Mission, Clare Borrelli, SoS Boss's Carla, Deb Collins, Mary Diamond and Mary Bear and Jeffrey D. Vogan. Front Row: Jennie Gist, Marsha hamilton, Harrison Pease, Michael Colosimo and event organizer Ty Winchester.

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   E       Next>>