Monday, September 21, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate Day 2009

How to really live up Talk Like a Pirate Day...

First, we had a pirate weekend on the Santa Maria. We had around 30 pirates including kids. Saturday (the official TLaPD) had perfect weather. We had two attacks on the ship from boats. This time we had a ladder hung so that the attackers could actually climb aboard. I also provided a couple of foam swords so that the first pirate on deck could fight with one of the attackers. We decided that we would base the success or failure of the attack on this. We had two boats to use - my Whitehall, Firefly, and a smaller canoe that belongs to the ship. Since the canoe could maneuver around the ship better we had the attackers on it.

The first time the defender won. The boarders surrendered and Firefly called off our attack. The second time the boarders won.

There was a pirate-themed wedding that evening. The "real" pirates left the ship so that the wedding pirates could have it. The bride had a white gown with a small white tricorn pinned at an angle. The bridesmaids were in red corsets and black skirts. The men had piratish outfits and cutlasses.

A few of us were included in the ceremony. The minister asked if anyone objected. One pirate did and a second shot him. No one else objected. I fire my swivel gun when the ceremony ended and a howitzer on land also fired.

After that we went to the "R Bar" which became the "Arrh Bar" for the night where we had a fundraiser for the Santa Maria. The bar was quite happy with the pirate turn-out and added $500 to the money raised.

In all, it was a great day for the ship's finances. Attendance was the second higest of the year, right after the Spring pirate event plus the fundraiser. We will follow up with an auction on Ebay.

Most of us spent the night on the ship. A few of us had slept there on Friday night as well.

Sunday started cloudy and started raining in early afternoon. We skipped the battle and just let people fire small weapons, instead.

There was an arts festival going on across the river. A few people went over in the canoe and some others walked across. I got together a crew for Firefly with the idea of stealing it and towing it back but they got back to it too soon. We had to console ourselves with racing past it. We had two people rowing and the canoe only had Micky.

In all it was a good weekend for pirating.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

PotC 4

Pirates of the Caribbean 4, On Stranger Tides has been announced with a summer of 2011 release date.

The title may come from Tim Power's novel by the same name. I don't see much of the plot being usable for a new Disney movie. The novel follows a puppeteer named Jack Chandagnac as his ship is taken and he falls in with pirates. Jack rises in the ranks to become Captain Jack Shandy and win the girl. Along the way he witnesses Blackbeard immersing himself in a mystic fountain and gaining supernatural powers.

I've read several of Tim Powers' novels. His cosmology is consistent between this book and the Anubis Gate which is set in the England of Dickens. The Anubis Gate is a sprawling novel and possibly Powers' best although On Stranger Tides has its own following. Many people consider it to be the pirate novel.

According to Ron Gilbert, On Stranger Tides was one of his inspirations for the Monkey Island games along with the Disney ride. This could bring the creative cycle full circle.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Lost Coconut

This is a neat ship. It has a foam base covered with lumber salvaged from a back porch. It is 30 feet long and looks like a real ship.

More pictures here and a video here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Last Sail

I went sailing Saturday for probably the last time of the season. It went well. I finally found the secret to tacking a Whitehall - cheat. If I give a few strokes with a paddle then it tacks nicely. I've noted before that Whitehalls are meant to go straight so making a quick turn before it loses momentum doesn't work very well.

I didn't drop the centerboard. It didn't seem to need it. We were racing back and forth across the lake pretty well without it.

It had been out of the water for three weeks so the seams had opened up. I recently bought a battery-powered pump and this took care of the water nicely. It isn't as fast as the hand pump I've been using but it's a lot easier to use. I just push the start button and keep an eye on it.

We started in late afternoon then had a family picnic. I was worried about getting the boat back to the boat ramp before dark so I took down the mast and rowed back. I had two family members rowing, two others riding, and I took the tiller. It works nicely with five people (especially when the front bench isn't blocked by a swivel gun).

Probably the Santa Maria Pirate Event will be its last time in the water this year. After that I expect the water to be too cold to launch.