Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pirates in Paradise 2009

PiP 2009 is over. Here's the wrap-up.

First the weather
Wednesday and Thursday were hot and humid. It rained Thursday night/Friday morning and got even more humid. A front moved in Saturday which cooled things off. We had heavy rain for something under an hour followed by high winds. It was a little too cool. Sunday was really nice.

The battles
We were supposed to have daily battles on Friday, Saturday,and Sunday. The Saturday battle was canceled because of weather so we only had two battles. Last year the attackers were on the field between the fort and the ocean with the Wolf joining in. All of the artillery was on the fort. When the pirates won on Saturday, we rushed around the fort to the open back, climbed the walls, and took the Viceroy. It was a little clumsy.

This year everyone was on the field. The artillery was divided up with the Royalists having two 6-pounders and 1-2 big mortars and the attackers having a half dozen or more small pieces. The cannon crews sucked up a lot of manpower and we ended up with more people manning the cannons than attacking with small arms.

They were short on experienced gunners so I volunteered for a gun crew.

On Friday we had the two cannons and one mortar on the far end of the field. The Viceroy shouted orders from the fort walls. We fired our four shots then abandoned our guns. After that, they reworked the battle plan and things worked much better.

On Sunday we were on the close end of the field with the pirates on the far end. We also had a second mortar. Our soldiers (both of them) were on our side and the Viceroy was behind the cannons. After we fired our four rounds, we took up cannon tools and made a stand against the pirates' advance. As soon as we realized that we had brought hand tools to a gun fight, we retreated. Several royalists threw off their coats. People on both sides stripped the dead of their shoes and hats. The Sunday format worked very well and was a lot of fun.

Other items
Most people skipped the parade in favor of the auction. Last year the auction was slow and boring. It was interrupted part way through by a slide show. This year it was very entertaining. I could say more but I am sworn to secrecy.

The Sunday dinner was a disaster. It was announced that people should come up to the fort around 6 for a Piracy Pub photo and dinner. Around 7:30 it was announced that dinner would be served within fifteen minutes. A few minutes before eight, and well after it was pitch black, the had us line up for the picture. Dinner was brought in while the picture was being taken. Dinner consisted of chips, one of several types of salad (bean salad, pasta salad, etc.) buns, and a small portion of pork.

Authenticity was up this year although there were two or three Jack Sparrow-types. There was some question about what to do with some people who had a large purple booth-like tent with an aluminum frame. They started setting up in the historic camp but were stopped and sent to the modern camp. They were not happy there and sneaked back under cover of darkness. Last year there were several camps decorated with Ren Fair gear but this year there was no sign of that.

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