Monday, June 28, 2010

Put-in-Bay Pirate Fest II

For the last few years, some of the bars at Put-in-Bay had a pirate weekend. Last year this was expanded to an official island-wide festival. Mickey and I checked it out and thought it might be nice to come back with a display. He contacted the organizers. things stalled out a few times and we ended up pulling a group of historic pirates together at the last minute. The idea was to add some historic depth to the festivities. A lot of other pirate festivals do the same thing.

Since Put-in-Bay is an island, the first problem is getting there. We brought two boats so the organizers got us passes for the boats and the cars hauling them plus passes for the participants. Everyone put their gear in the boats.

There were a few rough spots. The mayor did not want us camping in the park where we would be setting up so we were camped about two blocks away. That meant more set-up time and more tentage was needed. The organizers planned on providing dinner for us Friday but we were later than expected and the kitchen closed. They still managed to accommodate us with some nice chicken dinners.

On the other hand, the organizers provided many amenities that we were not used to. They gave us a couple of dinners and breakfasts and a local historic hotel let people use their showers. They also provided a golf cart (the most common means of transportation on the island) and they gave everyone T-shirts.

It was a pretty laid-back event. There were no battles so all we had to do was provide the display. The festival also had a costume contest and many of the pirates entered (M.A.d'Dogge won first prize - a trip to the Cayman Islands).

We used the Black Sheep as part of our display. Since is it flat-bottomed, it represented our long-boat. In late afternoon, we launched Firefly and rowed around the harbor. We even threatened the Brig Niagara (we had a musket and most of their guns weren't mounted).

Saturday was pretty warm although a breeze helped during the day. Sunday was outright hot with no breeze until a chain of storms came in. We got caught in a downpour while we were striking camp. That meant bringing home wet canvass but it also cooled everyone off.

The lake was rough because of the storms. The rain had stopped but a lot of spray came over the rail, drenching people - a lot like standing too close to a water ride at a theme park.

In all, the organizers were happy and want us back next year with even more pirates. The participants all enjoyed the experience, also. With luck, we should see this event grow.

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