Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pirates on the Chesapeake?

Pirates were major players in Chesapeake Bay history for 200 years, especially near the southern end of the Bay where they had easy access to sheltered waters.

By 1635, the first act of piracy was committed on the Chesapeake. William Claiborne, owner of a plantation on Kent Island, Maryland, sent his agent to capture a small boat from Maryland as it approached Palmer's Island at the head of the Bay. Tensions were high between Maryland and Virginia at the time.

No tension in 2009 between those two states . . . so I think MicMac is safe. Shirley & John, we're going to be just fine!

Of all pirates, Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was probably the most legendary. His untrimmed beard extended from his eyes down to his chest and was braided into ribboned tails. He is seen now only during the annual Blackbeard Festival in Hampton, where his severed head was displayed in 1718.

There are few similarities between Captain Pete and Blackbeard. According to legend:
Love those stockings!
Blackbeard had 14 wives. Pete has only one, thank goodness.

Blackbeard shot the kneecaps off his own lieutenants to remind his crew who was in charge. No guns are on MicMac, unless Polsons are onboard. Well actually, we do have lots of flare guns.

Blackbeard locked himself and crew in a cabin filled with burning sulphur - a “pirates hell” - till the crew cried for mercy, and he proved he was tougher than they were. This one woman crew ain't crying for mercy.
Blackbeard lit slow-burning cannon wicks hanging under his hat to shroud his face in smoke before going into battle, making him appear even more demonic. Pete only grows a beard and looks demonic if filming The New World.
Blackbeard withstood over 30 gunshot and sword wounds before dying. Ouch!
Blackbeard's decapitated body swam 3 times around his ship before it sank. Swimming in the southern half of the Bay is difficult enough because of the nettles. You need eyes to see them.
Blackbeard supposedly buried treasure at the mouth of Watts Creek. Pete and I will look for it if we're in that area south of Tangier.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Messing about" on the Chesapeake

First Mate & the Captain
Our weather is turning consistently warmer and the pollen's almost down to acceptable levels. It's almost time to head "out on the Bay."

This cruise, we plan to go where the winds will take us, and hear diesel sound only when necessary. "Adult beverages" and lots of books are on board and MicMac's sitting lower in the slip. Another 10 days before we head out, and we're more than ready for 5 weeks (maybe 6).

Our goal is to sail as far north as the Delaware River--into Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, and spend some time with our son, Dave. Gotta see if his lawn is greening up and enjoy more of his famous Mexican burgers!