.

.

.

.


Sidebar Header Graphic
Main Page ButtonTools & Procedures ButtonEvent Journals ButtonPirate Miscallanea ButtonAbout the Author Button

PSJ Title Main

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   E       Next>>

Pirate Fest, June 2011 - Put-in-Bay, OH

Mission airing a vein for Lisa
Photo: Mission's Camera
Yet another satisfied customer
Introduction Being the journal of the surgeon Mission during his adventures with the Crews of the Mercury, the Forsaken, the Scioto and the Donner Party...er...Blitzer Pirates whilst in the city of Put-in-Bay on ill-tempered South "Ill-Tempered Sea" Bass Island in Ohio for the Pirate Fest that takes place during the last weekend in June. (Could I have possibly fit any more prepositional phrases in there?) Featuring May flies (lots and lots of may flies); nights on the town that will no doubt result in his needing to treat many and various cases of the Pox; drinking; dancing (yes, the surgeon can dance, especially when there is enough drinking); breaking cannons (but only one); performing his surgical duties and other random sundry occurrences that took place during the weekend.

Chapter First. Of the first wave of pirates' arrival on the island, to be followed soon thereafter by the other waves; some actual work done setting up the camp by your surgeon (as unbelievable as even I will admit that is) and 'the best' lobster bisque on the island.

I took the day off so that I could go over to South Bass island with the first wave of pirates led by Michael Bagley. Before leaving Toledo, I had to drop off something for work which, thanks to the crack team of Toledo Traffic Detour Planners, required far longer than I had planned. So I phoned Michael to let him know I was going to be late for the 10am ferry to Put-in-Bay. He assured me that he was also running a half hour behind. This was to be a theme for all future involvement with the pirates concerning the ferry. Of course, we'd have taken our own ship, the Mercury, except we couldn't get the cars onto it. (That and, absolutely, strictly technically speaking, it only exists as a drawing on a piece of large paper. Ya' know.)

Michael Backing Out of Wrong Lot
Photo: Mission
How Michael received far more assistance than he probably wanted.

I arrived second, the Thatchers having pulled an all-nighter driving session from St. Louis. (We are a scattered crew. We probably wouldn't be so much so if the ship were actually real.) They were sitting in the parking lot with that overly-alert, jittery look that people who have spent the last 10 or 12 hours existing on freeway coffee seem to have. They picked me up from my truck, which I parked in the free lot (which is, as M.A. d'Dogge described it, "the big ass grassy parking lot behind the only bar in town." That description was quite accurate, too.) Lady Constance Thatcher expressed amazement that I would drive a Chevy Silverado, but you know what it is to be a manly surgeon (whose company sold him a Densely Packed Ferry
Photo: Mission
truck he used a lot anyhow.) Michael arrived about a half-hour later and promptly turned into the only automatically gated, single entrance lot he could find, thus allowing him to get stuck. This fact was exacerbated because he was towing Mark Gist's boat, the Green Black Sheep behind him on a trailer. It took Lady Constance and one of the parking lot employees to get him back out again because there was just no way he could turn around in the lot. Our first Put-in-Bay adventure! Fun!

There was then a lot of boring back-and-forth and arranging to get ourselves aboard the Miller Boat Line Ferry which I won't even mention here because it's not very good Surgeon's Journal fodder. So see if you can forget that I even mentioned it. (Forget the boring back-and-forth yet? I didn't think so! Ha ha! It's just another one of my little games.) Once we got snugly onto the ferry (and I mean snugly - the use several advanced scientific calculators to calculate just how many vehicles they can wedge onto the ferry), I took some photos of the amusing tourists. 'Amusing tourists' was to be a recurring theme for the weekend. I should note that the last photo below is of a girl dry-brushing her teeth. I thought this novel and interesting when I spotted it, but I actually saw it several more times during the weekend. I would think it would result in minty-fresh, but slightly gritty, teeth. On the other hand, if those girls later hooked up with the guys who were indulging in the cocktail-shaker during the 11am crossing, slight grittiness may not have been all that much of a deal-breaker.

Rubber Chicken
Photo: Mission
A rubber chicken on the rearview.
Van with a cocktail shaker in the back Photo: Mission
Everyone needs a stainless cocktail shaker on the ferry ride!
Girl brushing her teeth
Photo: Mission
Clean teeth are important.

Guys Standing Around Talking, not Setting Up Camp
Photo: Mission
Silas, Michael, Ty and Richard talking (Not setting up camp)
Michael, the Thatchers, their friend Carol and I then proceeded to set up camp. Yes, you read that right, your ship's surgeon actually helped to do some work. Don't faint. In fact, we got four canvas tents and a fly put up before Put-in-Bay locals event organizer Ty and our friend and honorary Mercury crew member Richard showed up to welcome us. Once that happened, the guys naturally stood around and talked while the girls continued to set up camp.

If the girls were to ask the guys why they were just standing around talking, we'd explain that we were "ironing out the details of the plan" and "figuring out how things were going to work." Yep, we guys have all kinds of excuses for doing nothing - but we call it planning and organizing to make it sound important. (Except your ship's surgeon, of course. I was busy taking photographs like the one you see here so that I could record what happened in the event for you, my readers. It's just the kind of guy I am. Plus, if I don't take photos, I usually don't remember half of this stuff.)

The Boardwalk Restaurant
Photo: Mission
Ty and Richard eventually left to go organize and plan other parts of the event, probably at a local bar, whereupon Michael and I decided to try and find the best lobster bisque on the island. See, there were a whole slew of billboards on the road to the Ferry dock proclaiming that some restaurant had "the best lobster bisque in Put-in-Bay." (Billboards which I failed to photograph - this is why I that job is so important.) Lobster bisque seemed worth pursuing under any circumstances, so we walked into town and asked several stray tourists which place had the best. Most of them had no clue, but we finally found some folks who were "in the know."

It turned out to be the place with the giant lobsters on the sign called the Boardwalk. (How were we to know that that would be the place?) So we strode in and surveyed the lobster tanks with an educated eye. ("Yep, looks like giant segmented cockroaches to me.") Then we asked if we could order the best lobster bisque on the island here. The girl behind the countered answered, "It's the only lobster bisque on the island." Ha ha.

So we ordered and hung out on the deck, which was right next to the dock and ate our bisque. It was certainly the best lobster bisque I had all weekend. There was a sprightly girl running a water taxi called the Sonny C or something like that, so Michael asked her where she took people. "To their boats." she replied, waving to a slew of ships docked offshore. If we had actually had a ship like the Mercury, she might have been our water taxi. (That would have been cool. She was a cute girl. Nope, no photo. Enjoy the lobster tank shot instead.)

The Lobster Tank at the Boardwalk
Photo: Mission
Lobsters - the bottom-feeding cockroaches of the deep
Beers and Bisque
Photo: Mission
Ah, Beer and Bisque in a Bread Bowl (The bisque, not the beer.)

Park Hotel, Put-in-Bay
Photo: Mission

When Michael and I arrived back in camp, we found that another wave of pirates had arrived (about an hour late) and the next wave was soon to be crossing (about an hour-and-a-half late - are you seeing the trend here?) There was much glad-handing and hugging and all that slop you know I just live for. A lot more canvas had also been hoisted and there was clearly a lot more to be put up. Our golf cart had also been delivered thanks to Ty, so I decided that with all the potential hugging and canvas-raising in the near future, it was a good time to go check into my hotel. Michael gave me a ride over in the golf cart. Unlike last year's Barney-mobile( which sometimes required a little assistance from the passengers to get started), this was a no-nonsense, take command sort of golf cart. (Yes, I was a bit misty-eyed for the ol' badly-running BR-mobile too...)

The Park Hotel proved to be most centrally located. None of the rooms have private baths, but it is the least expensive hotel on the island and, if you book it in January like I did, you can actually reserve a room. I suppose you could euphemistically call the rooms "Spartan." As you will note in the photo below, they are pretty basic - no electronic gear whatsoever unless you ask them to borrow an alarm clock. Then again, who wants to hang out in a hotel room watching the tellie when you're on an island in a city that is referred to many as "the Key West of the north"?

I knew Friday night would be a night out on the town which is always more fun when you're in your pirate garb, so I got dressed. Since I have a frozen shoulder, I can't tie my own stupid scarf. I decided to ask the front desk girl to tie it for me, mainly because she was cute and she seemed like the sort of person would be a bit put out by this request. (She was.) It turned out that she couldn't tie it anyhow, so I asked Ty to do it (He happened to be in the hotel lobby. I don't know why. He was probably planning something.) There was also a pirate skeleton in the lobby, which you would think would delight me based on my love of bones. Unfortunately, this was one of those motion-sensor-triggered talking things, so it actually proved to be most irritating. Well, irritating to me. The girl in the photo below right with it said it was "so cute," which I took to mean that she wasn't staying at the hotel setting it off every time she approached the front desk or tried to go up the stairs to her room. Shiver your own timbers, you obnoxious hunk of plastic!

Park Hotel Room
Photo: Mission
The Simple Life that is room 11 at the Park Hotel
Front Desk Girl Trying to Tie My Kerchief
Photo: Mission
Front Desk Girl tries to tie my scarf
Girl With Annoying Skeleton
Photo: Mission
The annoying talking skeleton

Now attired in my piratey best, I headed for the campsite. The shortest way to get to the campsite from the main street was was to cut through a little park. The park and the campsite had been particularly rife with mosquitos last year. This year we found the mosquitos had been replaced by fish flies. (And improvement in one way...)

Cartoon
Artist: Mort Drucker, Writer: Arnie Kogen
Ssturday Night Feeble, MAD Magazine, Issue 201, Sept. 1978, p. 10
Fish flies are an amazing little insect that only live for a few days on account of having vestigial mouths. (I had to look it up too. Wiki claims that this means their mouths have 'lost their original function," which just sounds odd.) They can live anywhere from 30 minutes to a day depending on the species. The primary function of the adult is reproduction, which makes them ideal denizens for Put-in-Bay on a summer weekend. Wiki further informs us that "...the males' eyes are large and the front legs unusually long, for use in locating and grasping females during mid-air mating." Yes, fish flies are the original mile high club members. "In some species, all legs aside from the males' front legs are useless, but icky looking. (I added that last bit.) Uniquely among insects, mayflies possess paired genitalia, with the male having two penises and the female two gonopores." Gonopores? Let me go look that up...oh good lord! You can go check this one out for yourselves. (That should put you off your feed for a day or two.) "They have been placed into an ancient group of insects termed the Palaeoptera, which also contains dragonflies and damselflies." "They..." Hey! Pay attention! This is important; we're learning here!

"It often happens that all the mayflies in a population mature at once (a hatch), and for a day or two in the spring or fall, mayflies will be everywhere, dancing around each other in large groups, or resting on every available surface." Huh. I hadn't seen many in town, but every time I walked through that little park on Friday, I'd wind up with a half-dozen or so of them perched on the Patrick Hand Original Planter's Hat. They really seemed to like it. (You can sort of see this in the photo below right, although no thought was given to the lighting of this shot as you may have noticed. If you don't see it, imagine it because it is there.) Since they seemed primarily confined to the park, I didn't think much more of them and decided put them out of my mind for the rest of the weekend. (This is an example of foreshadowing. I'd explain that, but then it wouldn't be an example of foreshadowing.)

Fish Fly Park
Photo: Mission
Fish Fly Park located between my hotel and the campsite
Mission Looking at Fish Fly on Hat
Photo: Mission
A Fish Fly perched on the underside of the Patrick Hand Original Hat

Arriving in camp with my collection of fish flies, I realized that I was the first one in garb. This is probably because everyone else was busy setting up camp while I was goofing around in the hotel, but I still want it noted that I was the first. For posterity or something. Most of the site was set up, meaning I had successfully avoided any further work on the canvas front. (Point to Mission.) So I parked myself beneath the Thatcher's canvas fly to chat. While doing that, a pickup roared into camp. A guy leaned out the window and asked if anyone wanted to fire cannon on "the barge." For some very strange reason, no one did. (Well, I thought about it, but I was pretty comfortable already.) So they roared off again.

Arriving in camp with my collection of fish flies, I realized that I was the first one in garb. This is probably because everyone else was busy setting up camp while I was goofing around in the hotel, but I still want it noted that I was the first. For posterity or something. Most of the site was set up, meaning I had successfully avoided any further work on the canvas front. (Point to Mission.) So I parked myself beneath the Thatcher's canvas fly to chat. While doing that, a pickup roared into camp. A guy leaned out the window and asked if anyone wanted to fire cannon on "the barge." For some very strange reason, no one did. (Well, I thought about it, but I was pretty comfortable already.) So they roared off again.

Chapter Selection Menu:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   E       Next>>