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Pirates in Paradise 2007 - Key West, Fl

Chapter 2nd - Of continuing preparation - further accounts of the setting up of pyrates of the Mercury and the crew of the Archangel's camps; with details of goings on inside of Fort Taylor.


Photo: Mary Diamond
Folks chanting "Yellow Fever" on the floor of the fort to attract ghosts.
(Yes, it was silly. No, there were no ghosts.)
November 29, 2007, AM I was hanging around with Haunting Lily and Edward O'Keefe last night. Several of us spent a rousing couple of hours hanging around inside the cavernous section of the fort designated as the tavern for the event (which echoes just nicely) and trying to summon ghosts ("Yellow fever, yellow fever, yellow fever!" Nope, nuthin') and suchlike. After that, we repaired to the Mercury camp and spent a rousing hour sharing haunted house room ideas (It turns out Mr. Red Wake also has a HH checkered past. Lily and Keith...well, they've got some keen ideas on the topic. So far, I've established links between Pyrate re-enactors and haunted houses and pyrate re-enactors and belly dancing. Very curious, this.)


Photo: William Red Wake

Keith, Lily and I were driving out the gate when whom should we come across but the good Patrick Hand hiking up the long and winding road to the fort with all his gear on his back.

So we turned back around and Lily, the gate-keeper, opened that gate so we could save Patrick from further worn soles. He planned to string up (er, sorry) his hammock in the multifarious Aussie Pines for the evening.

Left: B&E Lily at left, trying to make out the combination.


This is shaping up nicely.

Patrick brought me his cool planter's hat which he sold me for a very fair price. Now I will wear it everywhere including to bed. OK, maybe not. (Anyone want to buy a size 7-1/8 tricorn? It was only worn once on the way to church.) Following a bracing meal of eggs and the insanely good hash browns at Blue Heaven restaurant, Keith, Lily and I are heading back for another day of set-up. The weather is currently overcast and we seem to have had a night of rain. I wonder how Patrick fared in his hammock?

Right: The Planter's hat that Patrick Hand sold me. Note the little pipe purchased from vendor extraordinaire Greg Hudson and the fid made by Edward O'Keefe. (Jealous, aren't you?) Photo by William Red Wake


Photo: Mary Diamond
Left: Willie Wobble,
Mercury camp cook on loan from Port Royal.
November 30, 2008, AM It was all about preparation yesterday. People continued to trickle into the Mercury camp and the various tents grow in detail (and backstory).

Bilgemunky arrived midday in preparation for his sail on the Wolf which sails out of Historic Key West Harbor.

Captain Jim showed up at dusk and set up his Oar House (a tent with oars for poles) and much merriment ensued as we bandied about that name.

Quartermaster William Red Wake was everywhere doing everything as near as I can tell. Willie Wobble, the Mercury's cook as it turns out, set up an impressive display of cookware, utensils and whatnot...lots of whatnot. The man has an eye for detail. He was making twine coverings for some of his bottles during the day. One of them had a label made up for the festival which I thought was a neat touch.


Photo: William Red Wake
Aminjiria Jack Roberts and Captain Sterling, talking with
Captain Jim who is hanging out in the Oar House

Photo: William Red Wake
Willie Wobble's Ship's Cook Setup.
This is about 10% of the terrific final setup.

Haunting Lily spent quite a bit of time sewing up button holes. She and Edward O'Keefe brought a whole array of haversacks and bags that they made which were really nice. Edward also made a whole variety of rope fids (sharp, pointy stick!) before he left home on his drill press (!). He gave me one when I was searching for a much-needed sharp stick. I stuck it in my new planter's hat along with a clay pipe I bought in the fort. (See photo of hat above.)

We had a safety meeting in the afternoon. Apparently there are going to be quite a number of cannon at the event when it begins. William said that they are always looking for cannon crew, so I am hoping to get over there early enough for the firearm and cannon discussion this morning. (How many barber-surgeons can say they've fired a cannon? OK, most would consider it an ethical violation, but...still.) The strategies for the various battles to take place on Saturday and Sunday were discussed - apparently it's win some/lose some for your pirates.


Photo: Tony Callahan
Several of the Bone Island Buccaneers in the pub (a good place for them),
a group that provides pirate entertainment down in Key West.

 


Photo: Tony Callahan
Vendor Extraordinaire Greg Hudson in front of the Key West branch of his shop.


Photo: Tony Callahan
A nice view of vendors row during the event, along with a the inside back wall of the fort.

Inside Fort Taylor, the vendors and the local pirate club - the Bone Island Buccaneers - continued setting up an impressive array of merchant shops. We are to take the fort on Saturday. (Do we get to loot the city as well? There is some nice stuff in those booths...) I went to the Rum Barrel restaurant after sunset (which was beautiful last night - especially in the solitude of the park where you get an unobstructed view). Upon returning to the fort, I listened as Patrick Hand and Old Man from the Sea got into a discussion that ranged far and wide. William followed bits and pieces of this involved and somewhat impassioned discussion that included everything from the big bang theory to the CA park black powder laws.

I have been studying my role and am now a font of useless knowledge on 17th century medicine. (Anyone want to know about scurvy?) Hopefully I can focus a bit more on the details of the event and future posts can be focused a bit more on the local pirate color. Because there's lots of color here in Key West right now.

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