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Pirates in Paradise 2007 - Key West, Fl

Chapter 3rd - In which the surgeon talks about various members of the crew he has met during this journey. focusing on those he seems to have met in the Pyrat Pub, if you can imagine that.

"What do you do with a drunken pyrate? What do you do with a drunken pyrate? What do you do with a drunken pyrate, early in the morning?"

I wonder if anyone else wakes up with sea shanties in their head? During the event, I got a chance to talk to several of the pyracy.com pub forum members. At last count, there were about 40 folks from the website at the event. On top of that there are at least another 40 or more pirate folks not from the forum here. These are such a wonderful and interesting folks that I thought I'd give you my experience of some them.
Photo: tony Callahan
A nice group shot of many of the Pyracy.com pub members who were at Pirates in Paradise 2007.


Photo: Tony Callahan
Bilgemunky and I spent a hour over soup and conch fritters at the Rum Barrel during the event where we talked about how he got into the on-line pirate radio show. He actually is heavily involved in another event up in Wisconsin at Port Washington and was pleased to see how well his event stood up. He's thinking about bringing a more period air to the event since he's on the committee (If I have the right of that.) He made several excellent suggestions about my surgeon character which may find their way in next year if all goes well.

Right: Bilgemunky hanging out on the beach by the campsite at the storied Key West Sunset.

I met Stynky Tudor in the pub at the event where he told me a great deal about the history of our beloved pyracy.com pub forums.
Photo: Tony Callahan
He's a fascinating guy with a wealth of knowledge and I enjoyed the time spent with he, Patrick Hand and Captain Rusty "Wild" Rice. Stynky's the kind of guy that will leave you a phone message like the following (which is verbatim, except I will try to edit for language -difficult though that is):

Left, Stynky Tudor and I at the pub on Saturday night drinking...well, some one of many things (Rum? Mead, Who knows?). I appear to be the one who is stynky...stynking drunk!

"Mark, where the f*** are you? A**hole. We are out here waiting for you. We wanna get drunk and... y'know . We were just sitting there with you at the pub and we got up and...you like disappeared! Where the f*** are you? We're sitting here waiting; we're gonna wait another five or ten minutes and then we're gone. We're gonna' go to the bars or whatever, man.


Photo: Tony Callahan
Just f***ing get your a** over here. We're waiting. (Background conversation.) What?

Oh...*laughter* (sheepish) it's Stynky, It's Stynky! My real name's (edited to protect the guilty.) I'm here with Stephanie. (Who is Stephanie? Did I meet her?) Anyway, get your a** over here. (Lots of laughter.)

F***ing drunk! F***ing a**hole! *laughter* Pirate! Anyway...um, so um, yeah...you suck."

How can you go wrong with friends like that?

Right, Master Studley, a bottle of fine mead (which was yummy indeed) given to us by the Bone Island Buccaneers and...someone. Stephanie? Sam?


Photo: Tony Callahan
Captain Rusty "Wild" Rice

Photo: Tony Callahan
Patrick Hand, a pirate's pirate
Captain Rusty "Wild" Rice from the pyracy.com forums is actually a sailor, working on a tall ship as a First Mate. He also volunteers with an Adventure Education program and he showed me a video from his website featuring his students. He had some kind of cool, non-period hand held video device. (Whatever it was, I'm pretty confident Apple made it. He seems to like Apple.) He's sailed on several tall ships and has several online videos on his website. Someone told me that he, like Billy Bones, had been in some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and his website bears this out.

And then there's Patrick. A prince of a pirate. Anyone who has not met Patrick is really missing out IMO. I've never seen a man with so many bits of fascinating information about so many things. As he put it at one point, "Sleeping out under the stars, looking out over the ocean and wandering about Key West all day in garb - who could not like this?"


Photo: Tony Callahan
Many of my fellow Mercury crew members left the pub when I wasn't looking one night and I found myself talking to several of the Bone Island Buccaneers (BIB). They are encamped in the fort and are really the pirate point people here at Pirates in Paradise. I was told that Spike, the Key West leader of the group, was asked 12 weeks ago to coordinate the event which he's done remarkably well. He either works or used to work for the Pirate Soul Museum. He said he might be able to get me in so that we could film a bit with me and the authentic surgical instruments that they have in there, which is extraordinarily cool on his part.. (This, by the way, is pretty much how everyone down here has been from my POV. A more fascinating group that are free with their ideas and suggestions I don't think I've met. They really appreciate the effort we from the pub put forth to make this event work from the camp side.)


Photo: Tony Callahan

Photo: Jaded Jetty (jetgoff)
I also got a chance to talk to Scarlett Jai (see, luv, I remembered the second 't') of the Bone Island Buccaneers who I understand is an excellent swords woman. Although I didn't actually witness this, I did find pictures to post. She's one of those amazing people who is always in character. (As is Silkie McDonough in the Mercury camp - who sports a wonderful Irish brogue.) She and Spike gave me my first mug of mead which lay remarkably well on top of the rum. Spike later brought free bottles of mead around to all the tables, explaining to me that without all the re-enactors the event wouldn't be nearly as successful and it was the least he could do. (Mead is pretty yummy. At least that mead was.)


Photo: Jaded Jetty (jetgoff)
I met Silverhawk in the pub as well. In fact, he generously replenished my tankard with rum as he was heading for the stage to join his group in a round of songs. He is the Quartermaster and was apparently also the head officer in attendance from the group of pirates that moved in next door to the Mercury camp called the Pyrates of Tortuga. He lives in Marathon here in the Florida Keys and was a Bos'un on a ship for some number of years I don't quite remember. The Pyrates of Tortuga are a local group who provide Pirate singing, fighting and suchlike entertainment who had been to Pirates in Paradise some years before and decided to come down the keys and make a weekend of it. Their group got up during a rare empty stage moment when I was in the pub and performed a few sea shanties.


Photo: Mary Diamond
I also got a chance to talk with Captain Jim and he told me wonderful stories about his Huck Finn boyhood growing up in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. He used to sail around the area in his early teens, going until dusk. He would then pull ashore, find the nearest house, and let his parents know where he was before making a fire on the beach and cooking fish that he caught. He'd sleep the rest of the night on the beach. He tells it much better than I have, so you should all meet him and ask him about it.

And that's just a sampling of the folks I met. I could write an entire page about William Red Wake, our benevolent leader When he arrived, he had been up for 41 hours straight working on details. He has these magnificent drawings of the Mercury ship that we are supposed to be careening which he drew in Freehand. (!) After telling us how long he'd been up, he stayed about several more hours working on the huge canvas flag I mentioned . He is quite the artist. A better contact person to represent the Mercury careening camp at the pyracy.com pub I don't think you could find.

At left, Captain Jim in downtown Key West during the Parade with his period-correct and location appropriate tankard. He will definitely be one of the good surgeon's patients next year...he just doesn't know it yet.


Photo: Silkie McDonough
At right, The Mercury ship's Quartermaster and de facto leader, William Red Wake. He's one of the most decent pirates you'll ever meet.

A girl showed up at the last minute on Friday at the careening camp who I thought was named Diedre. (I am bad with names. Apparently so is everyone else because I asked them to verify this and only William had any recollection of her actual name: Delana.) She told us that she came across the PiP website on Thursday. From that she up and told her boss she wanted Friday off so she could attend. She packed her gear, jumped in her car (I believe someone said she was from Orlando) and just showed up Friday morning. For some reason this all struck me as cool beyond measure, especially because she was by herself. She had a regular colorful pup-tent which William asked her to cover with a piece of canvas during the day. She willingly went off to Home Depot, bought canvas and did so. She hung around with Carol, Patrick's boss, a lot and said she had a really good time. Alas, I have no photo of her to punctuate this story, but I had to share the tale, because it's such a good a story. Instead, you get a picture of William.)

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