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Pirates in Paradise 2007 - Key West, Fl

Chapter 6th - Of the second day that Pirates in Paradise was officially open to the public, with a complete accounting of the capture, attempted rescue and final release of The Mercury's Quartermaster, a brief discussion of the trial of Mary Read and Anne Bonny, pirates on parade, an enjoyable outing with Bilgemunky and more blathering about the surgeon's continuing fascination with the Pyrat Pub.

December 1st, PM Today was a full day of pirate activity. I confess I arrived somewhat later than the opening time of 10am due to delays in the breakfast schedule at Blue Heaven this morn. (Weekends in Key West are just sucky at restaurants. During the week, you can get anything you want...excepting Alice.) I was sitting at the bar, nursing a coffee (No, I don't want any hair of the dammed dog, thank ye) when I finally hit upon the strategy of turning around and facing the customers in full pirate garb. I wish I had a photo of this. Of course, I had a table shortly thereafter with three apologies from the hostess...two apologies before and one once the table (a table for four, not two) was secured. Following another excellent repast, I repaired to the fort just in time for the trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read. The trial went badly for Anne and Mary until they came up with a suitable excuse. Justice is served, with a side of coleslaw.

Leading Ann and Mary to the trial Photo: Tony Callahan
Leading Anne Bonny and Mary Read in for the tryal.
Note our intrepid pyrates Rusty "Wild" Rice, Captain Jim and
Patrick Hand at right - doing nothing.
Harry Smid reading the charges against Ann and Mary
Photo: Tony Callahan
Ordering the court: Harry Smid in English red reads the charges
to a panel of judges seated at the table while Anne and Mary
roll their eyes.
Cascabel & Original Cyn at the Trial
Photo: Tony Callahan
Original Cyn and Cascabel
- the pub owner's testimony.
Ann and Mary underguard
Photo: Tony Callahan
Anne (Bawdy Bee) and Mary (Diosa) on trial!

Harry swears in Braze
Photo: Tony Callahan

Harry Smid swears in Captain Braze, Bone Island First Mate,
who played someone whose name I forget in the tryal.

Our dear quartermaster, William Red Wake, was slapped into irons by the traitorous Captain Sterling for crimes he may not have committed. I took several photos for William - what with him being in irons and all.

The Archanged capture William
Photo: Silkie McDonough
The Captain of the Archangel and crew hold our Quartermaster hostage.
(From left: Captain Sterling, Abigail M. Normal, William "the prisoner" Red Wake, Mad Mary Diamond, Sarah Sterling and Joshua Merriweather.

William did manage an escape at one point, only to be re-captured (see the saga of William's escape and recapture below). Anne and Mary may have gotten out of their charges, but William got chained to a tree in the Archangel camp.

William captured
Photo: Silkie McDonough
William decides to escape Anna
Photo: Silkie McDonough
Abby tries to help SarahPhoto: Silkie McDonough
William pulls them to the groundPhoto: Silkie McDonough William walking away Photo: Silkie McDonough William chained to a tree eating an apple
Photo: Silkie McDonough
The saga of Quarter Master William Red Wake's escape... and the result. At least someone gave him an apple while enjoying the Archangel camp's hospitality.

Mission amputating William's hand to remove the cuffs
Photo: William Red Wake's camera
Being the surgeon and second officer from the Mercury, I attempted a rescue of first officer Quarter master William using my trusty capital knife, bone saw and tourniquet before being pulled off by the Archangel munchkins (...and being kicked off by William. Film at 11... or now - click here to see it. Amanjiria really has a knack for this.) Several other members of the crew also attempted a rescue but the Archangel munchkins resisted and we have the thing up as a loss. This made me the first officer of the Mercury which was just what I hoped would...was just awful.

Right: "I...have a cunning plan... I think I can help you out of those cuffs...now if you'll be a big boy and just sit still while I amputate your hand..."

The Pyrates attacked the Fort later in the day and damaged the outer wall with their cannon as well as damaging the redcoats with their muskets. Several of us than charged the fort from the inside. A pitched black powder gun battle between the redcoats and pyrates ensued. I then got the chance to do some of the doctoring that I failed to do yesterday. The pyrates won the battle handily and my patient (Mr. O'Keefe) survived both Lily and I. The fort colonists then brought the prisoner (QM William of the Mercury) forward and offered negotiations. Much against my better judgment, I, now first officer of the Mercury, was elected to negotiate which (unfortunately) was successful. The rebels joined us and the redcoats were left to rot on the field (until they got up which was probably due to the miraculous ministrations of the Mercury's surgeon whose mere presence was surely a boon to them.)

Mission tries to bandage Edward
Photo: Jaded Jetty (jetgoff)

Photo: Jaded Jetty (jetgoff)
Mission, your ship's surgeon, tries diligently to dress
battle wounds while Haunting Lily tries to profit
by stealing shoes. Hmm...

Everyone repaired to a convenient tent in the fort out of the brilliant sun while Captain Sterling went to scrounge up the key to the shackles that held William. I got a chance to display my medicine chest and surgical tools to all interested photographers and was able to explain bits and pieces of the info I had learned in preparation for the role. After much audience suffering as I explained my kit for the 12th time, William was released and we went back to camp.

Mission setting up shop 1
Photo: William Red Wake
Mission positioning surgical tools Photo: William Red Wake Mission open for business Photo: William Red Wake

Above: The ship's surgeon sets up his kit and shows off. (What can I say? I'm a ham.)

Mary Diamond
Photo: William Red Wake
I decided to head into town and have dinner as no one in the camp seemed inclined to make vegetarian anything and had a wonderful corn and crab chowder stew at the Rum Barrel. It was so good that I went back later and had more corn and crab chowder stew again. But I digress.

Mary Diamond (at right), William and several members of the Archangel crew headed off for a sunset cruise aboard the Liberty Clipper, where Amanjiria was apparently photographed naked kissing a mermaid. Wait...he was actually photographed in the rigging of the ship. (You can see this photo in middle of Chapter 1st.) The mermaid story sounds better, though. (I may regret having written that. Your ship's chirurgeon makes bold his statements. If I don't finish this chapter it's because I've been gutted and flayed).

We then gathered at the beach for sunset where master photographer Tony Callahan proceeded to take what were probably hundreds of pictures of we, naught but humble pirates. Tony also took a great many pictures last year which he and his wife Fayma turned into wonderful posters that were scattered all over Key West during the festival. (Perhaps I will rate a poster next year. Perhaps it will be made into an advertisement for Quaker Oats.) Tony's website for Callahan Digital Arts has been the source of many of the photos you've been enjoying here. Check out his site for an extensive gallery of excellently photographed material from Pirates in Paradise 2007.

Tony's photo of Edward
Photo: Tony Callahan
Tony's silhouette photo
Photo: Tony Callahan

Above: Samples of Tony's work. At left, Edward O'Keefe at sunset; at right, two members of the Sacred Heart Crew.

We all assembled for the annual Key West holiday parade where we marched as members of a float advertising something I don't even recall which looked like a galleon with a huge skull figurehead. (No, it really didn't make any sense in real life either, but it was sort of cool for a skeleton-favoring ship's surgeon.) The parade route was 17 miles long in period correct shoes (which is about two miles long in cheater shoes. My feeeeeet!), but great fun was had by all. I will now appear in thousands of people's vacation photos and videos, which is charming on one level and just disturbing on another. Never in my life have I been willingly photographed so many times.

Pirates in the parade 1
Photo: Mary Diamond
Pirates in the parade 2
Photo: Mary Diamond

Above left, the parade float with it's guides; above right, several pirates on parade traveling what may be Duvall street.

A bag lit by a lantern
Photo: William Red Wake (I think)
See anything? (I see a bag and a lantern...)
Post-parade, Bilgemunky and I wandered off together to get more Rum Barrel corn and crab chowder at my suggestion and had a wonderful discussion about my surgeon character and his on-line pirate music radio show (modern and vintage - you can listen to the show on his site on Monday evenings). We bought a bottle of rum after dinner and went to the Pyrat Pub in the fort which bested any pub on Duvall street. (Sorry, pub owners on Duvall street. Ah, you'll never read this...) When we arrived in the pub with Edward O'Keefe, we met Patrick Hand, Captain Jim and Rusty "Wild" Rice, who had been kicked off Duvall for weapons infractions. (Not because they were carrying flintlocks guns, because they were carrying swords!!) Much rum was drunk and Captain Jim claims to have seen Jesus or Hulk Hogan (you pick) in the folds of a canvas bag in William's tent. Naturally, this is ridiculous, because...ah hell, it's after 3am - time for bed. You judge the picture for yourself. I'll tell you more once the world stops spinning...

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