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Pirates in Paradise 2008 - Key West, Fl

Keith & Lily's Rental Home
(Photo: Lily and Edward's Photos )
Edward & Lily's Home for Wayward Pyrates.
Chapter 1st - The crews and pirates begin to arrive and the major players are introduced. (It may not sound that exciting, but it really isn't. Hey, ya' gotta' start somewhere...)

12/2/08 Today I went to the fort in the afternoon and helped Lily and Keith/Edward O'Keefe set up a tent that is larger than most small houses. I also met Silas Thatcher and his large family and tried to help them set up their site, but mostly got in their way.

Keith and Lily put the entire crew of the Sacred Heart in their rental Home for Wayward Pyrates due to the weather, the sleeping logistics of which I tried not to fathom. We all repaired to dinner at the Rum Barrel (where they still have the most excellent corn and seafood chowder), making a party of 12 with the two people that I suspect we randomly picked up along the way.

Chrispy preparing to roll a cannon ball
(Photo: "Poppa Ratsey", Callahan Digital Art)
Cannibal Chrispy (at left) drove us in his seventies-style van with the ubiquitous bed in the back. I searched for the disco ball, but never found it. No doubt he put it away to make more room. Chrispy is in the process of moving to Key West with his wife Rusty Nell, so we should all hate him for that. He says he is joining the Bone Island Buccaneers (and he very much looks the part), so we should hate him doubly for that.

Actually, he's a really nice guy with a mobile guitar repair shop in his van. (You meet the most interesting people in Key West. Most of them aren't actually from Key West, but the place has a tendency to attract interesting people. It's just one of the things I love about the place.)

At the Rum Barrel, Keith, Lily and I were the only ones not dressed as pirates. Fortunately, Tony "Poppa Ratsey" Callahan explained this away to anyone who would listen (being at least three people) that I was a computer pirate or a possibly a recent med-school grad waiting to be paged who just liked pirate folk.

Papa Ratsey pointing a bent knife at you
(Photo: Sharon,Callahan Digital Art)
"Poppa Ratsey" Callahan at his scariest.
Tony, who happened to be sitting next to me, loaned me his napkin in an effort to protect Keith's light tan sweatshirt which I had borrowed. Of course, this meant that he couldn't signal the waitress that he was done in the international symbol of wait staff signaling (placing your napkin on your plate), which everyone at my end of the table seemed to find funny. I think they had started on the rum pretty early. Still, Keith's sweatshirt does not have any stains on it, despite my best efforts. I am so happy, I may keep it.

Tony also informed us that he had finally decided upon a pirate name. His name? "Poppa Ratsey." (You have to say it out loud to really get it.) Tony will spend the rest of the weekend looking at the event through his camera lens. He loves taking, sorting and sharing photos with everyone.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow when the bulk of the crews will arrive.

Below left: The Sealkie's Hide with (middle) Mistress Silkie McDonough, proprietress. Below right: Lily Alexander and Edward O'Keefe looking dangerous.

OK, stop! You forgot the skull that indicates an extra page, didn't you? Look at the photo below left and you'll see it in the lower right hand corner. Now, if you click on that photo, the extra page for the Sealkie's Hide will open in a new page/tab. OK, you've had your first and only reminder of the skull icon. I wash my hands of you from this point on.

The Sealkies Hide (Photo: Cpt. Sophia's Photos) The Proprietess in her Hide (Photo: Madam Grace's Photos) Keith and Lily (Photo: "Poppa Ratsey", Callahan Digital Art)

Captain Sterling with Anna and Josh
(Photo: Sharon,Callahan Digital Art)
he fam! Josh, the Captain & Anna.

(Photo: Callahan Digital Art)
Dutch & Madam Grace
12/3/08 Day Captain Sterling and charges Josh and Anna arrived last night along with Silkie McDonough, bcddutchman aka Dutch and Madam Grace. They slept in Keith and Lily's tent last night, although the captain assured me he slept outside, being the man that he is. Many of their tents and the The Sealkie's Ordinary fly were set up by the time I arrived at the campsite.

The Bone Island crew showed up and set up their tents in the camping area. Someone told me that they were camped in our area last year but I do not recall this. It does explain why, on a trip down the beach one night last year I came across some folks enjoying a moonlight swim in their altogethers near the area that I am assured that their campsite was placed.

Willie Wobble resting comfortably on a camp chair
(Photo: Madam Grace's Photos)
Speaking of being in your altogethers, a crew of two arrived who have set up their encampment next to Willie Wobble (at right). They apparently do several periods from about 1550 - 1700 and have gear appropriate to three distinct periods. Their names were William and Doug (below) and they met Willie at Captain Searle's Raid of 1668, which takes place in St. Augustine, Florida.

Willie must have had his usual magnificent set-up which included a table they coveted. So they approached bearing gifts and talking an apparently convincing line that ended with a request for the use of his table. Willie, being the nice guy he is, let them have it and spent the rest of that event hanging out with them. One night, hanging out apparently involved the consumption of something called "naked juice" (which contained, among other things, Jameson's. I didn't get the full recipe, but based on the effects some of you may want to pm Willie for more info.) What effects? Well, it apparently roused the blood to such an extent that several girls stripped down and started dancing around the fire. William noted that he wasn't sure what Willie was going to make of all this, but figured he would either stay or leave and six of this crew proceeded to join in the tribal dance, naked as the day is long. It must be some recipe.

William and Doug standing easy
(Photo: Cpt. Sophia's Photos)
I tried to get William and Doug to tell me the name of their crew, but they were distinctly cagey on this point. As near as I could tell they were either with Henry Morgan or Captain Searle.

From walking scholar William, I learned that Captain Searle agreed to accept a boatload of whiskey from the Spanish which allowed them to get so drunk the Spaniards sailed right past them into the port at St. Augustine which they were supposed to be guarding. (I wonder if it was due to the consumption of naked juice?) William and Doug had a storehouse of further information and assured me that this whole thing is explained in Esquemeling's book.

The encampment is already bigger than last year. We're camped right near the water and any concerns about the size and location of the site have long since been obliterated from everyone's mind. Fortunately, the weather also arrived with the morning and we have sun, a breeze, but not a gale with no rain in the offing. It's about the perfect temperature, although I suspect it will be a little chilly tonight.

One view of the camp
(Photo: Mission's Collection)

A PiP Postcard
(Advertising postcard by the Callahans, Photo by Tony Callahan.)
Momma and Papa Ratsey
(Photo: Lily and Edward's Photos)

The schedule for the Event
(Schedule by the Callahans,
Artwork by Don Maitz.)
Somehow I rated a poster this year. Fayma and Tony Callahan (above right) put together several pieces of beautiful publicity materials for the event this year. Like last year there are many large posters showing various people from last year with information on PiP emblazoned on them which have been scattered around town at the various local friendly vendors. Among the 60 poster pirates are Willie Wobble, Captain Sterling, his charges, Lily Alexander, Hurricane, Billie Beach (where are ya', lad?), Patrick Hand, Aminjiria/Jack Roberts, Spike, Brig and Mae. I saw four posters showing all the posters and my memory just isn't good enough to recall everyone. No doubt Captain Jim was in there too because he is a natural for such things. My poster picture makes me look distinctly arrogant, which sort of fits the character of a pressed surgeon.

The Callahans have also created several postcard advertisements to be hand out around town which can be conveniently put on shelves and counters at local vendors willing and handed out to folks by pirates wandering around the pubs and restaurants in the local environs or handed out from the parade route. There is also a booklet containing the schedule of events featuring a drawing of Cascabel in a classic pirate pose on the front (left). It's some really top notch stuff; Callahan Digital Art does a great job!

The Pyracy.com Flag on the fort wall
(Photo: Mickey & Kate Souris)
Inside the fort the vendors are setting up. Hurricane and Diosa were putting together their booth, but they looked so intent that I didn't want to bother them. Our ginormous flag from last year hangs right near them, awaiting the Pub photo op.

Bucky enjoying PiP
(Photo: Mickey & Kate Souris)
The Callahans and the Sacred Heart crew are also in the fort. They, among many other people, have beautiful new period tents set up, giving the place that just so look Fayma told me that had originally set up their site last weekend but with all the rain and gusty wind had to take it down. Bucky, my skeleton is hung near the entrance. The Bone Island folks put together a cool gateway of logs that includes a walkway on top for a sentry.

I told Lily yesterday that you could just feel the excitement zinging up and down through you. Everyone I've come across seems to have a bit of it. It's quite contagious.

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