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Searle's Sack of St. Augustine, FL, March 2010

Mission holding Lob in a hat
(Photo: Kate Bagley)
Introduction: The almost medical-free journal of the good surgeon Raphael Mission accounting for the doings, beings and happenings of a group of crazy pirate re-enactors who braved the frigid St. Augustine, Florida weather (yes, you read that right) to participate in the now annual 1668 raid of the town by Searle's Buccaneers re-enactment crew. Featuring an account of what took place during the Friday and Saturday night pirate encampment in Ponce De Leon's Fountain of Youth park. Of the particulars of the wonderful food, various crafts (and craftiness) of the pirates and the soon-to-be world famous random street hat (or RSH) as captured in the town by Ivan "the terrible Moose" Henry.

Prologue: Giving a complete and utter account of why you should avoid traveling with Mission. Further detailing how Diosa and Patrick Hand waited and waited and what transpired next.

Lob in armor
(Photo:Kate Bagley)
Left and above: Lob. I didn't have any photos to go with this story, but I knew I needed photos of great gravity that could convey the full depth and strength of my emotions. So I naturally thought of Lob the stuffed monkey. Enjoy!

Travel is adventure.

At least that's what I tell myself when trips start the way this one did. It would be nice if my re-enacting plane adventures could be dull - just once or twice. Perhaps that wouldn't make for a good prologue. If so, this is a fine prologue, because this trip started so frantically that I was actually prepared to write the whole trip off.

It all started when I approached the check in counter at US Airways and realized that I hadn't brought my wallet. I did have my passport, so I was able to check in. Being without my wallet, I couldn't check into the hotel - which I had already paid for. Following a quick call and many agonizing minutes waiting, I was slightly relieved to learn that I had dropped my wallet in the driveway. Glancing nervously at the clock, I wondered if my folks could get it to me on time. All I could do was wait and see.

Lob on Alex's helme
(Photo:Kate Bagley)
Well, to be quite honest, I tried to pretend that all I could do is wait and see. Uncertainty is not my specialty. I attempted a brave face while watching the enormous line move through security with the speed of a snake digesting an elephant. To keep myself occupied, I pulled out my travel documents to check them. They were wrapped around my passport. Gazing at the departure time for the fifth time, I noted that it had not yet changed to something more reassuring. OK, I knew that, but I guess I just wanted to see it in print to make sure. Again. Sensing additional action was required, I stood up and paced. I chatted with the security guy to explain my situation and received no sympathy. "The line moves fast. You'll make it," he replied without much interest. Someone like me probably approached him several times a day during his shift; some made it, some didn't, he was still responsible for watching the first class security entrance.

Right: Lob as an ornament on the hood of a '58 Buick. Actually, this is Alex, Sergeant Jeff's son.

Lob in Jessi's corset
(Photo:Kate Bagley)
Lob springing sprightly from Red Jessi's bodice.
I paced some more and went to check the time again and…realized I had set my travel documents and passport down the last time I had checked them! Well, now I had something to do. I sped to the check-in counter to ask if anyone had found a passport. A woman said they hadn't. A guy told me he could reprint my travel documents for me, if I'd show him my ID. Fine - except that it was inside my now missing travel documents. With this final blow, I accepted that if I was going to make it, I would make it. If not, well…I'd deal with that when it happened. (Don't I sound blasé?)

My mom called to report she was approaching the airport, so I scuttled out the doors to the curb where the wallet handoff was made. (Thanks, mom!) I rushed back to the ticket counter where a guy quickly re-printed up my travel docs. (Thanks, guy!) I legged it to the security line which had doubled in length. Then I recalled that there was another security line at the other end of the terminal which was less busy when traveling to Key West a few months ago. So I trucked down there and –luck!- the line was short and moving briskly. (Thanks, fate!) The last person in the gate area was just boarding the plane as I jogged up. I briefly wondered about my passport, its travels and difficulty of procuring another one, but decided that was best left for next week. Why spend more time fretting? I was on my way!

Ivan taking a bite out of Lob (Photo: Ivan Henry) THE Wench with Lob (Photo: Kate Bagley) Hamish taking a bite of Lob (Photo:Kate Bagley)

Above: Some gratuitous Lob shots. From left: Ivan Henry takes a bite out of lob, who seems a bit concerned Center: Lob getting (more) action with THE Wench. Right: See how kids mimic bad behavior? (I sure hope the kid has had all of its' shots...)

Don't mess with granny
(Photo: Stolen - obviously)
When I landed in Jacksonville, I switched on my phone and was greeted by a message. It was the US Airways gate agent letting me know that my passport had been found and was waiting for me in Detroit. That was a relief. I had had visions of my passport being used to smuggle spotted dick into the country by English terrorists hell bent on ruining the restaurant industry. So I called US Airways and talked to Beverly, who said she would get it and put it in her locker so that I could retrieve it when I got back to Detroit. I explained to Beverly that I was terrible at remembering names, and that I had nothing to write with. "Just remember the Beverly Hillbillies," she advised. Now I will probably never, ever be able to forget her name. I will be in the nursing home cackling to the guy in the next bed about this adventure and explaining that "…her name was Beverly – like in the Beverly Hillbillies!")

Right: "OK young'un, you better be able to produce two pieces of substantiatin' ID and put'cher John Hancock on these sixteen forms!"


A picture of Diosa and Patrick in the front seats
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
From the airport in Jacksonville, I called Diosa. Turns out she and Patrick Hand had been circling the airport for the last twenty minutes while I was trying to sort the details of my passport's adventures. Patrick had arrived at the airport at 8:30 and they had gone shopping while they waited for me to arrive at 1:30. I strolled out to the curb just as they were pulling up. They were both in garb (Diosa only just so because she had changed in the parking lot of Wal~Mart.) Still, they both felt quite free to give me a ration about not traveling in garb.

A picture from the back seat of Diosa's car
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
In the car, we passed the place where Diosa had wrecked her new convertible a year or so ago. At least I think we did. She sort of said she did. OK she was actually not exactly sure where she had wrecked her convertible, but waved about in an offhand manner when we were passing an area that looked remarkably like most of the other areas we had gone through and said it must be somewhere around here.

Being a somber moment, we all paused in memory of the convertible. Maybe Diosa and Patrick reflected on the vicissitudes of fate; I was still trying not to think about my passport.

Right: the place where Diosa wrecked her convertible (outside the window). OK, that's a lie. This is just the only shot I have from this part of the story. Isn't my Patrick Hand original hat nice?


Diosa announced that she had procured radio work in Orlando where she would have to be arrive early on Monday morning. She has a house somewhere in Melbourne, Florida which she recently turned into a rental home for tourists. From her exploits, I learned all about the proper way to successfully turn your house into a vacation rental. (This will not be of use to me in Michigan, but what the heck…learning is always good.)

Diosa's Mayan bathroom
(Photo: Michelle Murillo)
She said that the first you have to do is give your rental house a cool name - something that invokes exotic travel and the environment. She chose Casa Maya. I think this is sort of an odd name - I don't believe the Mayans spoke Spanish... at least not willingly...but who's to quibble? It does sound exotic. She was also advised give her house a theme to increase the interest of the snowbirds (snowbirds are people with enough money to flee places like Michigan in the winter...which is why this knowledge will not be of use to me - for the nonce).

So, like me, she now has themed the rooms in the house. I was most disappointed to discover that she didn't have a Star Wars-themed bathroom, like I do, but we do each have pirate themed living rooms.

Left: In case you wondered how to create an elegant bathroom with Mayan flair. So as not to scare people with weak constitutions, small children and Chihuahuas, I will avoid posting any photos of my Star Wars-themed bathroom for comparison.

Mission's pirate living room (Photo: >Mission's Living Room Page) Diosa's, more tastefully decorated, pirate living room (Photo: Michelle Murillo)

However, I will post photos of my pirate-themed living room (above left). Then you can compare it to her pirate-themed living room (above right) and see how mine might have turned out if I had had taste.

Eduardo, the eternally climbing pirate
(Photo: Michelle)
Eduordo overlooks the dining room table
(Photo: Michelle Murillo)
Like the living room, the dining room is also pirate themed. The rooms feature one of those life-sized pirate sculptures climbing a rope, of which she seems most proud. Her first set of rental guests – members of the touring group from the musical South Pacific –affectionately named the pirate Eduardo. They apparently explained all this in the guest book and now the name has stuck – Eduardo he is. The bedroom is Egyptian themed, as befits a Floridian house I guess, the master bath may be Mayan-themed and the other bathroom is "random Florida beach themed". I think she began to lose interest in the whole theme thing as the project went on and decided to punt when she got to the spare bathroom. She noted that her house now looked better than when she lived in it.

Left: A nice close-up of the now infamous Eduardo the Pirate. (I think Eduardo is an odd name for a pirate, don't you?) Right: "Shall it be one for dinner, sir?"

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