Chapter One: the begining
Well, we finally acquired a vessel. Our first round table discussions on the subject were heavily influenced by the intake of beer so we were of the mind: “If pirates we be – then the ship should be commandeered!” However, after a brief sobering we decided that legalities and bad joss would be to our disadvantage unless the boat were procured by “fairly legal means.”
So after scouring the local ads and bending the ear of any who would listen, we came upon our rig.
We originally set out for a Hobie Cat, but, remembering the advice of our friend Rick, who used to own the sail boat rentals and taught Billy to sail, decided on a Prindle with a rainbow colored sail.
We at first were reluctant to sail under the rainbow canvas, but after negotiating an extremely fair price we became the proud owners of our very own craft. At the time, we had no name for her.
Day one: We secured a cooler. Coleman. Sturdy. And LARGE. It would, after all, have to hold not only OUR supply of beer but also the hordes of various loot we hoped to gain on the high sea….and the rum. We cant forget the rum. To qoute black Billy: “We HAVE to have rum. Its traditional. And it must be hot. No ice. AND LIMES! WE MUST have LIMES!.They help to ward off the scurvy!....and also puke breath.” (Which, by the way is true. Billy was once marooned on a bouy in the waters off St. Thomas and not allowed back in to the dingy until he finished off a bottel of hot rum. To be fair it was not a FULL bottle by any means but there WAS lots of puking and the gnawing of limes.)
With the help of some heavy duty bungee straps, we secured the cooler to the fore-end of the trampoline, donned our life vests, (adourned with crudely drawn skulls and cross bones in permanent marker), pointed her east and began the task of pushing out through the surf.
Bear in mind and make no judgements here. - It has been at least 14 years since Black Billy sailed a vessel out into the breakers. So yes….disaster did befall us.
About 25 to 30 yards out into the surf we were rocked by a particulary vicious wave. This left our broadside exposed to the next wave and since we were already listing ….we tipped.
It was horrible. Now we were not only floundering in the shallows and being relentlesy pounded by waves, we were being surrounded by tourists. Some wanted to offer their feeble help and others were yelling. Cursing US!
It seems that not only did we flip a huge dangerous boat in their midsts, smashing the mast down in a fury of sea spray and white foam mere inches from their offsprings soft skulls, WE HAD ALSO LITTERED THE ENTIRE AREA WITH THE CONTENTS OF OUR COOLER!
Now the waves were tossing our precious cargo of beer down upon the heads and backs of the hapless tourons!
We managed to right the craft all by our onesies before the mast caught the sand beneath and snapped like a derby runners leg. We limped to shore none the worse for wear, but the damage caused was glaringly evident.
Beer cans were everywhere. Children were picking them up and spraying each other in innocent glee.
And that is when the authorities showed up.
The life guards were already shouting at us about “Reckless behaviour” and “Alcohol use on a water craft.”Then the beach cops showed up on their four wheelers. The young one was already showing veins in his neck as his face grew redder. Going down the list of offense after offense…just then the older cop jibbed in, “What are you supposed to be…PIRATES?” He had been eyeballing the disaster and sort of half-grinning to himself. Being the older and more experienced of the two he had learned to assess a situation before commiting to it. I had seen him look at our life vests and bandannas and sort of smile before he spoke to us.
Red Morty was first to speak…and he did it in pirate character. “ Aye! We be Pirates!” I felt the urge to chime in: “We were sailing the Bloody Anne when we met with a disasterous fate!” (Bloody Anne is my wifes pirate name. She is neither bloody nor named Anne, but it seemed a good ships name at the time.)
“You cant have glass bottles on the beach.” He said.
Black Billy pinged the side of the bottle with his HOB ring: “Plastic Mate.”
“Its STILL alcohol!” snarled the younger cop. “Aye.” Replied Morty, “but give us a minute or two and we will dispose of it….properly.”
At this point I thought the young ones head would explode, but the older cop put his hand on the guys shoulder and said:”Alright you scurvy dogs….you obviously live here so you know the rules. My partner and I are gonna make a loop around the beach. If when we come back and I see any beer cans, plastic bottles of rum or either one of you pirates on my beach….its the crossbar hotel for the both of you. Do you understand me?” “As clear as an unmuddied lake!” grinned Morty. “Gone like a dream.” Slurred Billy.
The cop walked away shaking his head while the younger kept talking to him and pointing at us. “ No offense to ye Billy..Yer a fine pirate to be sure, but Tis clear we need the wisdom of Captn Dave.” “Aye. Fine tuning is a must here.”
We hurriedly gathered our brews and cooler, tugged the cat up to the dunes and retired to the mainland to lick our wounds and drown our shame in alcohol.