Saturday, September 19, 2009

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Aye lady, today be international talk like a pirate day. Not a day when ye talk without "e," but a day when ye talk like a pirate.

Well, I did not talk like a pirate today, but I did talk about pirates. A big day on Provo I must say. This morning we moved the anchor and cannon from the old DuPont properties. I made some napkin calculations that the cannon weighed approximately 84 pounds and the anchor weighed in at around 600 pounds.

These artifacts were taken off the Northwest point of Provo sometime in the mid 1980s. They came to our attention this summer during the Search for the Trouvadore expedition.

On Provo we have been looking for two US navy ships that wrecked here while on anti-piracy patrol. Both ships wrecked in an area known as False Cut on the Northwest Point. The anchor is probably off of one of the wrecks.

Last weekend I was on Provo setting up the move with a local contractor. Today they moved the items. My job is to hang around and entertain the television crews and film part of a documentary that we are helping with.

All good.

This afternoon, the documentary film maker wanted me to film a segment about pirates. I have always wondered how the director of the Ohio Historical Society always looked like he knew everything when he spoke on camera. Now I have an idea.

I called Jessica, one of the volunteer archivists at the museum and asked her to find the Kosy book which I remember had some story about French privateers. A few minutes later I was ready to go.

In 1798 a sailing vessel from Rhode Island got stuck on the reef off of West Caicos. Colonel Thomas Brown, a loyalist planter from North Caicos, took five boats out to the ship to secure the cargo and take off anything of value. While Colonel Brown was on the wreck, a French privateer, a pirate ship, appeared on the horizon. Brown spent the next three hours fending off attacks from the pirates with his small flotilla. They only had two small cannon, but his slaves were armed with muskets and held their own. Eventually the pirate ship proved to strong and Brown lost the battle. Though he escaped with his life and his slaves, the Rhode Island vessel and its cargo were lost.

This was great, because the documentary was about the history of wrecking here. "Wrecking" is the word used to describe taking the cargo and everything of value off of a sunken vessel. We shot this on Sapadilla Hill overlooking the whole of Provo with West Caicos visible just on the horizon. It was very nice.

And me mates came off thinkin me knows alot about pirates and other scallywags that ply these here waters.

Have a happy talk like a pirate day!

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