Thursday, September 19, 2013

Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! – one of my favorite days of the year.
I discovered this event almost 12 years ago when I started getting serious about actually writing my novel involving Sam Bellamy, Maria Hallett, and Nancy Caldwell.
During that decade on the Cape, I would walk the bay or visit the crashing waves on the ocean side, conjuring up plot-lines, ideas, and ways to weave my story across time. I wrote The Old Cape House using alternating chapters from the 1700s to the 21st century.

As I researched pirates, I came across this wonderful site and was hooked. It's so much fun!

 International Talk Like A Pirate

Tim and I race to the beach whenever we hear that the remains of a shipwreck have been uncovered, usually after a nor'easter or an exceptionally high tide.

Here are pieces of the Montclair from Nova Scotia a few years past. It wrecked on March 5, 1927 near Orleans, MA.

Barry Clifford, adventurer, underwater explorer, and treasure hunter discovered artifacts and remnants from the pirate ship Whydah in 1984 off Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, Ma. It's the only authentic pirate ship ever discovered and documented. It was captained by Black Sam Bellamy from 1716-1717. The bell of the pirate ship Whydah was discovered in the fall of 1986, this was proof positive that he had located the site of the wreck.
Photo courtesy of The Whydah Museum

 The Whydah Museum in Provincetown on Macmillan Wharf is one of my regular places to visit.
Whydah Museum

Photo courtesy of The Whydah Museum
  Here is Barry Clifford with some of the treasure that was found at the underwater site.

Photo courtesy of The Whydah Museum
The Spanish doubloon was a 7 gram piece of gold minted in Spain and Mexico. The word doubloon has its roots in the latin word 'duplus' meaning double or the sum of two escudos. From the Americas, they were carried throughout the Caribbean by Spanish galleons seeking trade for silks and spices. Pirating was rampant in the West Indies, the pirates knew that gold was always welcomed wherever they sailed and finding it on these ships was extremely high.
The coins were usually odd–shaped due to the process of producing them. The gold was melted into narrow strips, cut into blanks, pressed against a coin die, weighed, then trimmed by hand.

Photo courtesy of Sea Research Society
On the other hand, 'pieces of eight' were generally of silver and minted in the Americas. This Spanish coin made by native Americans in Mexico, Peru, Columbia, and other countries in Central and South America enslaved by the Spaniards was valued at eight reales and could be physically cut into eight bits for change. The abundance of these coins gave the pirates even more incentive to loot the galleons who sought to trade throughout the oceans. Note the half coins and uneven cuts on them.
The dies pressed into either gold or silver coins were generally of Spanish origins.

Over the years, my family took note of my interest in pirates, which reaped great rewards for me.

One of my favorite mugs...

When I was waiting for a new hip, I used a tall walking stick, always thinking pirate.

Coming soon...The Old Cape House

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