The Black Pearl
08 May 2012
When people I know ask me about our passage across the Atlantic two questions typically came up. Are you afraid of Pirates? And, Are you going to carry any guns?. The answer to both is absolutely NOT. There hasn’t been a case of actual piracy in the North Atlantic in hundreds of years. We are pretty far away from any safe harbors for them to operate out of where we are at. Guns really are not an option as everywhere we are going they are outlawed or so restricted as to make them a liability. And I don’t believe they help anyway.
Yesterday as we were sending out our update the first sailboat of our whole trip appeared on the horizon behind us. They were closing on us fast, doing twice our speed, and you could see the boat was big. Now, I’ll tell you the story of our first high seas encounter. I’m Captain Fatty, but not to be confused with my sailing hero, the real Captain Fatty Goodlander. You have to imagine pirate talk in the reading.
Ship Ahoy! Captn Fatty spotted er first. A sailing ship on the horizon closing fast on us. “Git me da telerscope” eys held to squabby deck hand Moustash. Stash jumps bellows deck en retreves em fer mes. Wes spotted her and cud tell theys up ta no good. Jus then the AIS watchmate identifd the na goodun seafaring varmets. “It’s the Pearl, Captn” Skinny reported.
Un-be-devilible! In our wake was the Black Pearl, fliesen all its sails and making direct fer us. The skurge of the seven seas wis makn to capture us n our loot. All hands on Deck! eys commanded to the crew. Moustash took the helm as I went to the communitater to find out the skirvy dog’s intentions. “Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, dis be Palarran” eys called tu em. “Palarran, dis be da Pearl” eys ear back. “Wes left Antigua ni seven days ago n ben sailn hard”. “Herd tell a story bout some boat makn fer da Azores en all. Herd dis boats goter a real good cookn hand namea Skinny Dave”. “Wasit to ye” I asked em. “Wes git sik of er cook n da slop e be servn, madem walk de plank” said the Captn of the Pearl. “Me crews a hungry en threatenen mutiny if eys don’t git em so good grub”. “Wes a wanten Skinny Dave and wes means ta takem”. “Ye no good son’s of mermaids” I yels, “Yull never git Skinny alive”.
“Battle Stations” eys call out. “Moustash, ready yer guns” eys order. Moustash, as usual, wis lookn fer wise he had ta git es gun’s out. “Cus they meen ta take Skinny, en es good cookn withem. Dat be all it takes, Stash apops up, teers off es shirt, en shows the curs es twin cannons. First e shows em de “Alaska” es gun forged from fishn, en then e shows em “Concrete” es old werkn gun. A loud laugh coms cross the communitater. “Yous mates thinkn we be scared of a couple ol rustee guns?” “Impressive in deday day may ev been, but wes professional pirates, sailn on the Pearl, en wesel take Skinny fur sure” ses da Captn. “Givem over and we’ll lit you and the crew go free. Dis be yer last warnen”
A hard decisen eyvs gotter make. Skinnys ben a mighty good mate en all, but dem pirates wis detarmened raskels en eys gotter thik about Moustash en Palarran. Dats when Skinny sas “Captn, show em yer weppens”. Aye, eve got mes some firpower fer shur. Evr a time te pull em out it be now, sows I teers of mes shirt en yells “Lisen up you Skallywags, eye ben sailn des seas eight days anow en Skinnys agoen nowares”. “Se me gun’s, eyes call dis one “Big Mac” en dis one “Da Whopper” en if dis taint nough ta frighten ye, eye be introwdusin yous ta mes “Bergut”. Feer showd in der faces at de-site of mes “Bergut”. Capeable of consumen sea elephants a plentee en grog by de barrel, no sailor messes with de Bergut. Over de communitater I heers de Captn of de Pearl ses “Captn Fatty, put ye shirt back on, we be given up”. Withat, they sailed off ta Palma wares day be piraten fur the sumer.
Well, that’s the story of the Pearl. Another version is that at 4:00pm yesterday the 75’ charter sailboat Black Pearl came within one mile of our starboard rail under full sail and making twice our speed. I hailed the captain and found they had left Antigua one day after we had left St. Maarten. The distances are roughly the same so we felt pretty good about our progress in comparison. The Pearl is going to Sao Miguel to refuel then on to Palma, Mallorca for the season. Hopefully we will run into them when we are in Palma. The captain did ask our destination and when I told him Horta he suggested we increase speed. There is a 35 knot norther coming our way in two days and it would be best to stay in front of it. So we are now again motor sailing making 8 knots in winds of 15 knots from dead astern. Our bearing is 70 degrees true. Stosh is nap-fishing. In other words, he’s napping while a couple of lines drag from behind us.
Skinny is making beef filet with a pepper brandy sauce, sweet potato carrot mash, and cabbage. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it!