Fort Taylor and PIP Part 2

Friday morning I had to be at the fort for the battle meeting to know what was going to go on in the battle so Joe and I could do color commentary from the fort wall. There were lots of things going on. There were awesome griddle cakes being served up at the Savory Sow, the on-site food vendor, and I had those with a side of bacon as well as a cup of campfire coffee.

Ok, so this is where I get to pick on Joe, ‘the princess’. Well the Princess got his coffee and was doing just fine until he hit a few grounds. He sputtered and coughed and was trying to figure out what went wrong with his cup of joe.  It seems he is not accustomed to camp coffee and was aghast at the grounds. I chuckled and went back to my fiber-added coffee.

Also under the mess tent, since it was the festival’s opening today, there were thousands of brochures to be folded. I wish I had taken a picture of the whole mess tent, but every table had 3-6 pirates folding, like this


They were making up box after box of the brochures to be handed out.

I folded a hundred or so and then had to head over to the PIP side at Truman Waterfront to go through a rehearsal of the Trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read. I was happy to see famed pirate artist Don Maitz there! I hadn’t seen him yet and since he heard we were just rehearsing, he decided to paint some other subjects today… one that was very cute was the Golf Cart that Susie King uses at pirate festivals

We ran through the trial in pretty quick order and then I met up with Maria De Los Angeles. Maria is a journalist. She and I met over a year ago when she interviewed me as Mary Read for part of a series of articles on the pirate trails of Florida.  Here’s a link to her blog and you can find her on facebook too.

She wanted to do the main events on both sides. So, I got her going. I was going to take her into the fort for our show and then the battle, but as soon as she saw all the living history demos, she was dashing too and fro talking to everyone about what they were doing.

She did attend our Life as a Pirate show and then I took her up to the fort wall with the crowd to watch the battle. This day was disappointing, at least for me. You see, I was telling everyone on the wall (who were all rooting for the pirates) that if the pirates won the battle, they would be bringing in all sorts of fantastic things for us to buy at great prices… you know things they had managed to acquire at sea. It would be our ‘black friday’ if you will 🙂 But the pirates lost the day and were taken prisoner…and so there would be no shopping that day….

After the battle we were off again, I had set up sail on the Wolf for the Presenting the Past folks and Maria and we did not want to be late.

If you do not know, the Wolf is the flagship of the Conch Republic. It is Captained by Admiral Finbar and well, you’re just not a Key West pirate unless you have taken a sail on the Wolf. Among those  hopping aboard were Braze, Cascabel, Louie, Don Maitz, Dutch, Liberte, Lady J, Salty Sam, Dani, and of course the Wolf crew. It was quite the group to sail with!

I took a lot of pictures on the Wolf…

some just pretty as the sun set…

Some of Don shooting his cannon…. Here he looks like he’s up to no good!

and here…well this just looks kind of in appropriate….

Maria also grabbed a video of me singing a bit as we sailed….I had taken a video clip of Dutch singing, but I guess there was too much wind and it came out too distorted 🙁

Singing on the Wolf

and then as Maria talked to Braze…. He thought she should shoot his blunderbuss. He loaded it up and those of us onboard watched her have her first gun-gasm.

She squeaked as it went off and had that “WOW!’ look on her face. I laughed and told her I think she just passed step 7. She asked what I meant and I said think of it as a 12-step program to becoming a pirate…she was well on her way. Over the weekend we actually created a 12-step list, but more on that later.

After the sail we wandered about the PIP site for a little while, and then were getting hungry, so we headed back to the fort for dinner… and the Dead Men’s Chest Auction that was to start at 7:30.

Dinner was served up by Savory Sow. There was a choice of pork or jerk chicken, potato salad, the most moist cornbread EVER (and I got the secret!!!) and…. wait for it…. COLE SLAW!!!

Ok, unless you were at the event in the fort 5 years ago, you will not understand the importance of this cole slaw. Ant (the cook) was serving it up at the fest back then and that man makes the best damned cole slaw ever! It’s just freaking awesome –  a little tart, a little sweet, just amazing stuff.  I pouted every time he ran out that year and have whined every year since for not having that cole slaw…

He heard my voice as I walked across the fort yard (yeah, I know…who doesn’t) and said, ‘Is that Diosa? I have coleslaw for you!” to which I believe I responded with a very adult and professional sounding squeal of ‘WOOHOO!!!” And it was as good as I had remembered…. sigh…. cole slaw happiness!!!

The auction started right after dinner.

There were more items up for bids than I had ever seen before with the boundless energy of Cannibal Chrispy leading the auction.

Journalist Maria ended up with a necklace that hid a knife and a pirate shirt and I told her she had taken a few more steps towards being a pirate…..

I got out bid on most things I wanted, but did end up with the Belizean carving that  Scarlett Jai traded for when she sailed to Belize on the Wolf.

That became a present for my father when I returned home.

He is from Belize. As soon as I handed it to him on my return he looked at the wood, flipped it over and sniffed it.  He then told me what he figured the size of the mahogany tree it was cut from, its approximate age (by size) and a little about the kinds of mahogany and cedar they have in Belize versus here in the states, etc etc…. and I got some dad stories about his days of falling trees when he was young.  Priceless!

The auction ran long that evening…and even had to be cut off because there were just too many things on the list… it ended with a ‘to be continued’ at the roast on Sunday night…. and with that I will end today’s post with a ‘to be continued’ as part 3 tomorrow.

5 comments on “Fort Taylor and PIP Part 2
  1. Diosa, I be sooo happy to hear ye gave that piece to yer dad. I didn’t realize he was from Belize, but I was impressed with how sweet he was when I met him. That be so cool he smelled it and knew the wood and the trees. Huzzah. give him, yer mum, and that one eyed cat o’ theirs a hello fer me.
    Scarlett

  2. @Maria It was a blast, thanks for letting me teach you the dark ways 🙂

    Thanks @Dutch! Glad you liked the photo. It was a perfect set up shot of a couple pirates out on the water!!!

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