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Pirate News
Tampa Bay History Center New Treasure Seekers Exhibit

In October I took a OLLI-USF course called: "The Making of a Museum Exhibit: Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates n' Shipwrecks". At the Tampa Bay History Center, the class got a behind the scenes glimpse into the creation, construction and promotion of the museums newest $11 million expansion schedule to open in mid-Feburary 2018.

The center's leadership walk us through the basics of exhibit design, artifact acquisition, display and hosted a private tour of the new gallery in the middle of construction of the 8500 foot expansion will feature Conquistadors, Pirates and Shipwrecks as well as the new Touchton Map Library..  

It will be a wonderful place fer those interested in pirates, sea navigation and local history. It will feature a 17th century bronze ship's bell, a 17th century bronze astrolabe, and a 18th century 6 pounder cannon recovered from a Barbary coast pirate ship shipwrecked in the Mediterranean.  The pirate sloop is being built by the team from Creative Arts, who we worked with on their History Channel Museum Men TV series two year back.

Gasparilla Dressing Guild

Two way to dress for Gasparilla. Street Pirate or Pirate Lite vs Authentic Real Pirate. If ye be out in the crowd and be limited in funds, go for the Street Pirate look of a hot pirate t-shirt with a red sash n’ bandana fer guys or a Molly Roger tanktop and hip scarf. This be great way to show yar pirate spirit while being comfortable.

 

If ye be part of a krewe or want to impress, then go with the authentic real pirate looks. It consist of three basic parts: long waistcoat with a pirate shirt n’ knee breeches. Pirate coat be option as they are hot and expensive. Add accessories is what make the outfit look real. Start with matching sash, bandana, socks, then a go to the leather stuff such as belt, pouch, boots and baldric. A hat and jewelry will finish off the outfit.

 

The women’s outfit also consist of three basic parts: blouse, skirt and corset. The corset be the most important, so start their first. You have two ways to go with the bottoms. One be proper or formal looks consist of a long petticoat with a overskirt draped up. The second way be modern look consist of one short skirt. The difference between a lady pirate and a common wench outfit wise, be that a lady pirate wears a pirate hat and weapons.

 

Guild to weapons at Gasparilla be only plastic toy weapons if ye be on the street in the crowd. If ye be part of a Gasparilla krewe or on a boat or private property you can wear metal weapons, but can not pull them out.

Tiger visits the Dry Tortuga's

Pirate Fashions be vending at Jimmy Buffet's Parrothead national conversion, called Meeting of the Mind. I decided to visit the Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park. This small pit of an island be located 67 miles west of Key West n take a high speed ferry 2 hours to get to.  It be discovered by Ponce de Leon in 1513 and named Tortuga due to the many turtles that inhabited the key.  Dry was later added to the name to inform sailors of it's lack of drinkable water.

After the British sailed up to Washington, DC and burned it in the War of 1812, the US came up with the plan to build a number of forts to protect our nation, since it could not afford to build a large navy. The fort is the largest brick structure built in the US, which consist of 16 million bricks.  It was designed to hold 420 heavy guns including the 15 inch Rodman smoothbore cannon that weighted 25 tons each.  At its height in the 1860, 2000 people lived on this small key.  The construction of the fort began in 1846 and continued for 30 years, but was never finished.

This be an amazing place to visit, even if it never had any pirate history to it, as it was made over century after the Golden Age, but I am sure pirate probably made a quick stop fer some turtle soup, arrrgh!

In Raise n Fall of the Big Bear Pirate Ship

In 1968 a father n' son build a pirate ship in their back yard in San Diego. This be a 1/3 replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon or 43 foot sailing ship.  In 1980 the ship be purchased by Homemade Films fer the Terry Gilliam's movie "Time Bandits".  After a stint as at our boat in Newport Beach, it was brough to Big Bear Lake in 1998.  It be a popular tourist attraction, which take a 90 minute cruise around the lake.  It be the highlight of the Big Bear Pirate Festival, which I used to vend at in my early days.   On Feb 29 , 2014 it sunk during a severe storm.  After spending two weeks underwater, they resurrected the ship n' she sails once more.

Free Shipping Offer Ends Nov 15

We tried to follow the pack of what Amazon n' most other commerce websites be doing, but the Free Shipping offer only lost us all arrrr profit n' didn't increase arrr sales.  Arrrrgh! before the ship sinks n' we go undertone water, we be cancelling the experiment.

We make many of the products arrr selves here in the New World, so arrrrr profit margins not be as high as most other e-commerce websites.  Most other company don't make anything, they just buy the cheapest stuff they can find from overseas.  I hope that you will continue to support Pirate Fashions. We arrrrr working on a new benefit that be coming out at the end of the year.

New Wool Pirate Hat

We be switching from getting our wool hat blanks from a distributor to directly from the USA oldest and largest hat factory.  

These hat blanks have a shorter crown and larger brim.  The wool is thicker, stiffer n' more consistent.  The edges are smooth and even, instead of ragged.  

The only draw back is we be losing arrrr larger 7 7/8 size hat.  The wool blanks is the base of arrrr custom hat.  We still sew the hat lace and edging, steam, shape, cock, n' feather the hat right here in our Tampa retail store. From this hat blank we make the 8 different custom hat style from:  Able Seamen, Landsmen, Bosum, Its Mate, Captains, Gunner as well as the Swashbuckler n Crow's Nest.

Why Black Sails be the best Pirate Entertainment ever!

I loved the Black Sails TV series done by Starz, it just finished its fourth n’ final season. My life revolves around piracy.  I think about it, work it, n’ live it full time.  I try to visit pirate landmarks, pirate events n’ see what people make fer the pirate industry. Below be the reasons why me thinks it be the Best Pirate TV or Movie every made, arrrgh!

Time: Longer be Better, More Time to Enjoy Maties! Black Sails be the longest running pirate TV series with 38 Episodes of 49-65 minutes each, fer about 38 hours total. The 1958 Adventures of Long John Silver only be 26 episodes of 30 minutes apiece. The 1986 Return of Treasure Island only be 10 episodes of about 12 hours total time. The five Pirates of the Caribbean movies series be a mere combined total of 12 hours run time.

Realistic: Who Said Pirates Be fer Kids? Most pirate programs cast the pirate as a good guy, but history has shown time n’ time again that pirates be self servin’ criminals. Up till now, most pirate programs be made up, n’ followed pirate mythology o’er history. Pirates in media come with made up or embellished tropes, like parrots, eye patches, hooks, buried treasure, walking the plank, crew blindly following the all-powerful captain.

Points of Interests: Walking the plank be a myth made up by Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island. Hollywood decided to popularize the plank o’er keelhauling (dragging someone along the bottom o’ the ship.)  I believe that Black Sails be the first program to realistically portray of keelhauling, when Woodes Rogers killed Black Beard.

Pirates wrote up a Code that stated the rules fer discipline, division of stolen goods, compensation fer injury, as well as voting fer a captain. The only time a captain is truly in charge is when the crew had voted to fight or plunder. There be a lot of politics involved n’ not all of it could be solved at the point o’ a sword. Black Sails did a grand job of illustrating many of these points.

African Slavery n’ the Maroon Rebels: Sometimes pirates treated black slaves as just cargo to be sold. Other times they could be invited on as regular crew member with a right to vote n’ earn shares o’ plunder. Black Sails showcased both scenarios, but not the third option of working them on the ship as slaves with no vote or a share. It were common that some pirate crews did use both press-ganged sailors n’ slaves; so the regular crew would do less work n’ gain more plunder. It was a dangerous practice howe’er, if ye got too many disgruntled workers they would often mutiny.

Black Sails did address the topic of maroons, who were escaped slaves from the Caribbean Islands. They banded together to create hidden communities, which threatened the British Government’s control o’er important regions in the West Indies. Jamaica itself experienced multiple Maroon uprisings in the 18th Century. The first Maroon War began in 1731, with the ending around 10 years later with the British government recognizing their freedom n’ some territory in Jamaica as long as they would support the British against foreign invasion.

Sexuality n’ Prostitution: Most other programs show nude women as 2 dimensional show pieces, while Black Sails give their prostitutes more character n’ real plots in the story line. They also give screen time to both women n’ men nudity, as well as addressing gay, lesbian n’ bisexual roles from minor to major characters.

Business End of Piracy: The purser counted up the plunder to calculate the shares after expenses, instead of the more common dividing of plunder piece by piece on the deck. They also show the selling of plunder to a merchant at a pirate friendly port that would ship it off to sell at a pirate unfriendly port for more profit.  Without these kinds of intricate business relationships, piracy could not survive.

The Action: Black Sails showed more variety than the standard swing across on rope boarding action which end with the two captains having an empty deck to fence on fer 10 minutes. They showed surrendering without a fight scene as well as showing barricading down in the ship hull stand offs. Black Sails shows more than just cutlasses n’ pistols. They used muskets, blunderbuss, cavalry lances, hammers, daggers n’ boarding axes as well. I would just add more Boarding pikes.

Even though Black Sails gets a whole bunch of things right, they still get a number of things wrong.

Costumes be much better than the 1950 pirate movies, but they still mix clothing from 1650 with 1775 with 1815. The program is set in 1715, so almost none of it be correct. I know this happened because movie prop houses have a lot of stuff left over from doing Revolutionary and Napoleonic war films. They changed thar garb to be more distressed and dirty to fool the audience to believe that it is historically accurate. Fashion aged just as quickly in the 18th Century as it does today. Wearing an outfit from the 1600s in 1715 would still be like wearing 1980’s clothes today in terms of fashion!

The size of the ship that pirates normally used be smaller single masted sloops which were fast. They might be 85 feet long with eight cannon and a crew of 120.  Many of the ships featured, be three masted, First or Second Rate Man o’ War ships with two or three decks of guns. They be around 200 feet long n’ be needing a crew of 750. Those types o’ ships be so slow they wouldn’t be able to capture any prizes.  Pirates went after lightly armed or unarmed merchant ships.

Conclusion: I don’t think Black Sails got the exposure that it should’ve, as I believe it to be a far better program than Game of Thrones. This be partly due to the fact that HBO network has more pull than Starz network. Overall I was impressed with the flow of the story, the character arcs of characters like John Silver going from nobody to pirate hero and Charles Vane from villain to leader of a rebellion. Black Sails is the first media program to portray pirates in a realistic n’ adult manner. I hope that it not be the last of such a portrayal. Until then, I’ll have some more rum n’ watch 4 seasons of Black Sails on my Blue Ray collection.

 

Black Sail Costume Exhibit
I like the Black Sails series so much, I bought some outfit at auction n' put up a small exhibit in the front of my store.  If you would like to see clothing n' props used in the actual TV series, drop by the shop during regular operating hours n' have a look.  We items from yar favorite characters such as Capt Flint, Billy Bones n' Eleanor Guthries.
How to Talk Like a Pirate Videos

Ahoy Matie,

Many folks dress like a pirate, but many have not learned the fine art of talking like one, so Tiger Lee, Dead Red n Rusty Reg have created a series of two videos that be coverin' the subject in a quick n' humorous way.  Let me know what ye be thinking?

This part 1 How to Talk Like a Pirate, we covers greeting n replies, pirate verbiage, word replacement, n' colorful expressions.

In part 2 we cover coming up with a pirate name, how to sound more like a salty dog, posing like a buccaneer, curing like a rogue, giving directions, period garb, scurvy dog drinking cheers, n' grammar.

First Annual Gasparilla Bead Sale Weekend

Special Gasparilla Krewe SALE, Aug 18 to 20. 

Normally we don't have sales at Pirate Fashions, but fer this weekend only, things be different. The more beads ye buy, the bigger the discount!  Ye can buy just fer yarself or yar entire krewe can combine the order (must be done all together under one payment). Speciality bead cases count as 2 cases for the discount.

5 Cases = 5% Discount
10 Cases = 7.5% Discount
25 Cases = 10% Discount
50 Cases = 12.5% Discount
100 or more Cases = 15% Discount

Get a FREE Pirate Fashion Bead Bag ($15 value) with every 5 boxes of beads purchased.  These are deluxe 100% cotton canvas bags with extra long handle you can loop over yar shoulder fer easier carrying (not the cheap poly bags that everybody else sells. Arrr customers who order beads will also earn a Spin on the Wheel of Plunder to win Freebies such Bead Bags, PF Coin Bead, Light Up Bead, Etc.  

Ye can get a Standard Case of 60 Dozen Round Throw Beads fer as low as $45.90, instead of the regular price of $54. The discount applies to all our throw n' many of our speciality beads. The accord be ye pay now n pick up yar bead order In-Store during the month of Dec. 

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