Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Captain Shiney's New Hat

I had been promising Connor to take him to see the tall ships that some times visit nearby; specifically the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. We had missed out the last time they were in town. By chance I looked to see where they currently were and it turned out I had looked just in time because we were able to go see them the last week that they were close by. So early on a Sunday, we headed to the nearby marina.
Does the ship look familiar? It played the Interceptor in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

My Mum had volunteered on the Lady Washington over a decade ago. Whenever the ships were in town, we would go and invite crew members to the house for a hot shower, dinner, and laundry. Life got in the way, people we knew moved to different places, and we slowly stopped visiting. When Connor and I headed out that Sunday, I wondered if we might bump into someone I knew. Luck was on our side and as it turned out, I knew the captain. Shiney (James' nickname) had started volunteering on the Lady Washington the at the same time my Mum had. We knew he had worked up to being a captain on other ships, but it was great fun to see him be the captain on the Lady Washington.

We had signed up to be part of a battle sail. On a battle sail, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain go out and under sail power maneuver around and shoot off cannons (with blanks) at each other. The captains on each ship keep track to see who wiped the floor with who. (We totally won.)
Our gunner firing one of the swivel guns

There are different kinds of shots that can be taken. You can broadside a ship when it is alongside you. You can shoot through the whole ship when it is pointed directly at or away from you. Shiney's favorite, however, is to aim for the stern because that's where the other captain and his officers would have been.
The Hawaiian Chieftain had moved all of its cannons onto one side so it could get four shots in

While we took our time to line up shots and the strategy was discussed, if it were a true battle, the shots wouldn't have been lined up. The goal would have been to damage the other ship as much as possible as fast as possible.
Shiney is catching the other ship's cannonballs with his hat

While we were catching up, I learned that the hat I made Shiney years ago that had "Shiney" knitted into it had been lost to time. As a knitter, I had to ask, "Do you need a new one?" The giant smile on his face was all the answer I needed. I knit like the wind and on a different weekend, we drove to a port that was further away from us to deliver the hat. It was a big hit.
Shiney is much taller than me. He was obliging and leaned down so I wouldn't be so dwarfed.

If anyone is interested in visiting either tall ship, there is a schedule at . The ships sail up and down the west coast of the US regularly. Also, when we dropped off the hat, they were taking a wedding party out for a pirate-themed wedding on the bay. I didn't know that was possible, but it sounds like a lot of fun.


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