A pandemic pirate tale

by Lisa Suhay 4 months ago in cosplay

Crews volunteer to cheer up those in isolation

A pandemic pirate tale
The Black Raven, St. Augustine, Florida

Yo ho ho and a bottle of hand sanitizer! Settle in me hardies for the tale of the Black Raven’s piratical pandemic adventures on land. Let's see what happens when the Queen Anne’s Revenge and the Black Raven are in Davey Jones' Lockdown.

While many will emerge from this pandemic experience blinking at the light and uttering the immortal words, “Why is the rum always gone?” (ala The Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow), these pirates can be proud of the smiles they put on the faces of those in isolation.

The crews of both The Black Raven and The Queen Anne's Revenge definitely embraced the Sparrow mood of, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

From Left: Pirates Tim McFinn, Bella Sangria and Walker Plankton

For months the pirates have put their backs into lifting the spirits of those celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries and graduations in captivity at no charge.

No charge?

Shhhh! Don't tell the Pirate Brethren they treated the Code more like guidelines.

Lady Red McGill serenades landlubbers.

The crew serenaded those in lock-down, appearing on lawns, in driveways and bneath the windows of those in isolation to sing sea shanties and tell pirate jokes.

Such as...

Pirate 1: How much does it cost for a pirate to get his ears pierced?

Pirate 2: A buccaneer.

And also...

Pirate 1: Why couldn’t the pirate crew play cards?

Pirate 2: Beats me.

Pirate 1: Because the captain was standing on the deck!

Har harrrrr!

Yup, they passed on sitting around and getting squiffy to spread joy, mischief and toilet paper.

Singing sea shanties beneath the windows of those in quarantine.

‘Twas the noblest act for pirates indeed that for months Lady Red McGill (Aimee Parker-Weed), Bella Sangria (Elizabeth Myers), Tim McFinn (Tim Lamb), ‘Ole Cracker (Sean Landenberger) and Walker Plankton (Richard Azzarello) have gone out at no charge to provide locked-down landlubbers a welcome break from the monotony.

“For the past two months they’ve been going to people’s houses and singing & sword fighting at graduations and birthdays for free,” said Grace St. Clare, of the Black Raven crew.

“They’ve been handing out treasure. They put their swords into a treasure bag and come out with the greatest treasure, what’s most sought-after during the COVID-19 situation - toilet paper!”

The "T" in this TP stands for "pirate."

Booty for the booty indeed!

On Thursday, May 21, the ships will break free of their pestilential quarantine bonds to bring fun and frolic back to St. Augustine, Florida with a whole new show and a carefully crafted social distancing plan to keep everyone safe from COVID-19. Masks are welcome, but not required.

"There will be a lot more sea battle, with more explosions, smoke bombs and our two crews doing a lot more sword fighting," says said Grace St. Clare, of the Black Raven crew.

Navigating the waters of the reopening and keeping families safe has been keeping Blackbeard (Mike Tulinski) busy scripting a whole new social distancing-friendly show, “Gonna be a lot more cannon fire. A lot more sword fighting."

Mike Tulinski as Blackbeard

"The bad guys are gonna get badder," he adds in character. "Aye! That we be. That be the theory anyway. The Queen Anne’s Revenge’s gonna be out a whole lot more.”

Tulinski, a mechanic who also owns Michshaleen Auto & Marine Repair, actually built the Queen Anne’s Revenge in his front yard.

Pirate Grace St. Clare

In this new show there's less interaction among the passengers and much more sword fighting and battles between the pirates. Now it’s gonna be more battling for them to watch.

Bella Sangria & ‘Ole Cracker (Sean Landenberger)make ready for battle.

After months of playing by the rules, it’s not surprising to learn what Tulinski misses most about being Blackbeard, “Being a bad guy a-course! I miss the kids," he crowed. "It’s fun to be the scary guy.”

St. Clare adds that the ships themselves are feeling quite peevish and are “frisky” for battle.

“We threw the ships into Davey Jones’ Locker for two months,” she explains in a pirate-worthy brogue. “The ships are angry. If you see the water boiling it’s them. When they come back that’s what the big disturbance on the water is. They’re coming back up and they’re angry.”

Although, she confides, "'Tis a well-known fact in pirate circles that the Queen Anne’s Revenge is always mad at the Black Raven."

'Tis only fittin' that ye should be left laughing at one last pirate joke.

Q: What happened when Bluebeard fell overboard in the Red Sea?

A: He got marooned.

Arrrgh! They be terribly funny.

Lisa Suhay
Lisa Suhay
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Lisa Suhay

Journalist, Op-Ed and children’s book author who has written for the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, NPR and The Virginian-Pilot. TEDx presenter on chess. YouTube Storytime Video playlist

See all posts by Lisa Suhay