Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Someone asked me if I had had any dealings

with pirates over my career and the answer is simply 'no', at least in the traditional sense of piracy.

When I was asked the question I grinned and thought of writing one of those "I put my cutlass in my teeth and swing across in the rigging" stories but why bother. Maybe some day I'll try my hand at fiction but not now.

Actually I did post one here for someone at work to read but that's another story You can go look it up sometime.

I suppose it could be argued with maybe a little success that I have been GUILTY of piracy, but I certainly am not going to post that on a public internet forum. There are only three crimes mentioned in the Constitution. They are treason, counterfeiting and piracy and I am not stupid enough to admit to any of those three.

A couple of decades ago I was a potential mutineer as several of us discussed putting the skipper in the raft with a case of cheap store brand diet cola and setting him adrift in Long Island Sound.

Cut the bastard loose! Watch the 6 O'clock news cameras roll as he washes ashore on Long Isand, a blithering wild-eyed wreck babbling incoherently about a mutinous crew out of an 1800s pirate movie. "The incarnate of Fletcher Christian himself cast me adrift!"

The interrogations of the crew would have been priceless.

As the Coast Guard was entering the area, the mate telling the deckhand to take the bandanna off of his head and telling the engineer to shave his pencil thin moustache off before the interrogation begins.

"I just went into the wheelhouse to bring the skipper up a coke and he was gone and the boat was running on autopilot!" This the deckhand.

"Jeez! I saw him a couple hours before he turned up missing and he was acting nervous as a cat! He was wild-eyed and flitting around with a terrified look in his eye. Something wasn't right!" This the engineer.

The mate: "Who? Me? I was asleep when I got woke up by the deckhand telling me the skipper was missing."

He was shorting us on our grub and that's a BIG no-no to a sailor.

When we got back to New York harbor I had a yardbird run up the street and had him pick me up a bag of limes. I served a quarter-lime every night with dinner to all hands. It took a couple of meals for the skipper to figure out what the limes were for and when he did he blew up with me. That proved to be a mistake as the crew backed me up and took over the fight. We got the skipper to loosen up the grub money purse strings after that and we started eating like normal sailors.

The only thing I recall that came after that was a couple of months later when my shoreside supervisor asked me if I really did serve limes at dinner. I innocently asked him if it looked like I had scurvy. When he said it didn't, I simply replied, "There's your answer," and shuffled off.

I did have a shipmate that was running deep sea for a while and twice he was boarded by pirates. I guess the first time they just sneaked aboard and stole a bunch of loose stuff, but the second time they ran through the ship and robbed as many crew members as they could find.

Anyway, to answer your question, the only pirates I have dealt with out here for the most part were shipmates and friends. That ain't a bad deal.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/


  1. See, your skipper was smart enough to realize that you were protesting and was reasonable enough to rectify the situation.

    I've had my hand in organizing some "under the radar" protests, and for the most part I realized that the majority of the chain of command was too stupid to figure out that we were making fun of them and their rules. Those that were smart enough to understand were too scared to try to rectify anything. It was quite dispiriting.

  2. He wasn't all that smart. It took days and several little clues from the crew before he figured it out. Thank God the guys out here are a whole lot sharper than they were 20 years ago.