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Santa Maria Pirate Weekend, September 2010 - Columbus, OH

(Photo: Trish & Shannon's Collection)
The Goat's Foot Elevator. Yep. Tooooo
exciting. It's used to pry up teeth that get
stuck during extraction. Just imagine.
Introduction: The fourth* or fifth** Journal of the Surgeon Mission aboard the Santa Maria which lies in the Scioto River in Columbus, OH. He still claims to have been taken by the Pirates of the ship Mercury. As many of you know, he regularly claims this and, quite frankly, the editors who have to read this stuff three times before it is published are thinking this story is growing a little thin. In fact, we're starting to suspect he actually prefers to be with the pirates of the ship Mercury because he can tell them things like, "Well, on the ship named Mercury, you have to take regular doses of Mercury because that's the ship's name." Uh huh. It sounds like a plan to kill the pirates and take over the ship. We expect that if that happens, he'll basically wind up like Stede Bonnet being some other pirate's 'guest.' Anyhow,.. he does stuff like last time on the Santa Maria, only this time with business cards (Bonnet, anyone?) He gives a LOT of tours; meets interesting new pirates; wounds himself in battle and...well, just read it.

*Not counting the Santa Maria Surgeon's Journal, May 2009: The Missing Journal.
*Counting the Santa Maria Surgeon's Journal, May 2009: The Missing Journal.

Chapter 1st. Giving the details of what happened on Friday night when the Surgeon arrived aboard the Santa Maria with his companion Shay of the Keys; an evening sword fight; a fascinating new account of something Jay does and the blue fairy tower - along with other stuff that might fit here.

(Photo: Mission's Collection)
For once I am going to listen to my editors and critics and not bore you with details of the trip to Columbus. This is not in deference to their opinions or anything; it's just because it was basically just a nice drive down with Shay of the Keys, punctuated by visits to local temporary stores set up for Hallowe'en. (Report on that: disgusting undead baby props are "in" this year. How odd.) We arrived on the ship in the evening to find a handful of folks gathered on the main deck aft (the back for you lubbers). Before joining them, I took the photo at right called "Still life with Sandals and River Fire". If I set the brightness of the photo really, really high, the lights get all blurry and it sort of looks like Starry Night (below left) as painted by Vincent van Gopher. The river fire and stolen photo of Starry Night were in honor of the Art Fair going on across the river. (More on that later.)

Poster (Photo: Every Poster Shop in the World) Vince (Photo: Deputy Dawg)

People on the main deck of the Santa Maria Friday night
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
So Shay and I toddled into the aft of the ship where everyone was sitting around, working on projects, drinking rum and having a very mellow evening overall. Shay decided to sit with Jennie Gist and Kate Bagley (left and below left) and fill them in on her trip up here from Key Largo. Of course, that wasn't nearly enough for Shay, who must be helpful if at all possible, so she helped Kate to sew a shirt that was for Iron Jon. (Shay did one side and Kate did the other. She told me something about them doing different stitches, but she may as well have been speaking Latin.) This, as regular readers may recall, was the shirt which Kate agreed to make for Jon for the same price I paid during our bidding war for a Bagley original shirt at the Pirates in Paradise Auction last year. I don't know if Jon ever discovered that the two sides were stitched differently, but now that I've written this, he may have an inkling.

Shay and Kate (Photo: Mission's Collection) Jay working on his sailor bag 1 (Photo: Mission's Collection)

While all that sewing was going on (something that may interest some of you but definitely not your author), the rest of us were just chatting amiably as can be seen above right . Michael Bagley went so far as to stretch out in his hand-made hammock. Well, most of us were chatting amiably. Jay Babcock was defying our casualness by working on his sailor bag. This clearly lends itself to another in our series of fascinating photo exposés on things Jay does, so let's proceed with that forthwith.

Jay working on his sailor bag 2 (Photo: Mission's Collection) Jay working on his sailor bag 3 (Photo: Mission's Collection)

Jay working on his sailor bag while Georgia watches
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
Jay was busily working. I asked him what he was doing and he said something like, "Working on my bag." I think. So I'm going to guess that he made the bag for his kit and was just doing some last minute repairs or something. It was most engrossing to watch. OK, it wasn't, but I took a whole lot of photos and you have to see at least some of them. Take the action sequence above where Jay moves his hand so fast that it's a blur at right. Even Georgia (the other person in the photo at right) was stunned by the mere thought of watching Jay's handiwork. Eventually Jay noticed me photographing him and did a half fan-hand (below left). Then he continued his work. Eventually he either finished or just gave up and took a nap instead.

Jay smiles and waves (Photo: Mission's Collection) Jay resting (Photo: Mission's Collection)

Georgia working on something on the Santa Maria
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
Georgia dancing by the lake with a wine bottle
(Photo: Georgia's Collection)
Wow! Good stuff, huh? Speaking of Georgia, with all the excitement of watching Jay working on his bag, she was stirred into action and decided to do some practice sword fighting instruction with her boyfriend Thomas Alleman. That's the key to many relationships: fighting. So they went out onto the relative dark of the deck of the Santa Maria and practiced some moves as you see below. You may be wondering if this was the best place and/or time to be practicing fighting with sharp, bladed weapons. So was I, but we weren't doing it now, were we?

Georgia is something of a free spirit, if seeming (at least to your author from his experience of her) to be a bit on the quiet side. This is despite all photos seen at right. (So THAT'S where all the rum's gone.) She is an artist, who has a ken for mermaids as subjects, as you'll discover when you visit her website Lirelyn Arts. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan which I take it where she and Thomas met.

Georgia and Thomas night sword-fighting 1 (Photo: Mission's Collection) Georgia and Thomas night sword-fighting 2 (Photo: Mission's Collection) Georgia and Thomas night sword-fighting 3 (Photo: Mission's Collection) Georgia and Thomas night sword-fighting 4 (Photo: Mission)

(Photo: Mission's Collection)
Back in the aft of the main deck we were still sitting around drinking and chatting. Refreshed from his nap, Jay was in a talkative mood. He had been thinking about life and was considering what the future might bring. (The more rum you drink, the more interesting these conversations become.) I learned the he used to be on a pit crew for NASCAR at one point in his life. All this talk of the future and moving ahead made him think of a time when his crew opened the hood of a car to be greeted by a burst of flame. He said the firemen leapt over the wall using CO2 fire extinguishers which knocked him out cold. A car racing into the pit almost hit him according to his crew. Very sobering. I suggested he have some rum.

Sometime after the sword fighting practice, George appeared out of the darkness (below left). George is a mainstay of the Columbus Pirate Surgeon's Journals and we would be remiss if we didn't indicate his arrival. George works on the ship giving tours for those of you new to this, although there are no night tours so I asked him why he had came down. As it turns out, he was down there on his off hours to see what the pirates were up to. (If you had any doubts about how cool Pirate Weekends are on the Santa Maria, you can look to George for proof.) For some reason, he and Michael decided to take the HMS Scow out that night. (Below right.) Seeing their odd paddling styles, you are no doubt wondering about the strokes they are using. (Or not. Just go with it.) Fortunately, all is explained in the article "A Cracked Guide to Fishing" from the November, 1977 edition of Cracked Magazine: Michael's doing the bam stroke and George is doing the sweep stroke. To learn what this all means, move your pointer over the photo of the two of them and all will be revealed (literally).

George by the Santa Maria admission sign (Photo: Mission's Collection) Strokes (Photo: The Bagley's Collection)

Mission smiling
(Photo: Mission's Collection)
Eventually the night began to wear and, worse, the rum began to run low. Kate and Shay finished sewing each half of Iron John's shirt so that it would be ready for him on Saturday, Thomas and Georgia turned in and George...well, I don't exactly know what became of George. He probably went home. He's a fan of the pirate weekends, but not so much so that he wants to sleep on the ship or anything. Shay and I bid our farewells to the assembled faithful and wandered off in the direction of the Hyatt. (We had each gotten a room there.) On the way, she spotted this large building on the corner of some street and another street that was all lit up in bluish-green tones. So she named it "The Blue Fairy Tower." (No, I don't know what that means either. She comes up with all sorts of curious pet names for things.) We stopped in my room and had some ice water. She explained that she always gets ice for her room, so I got some too. Then I started whining about forgetting my fan, so she called down to the front desk and had them deliver one up! That never would have even occurred to me. (Ya' gotta' love the Hyatt.)

The blue lit top of a building (Photo: Mission's Collection)
Do not take photos at night with the flash off.
A fan on the bedside table (Photo: Mission's Collection)
Mission the Surgeon has many fans - most of 'em like this.

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