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Pirate Fest, June 2013 - Put-in-Bay, OH

Introduction: Tales of the Surgeon Mission 4th visit to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island in Ohio during the 2013 Pirate Fest, which was curiously subtitled 'The Bounty.' Pirate Kids Swordfighting Whether this was a reference to what the pirates reaped or to the as yet nonexistent ill-fated ship, your author couldn't say. (I say that the Bounty ship was as yet non-existant because, by my reckoning, it should be the year 1725. The surgeon was captured by the pirates of the ship Mercury in 1720 according to the Introduction to the first-ever Surgeon's Journal and we are nothing if not consistent. Well... OK, then we're nothing. But I digress.) Detailing what happened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the Festival including details of the primary, actual encampment as well as the secondary, 'Site B' encampment that would serve in the case of a failure of the primary encampment to fulfil its duties. Possibly even including some details of imaginary encampments. Also featuring tales of drinking and wandering and eating and meeting weird weekend islanders and Supergirl. Yes, Supergirl. But you must wait until we get there. So move along now.

Chapter 1st: Of what happened on Friday during the day. Including Mission arriving (latish); Insisting upon having a reason to use a silly quote in the Journal which he inadvertently makes happen almost instantly; Riding with Bryan Brubaker to Put-in-Bay on the ferry where they encountered bachelorettes, a wolverine and Supergirl (in that order) and Off to Go About Lunching.

Pirate Kids Swordfighting
Your Author
I was up quite early on Friday, leaving myself with literally hours to get to the ferry dock. I even called Michael and Jessica to make sure they were on time because I didn't want to leave too early. (See, your author was busily working on the location game in the Epilogue for the 2013 UK Surgeon's Journal and trying to make the most of his time before cramming a whole new Journal's worth of information into it.) So, naturally, after all the fussing about arriving too early, I was the last to arrive - 20 minutes later than I said I would. Yeeeeaaaaahhh.

When I pulled into the parking lot, the first thing that popped into my mind was that I wanted to be able to include the phrase "We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here" in the Journal.1 This, mark you, while I was gazing upon a parking lot full of people in golden age of piracy era garb (or partial garb) who were loading Mark Gist's boat the Green Black Sheep with their worldly belongings. So I told Kate Bagley the she had to make sure this happened.2 (Why? I don't know. It just popped into my head and I decided that it must be so. Although, in fact, my explaining it at the beginning of the paragraph means that the goal has, technically, already been achieved.3) Then I asked Kate to tie my scarf, which I am childishly incapable of doing as past Surgeon's Journals reveal.

1 Important narrative point. 2 Another important narrative point. 3 Not at all important to the on-going onslaught of narrative, but notable, nonetheless..

Loading the Black Sheep
Bryan Brubaker Looks on as the Green Black Sheep is Loaded
Kate Tying Mission's Scarf
When I Grow Up, I Want to Learn to Do This Myself

With that accomplished, I started loading my gear into the Green Black Sheep. Incidentally, I can now officiously announce that I have graduated from one box of surgical gear to two as of this event. In fact, the second box is the one I used to use about three years ago. With those and my luggage safely stowed in the boat, I was ready to go. I may arrive late, but I don't hold things up. Usually.

Rebel Fleet Trooper Blaster - Before and After
The Rebel Fleet Trooper Blaster - Before and After
Well, I was almost ready. I had also brought my official Rebel Fleet Trooper blaster so I could give it to Trish Gallatin of Shananigens In Leather to make me a holster for my Rebel Fleet Trooper costume. This requires some explanation, I suppose. (Warning! We are going right off the geek end here.) Several years ago, when I first became pals with the twins Jana and Shana, Shana (who used to edit these Journals) announced that she was going to a Star Wars thing and needed to dress up in an appropriate costume. I suggested she dress like Oola, Jabba's Twi'lek dancer, mostly because I knew she wouldn't. Then I kept bringing it up every couple months like a dog reproducing his favorite chew toy. She did not even consider this, nor did I expect her to.

Imagine my surprise when her sister Jana announced to me that she was going to dress as a Twi'lek for the Dragoncon convention this year, taking place in Atlanta in August. She explained that I should do this with her, since it was my idea for one of the twins to be a Twi'lek. (Note: This is not really true. I originally had said Shana should be Oola because I knew she wouldn't. The Twins
The Twins - Jana and Shana
Jana created her own Twi'lek character as you will soon see.) At first I refused because it seemed like one thing to reenact and quite another to portray a fantasy character. Then I realized how cool it was that this idiot idea of mine, meant as a joke so many years ago, was actually taking form. So I knew that I had to do this.

Photo: Borrowed - U3PO
Now, if I could be any character, it would be a U3PO (that's the silver C3PO who appears briefly in the very beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope for those of you who don't know your protocol droids.) Of course, I'd have to go on an all-water diet for the next three months and break my shoulders to actually fit in a protocol droid costume, so that was not a very good option.

Since I couldn't be a droid, I chose to be one of their owners - Captain Antilles. He's the first guy - a Rebel Fleet Trooper captain - who Darth Vader chokes at the beginning of SW:ANH. Thus the gun, thus the need for a holster. (Wow, that took a long time to explain. Sorry.)

So I brought it out and made concerned noises about not packing it in the boat because it was sort of fragile. I was assured that I could bring it over in a car with me. Bryan Brubaker spotted it and he came over to check my work out - it had taken quite a bit to pull it apart, file incorrect bits off, paint it and reassemble it. He admired it and we got to talking about my role which is when Kate Bagley came over and said, "Hey! We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here!"4

4 No doubt many of you saw this coming from a mile away. Your author did not.

The Captain
Our Hero, Captain Antilles
Twins in the Star Wars Weekend Outifts
The Twins in SW Garb
Shana as a Twi'lek
Jana as a Twi'lek
Kate and Mission with the Blaster
Mission, Kate and the Gun

Bryan and Roscoe
Bryan and Roscoe
Having accomplished that important bit of business and gotten the boat loaded, we proceeded to get our vehicles in line to board the ferry. (It wasn't quite as simple as all that, but the tedious details are, by definition, tedious and so we will skip them.) I decided to ride with Bryan since he was bringing his car over and could make space for me. Inside, I spotted a stuffed tiger with the name Roscoe on his jacket. (He was wearing a bomber jacket as you see here.)

Bryan picked Roscoe up on one of his first business trips. He liked him because he was dressed as a flying tiger (natch'), From that point on, Oscar became Bryan's travel companion, accompanying him on every trip he made after that.

Once the cars were loaded onto the ferry they let the pedestrians on board. Roscoe the Flying Tiger
Roscoe the Flying Tiger on a Saucer
A gaggle of bachelorette party girls planted themselves at the ship's rail outside Bryan's car and proceeded to start doling out alcohol in plastic cups. This proved to be amusing so we sat and watched rather than leave the car. (Not that the bachelorettes paid us much mind either way; they were busy drinking.) Eventually that stopped being amusing, so we got out.

The bachelorettes may not have cared much about the pirates who were climbing out of the car next to them, but the family in the van on the other side took immediate note of us. Being on Bryan's side, the little kids squealed when they saw him. The mother in the car said glowing things about his garb and offered him the eye patch of a little girl in the van. (I guess she didn't want it. Or maybe she saw us fooling around with Roscoe and thought we were just the sort of people who needed a rubber eye patch with a skull-and-bones on it.) Bryan dutifully put it on and posed. I asked him if he was really going to wear it all weekend. He replied, "Well, at least as long as they're in sight of me. It wouldn't be very polite to take it off now." Truly.

Bachelorettes on the Ferry 1
The Bachelorettes on the Ferry
Bachelorettes on the Ferry 2
Bachelorettes Toasting by Bryan's Car
Bryan Putting on Eye Patch
Bryan & Eye patch
Bryan Sporting Eye Patch
Bryan Looking Jaunty

The Couple with the Wolverine
Mission Peeking in the Box of the Couple With the Mysterious Box
There was a couple standing behind Bryan's car holding a large covered box, which was balanced on a stool or a piece of luggage or something. They had been notably quiet while edging away from the bachelorette party. This was not all that exceptional given that most of the people near the rowdy bachelorette party were pretty much doing the same thing, with the exception of some weird guys in hats who apparently thought that they might have a chance with this group of drunken twenty-something year old girls. (No, I don't mean us. I mean other weird guys in hats. You can actually see one of them in the photo above center left if you look hard enough.)

Man Throwing a Box of Marbles
Dark Sunglasses and a
Box? Suspicious...
Still, there was something alarming about the couple with the box. So I asked them what was in it. The guy looked askance at me through his Blues Brothers sunglasses. "We can't tell you."

Now, one thing you do not want to do to this author is make him curious, especially if the object of curiosity seems goofy. "Aw c'mon. Is it 10,000 marbles? Or maybe a box of rabid gerbils?" The guy and girl looked at each other. "It's a wolverine. Don't tell anyone." So that instantly became a running joke for the rest of the ferry voyage. Bryan tried to drag Hugh Jackman into the joke, but it didn't quite work. I guess it was too geeky.

Storm Coming Off Mouse Island
Photo: Sos Boss - The Storm Off Mouse Island
As you can see from the above photos, we had a pretty nice voyage over. Not all of the pirates did, however. We were the first of several waves of pirates making the crossing on the ferry to Put-in-Bay. The Sos Boss Collective, who were in a later wave, told me that they figured the skies would open on them at any moment as they watched a storm front approach Mouse Island.

I mention this only so that I can put the name Mouse Island in here. That is a great name, don't you think? I would like to live on Mouse Island just so people would have to send mail to that address. The only problem is that Mouse Island, like its mentor, is not very big. Plus it doesn't appear to have electricity. Plus the mail delivery person would probably drown trying to drive their mail truck out to it.

Girl on Skateboard Behind Golf Cart
The Only Way to Travel... if you're Supergirl
However, we had splendid weather and arrived safely in port after a fine journey. As we drove off the ferry, I spotted a girl with a bright pink skateboard, which struck me for some reason, so I snapped a photo. As the first wave of pirates were all gathering outside the ferry dock, who should go zipping by us but that same girl on that same skateboard, being towed by a golf cart! (It would have been sort of weird if it had been the same girl on a different skateboard, after all.) I looked at Bryan and grumbled about not getting a photo of this. Of course, when we passed her and the golf car a few minutes later, I was able to get one. (I don't know why I didn't think of this. She was being towed by a golf cart that had a top speed of 15 or 20 mph.)

That's when it hit why seeing her had struck me. I had seen the same thing on the cover of a Supergirl comic. She was Supergirl! Further research proved that Supergirl had actually posed as a pirate in one of her comics, although she was portraying a modern pirate, not a golden age of piracy pirate, but still. We saw Supergirl a couple of times that weekend, always being towed behind that golf cart on her skate board. I wondered why she didn't just fly, but I suppose she must have needed to be undercover for a reason. Probably to try and defeat Gorilla Grod or something. (And now we're in Hugh Jackman territory again, so I'll just stop.)

Girl with Skateboard on Ferry
Girl & Skateboard
Cover SG
Supergirl, Series 3, #1 Cover
Supergirl Overacting the Modern Pirate Part, SG Series 4, #11, p. 3

Pirates Lunching
Pirates on Their Way to Lunch
We arrived at our campsite and I immediately started whining about eating lunch. It was 1:30 after all. Besides, it is tradition for the first group to go to lunch at the Boardwalk. The first time we did this was because of the road signs boasting about their lobster bisque being the best on the island, which Michael Bagley and I had decided to check out. Since it seemed to have become a tradition, that seemed like the best idea.

So off Bryan, me, Michael and Kate Bagley and Sarah and Adam Mudd went to the Boardwalk. When we got to the restaurant, Sarah and Adam wandered off towards a hamburger kiosk on the boardwalk. The rest of us headed for the seafood counter. It is the best lobster bisque on the island, after all. (At least it is according to them.)

Michael and I got the bisque, Jessica a sandwich and Bryan got a flag. (Bryan was eating light.)

Zombie Prop
"May I Take Your Order?"
Mission With Bisque and Yeunglings
Lobster Bisque and Beer - The Lunch of Champions
Bryan with his Flag
Bryan and Flag (2 of Them)

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