October 25, 2013
Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree
gets underway on Ocracoke
By CONNIE LEINBACH
Horatio Sinbad cleaned his small brass signal gun to fire on the next
North Carolina ferry to dock today in Ocracoke’s Silver Lake.
love it,” he said about the ferry-goers while on his brigantine boat,
the Meka II, which was docked at the NPS docks. “The dredge
Merritt threatened to shoot back.”
It’s all part of the First
Annual Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree, a weekend event on Ocracoke that
begins today and continues through noon Sunday with a memorial service
at Springer’s Point. A schedule of events with locations and
times can be found online at www.piratejamboree.com.
began setting up their authentic encampments Thursday on the grounds of
the historic Wahab House, 161 Irvin Garrish Highway. Blackbeard’s
Pirate Crew and members of the Devilmen of Cape Feare are camped on
both sides of the road, while Sinbad and his first mate, Lt. Brown,
stay on their boat—something they’ve done for 46 years.
woodworker by trade, Sinbad built his 54-foot boat himself and launched
his life as a pirate in 1967. Like some of his compatriots,
Sinbad became enamored of the pirate’s life as a young boy.
since I saw ‘Treasure Island’ with Robert Newton as Long John Silver,”
he said about his avocation. He even had an orange-winged Amazon
parrot named Black Bart who sailed with him and Brown for 35
years. They recently laid the bird to rest with a burial at sea.
Blackbeard’s Pirate Crew of Hampton, Va., was almost all set up midday at the Wahab yard and visitors began arriving.
Adam Cyphers, one of the crew, was mending sails alongside his canvas hammock set up in the yard.
“That (hammock) is part of why I do this,” he said. “I get to sleep outside.”
and Philip Gilson, a glassblower who creates period glassware from the
1730s to the present, talked with other pirates and visitors inside
Gilson’s tent of authentic wares.
“I’m the last colonial
American glassblower in the United States,” Gilson said, noting that he
is not a pirate. He explained the history behind several of his dozens
of pieces for sale, along with authentic clothing and other items made
from leather, iron, ivory and wood.
Gilson makes his living
selling his wares at various historical re-enactment events around the
country and said he is the glassblower to the Statue of Liberty and 16
other historic sites.
The re-enactors are quick to dispel some popular myths.
“Pirates didn’t say ‘Arrgh,’” Gilson said. “That’s from the movies.”
Cyphers explained the origin of “Arggh,” which is from folks from Northern Devon in England.
“It was a sound they made clearing their throat,” he said, “and it was similar to the way Canadians say, ‘Aaay.’”
Captain Devil, aka Bill Hall, of the Devilmen of Cape Feare, further elaborated on what pirates said.
“They did say, ‘Rum!’” he noted with a laugh.
Captain Devil also corrected a reporter’s question.
“I’m not a pirate,” he said. “I’m an honest seaman.”
and historian Kevin Duffus will dispel more myths about Blackbeard
tonight at 7 p.m. in the Ocracoke Community Center during a
meet-and-greet with the pirates and the “Trial of
Beer, hors d’oeuvres and period music by the Motley Tones will be part of this kick-off event. Admission is $5.
weather looks favorable for the weekend, which is something the
organizers are thankful for after having had to cancel this event the
last two years because of hurricanes.
“The skies are blue, the
air is crisp, the pirates have arrived,” noted Daphne Bennink, who
spearheaded the event three years in the making. “Let the rumpus begin!”
festival formally kicks off tonight. Saturday’s events are from 10 a.m.
to 7:30 p.m. throughout the village, featuring Blackbeard’s Battle at
Ocracoke at 3 p.m. with three historic ships, The Florie, the Meka II
and the Ada Mae, re-enacting the battle in which Lt. Robert Maynard
slew the pirate Blackbeard.
The NC DOT Ferry Division will add extra ferry runs Saturday as needed.
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