Meow Like a Pirate Day
When Periwinkle comes tumbling from the teleportation tunnel with the usual whoosh, Stinky greets her with a huge paw hug and an, “Ahoy, matey.” Periwinkle begins to giggle and clap her paws together.
“Oh, Stinky, I was hoping we’d be celebrating Meow Like a Pirate Day. It is such a fun holiday.”
“How could we miss it? Do you think all our readers know that is how you and I got our names?”
“Some may not. You should tell them.”
“Yes, of course,” replies Stinky. “Well, our names were actually our alteregos’, Noelle and Sawyer’s, pirate names. I could not find the reference to Periwinkle, but Sawyer’s pirate name was Captain Stinky One-Eyed Biggs.”
Periwinkle giggles. “That really is a silly name, Stinky. I like that I have a pretty name.”
“You should. It matches your beauty and sweet personality.”
Periwinkle blushes and gives Stinky another big paw hug and a whisker kiss. She then asks him what he has planned for today.
Stinky tells her that they are going to West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, to learn about the only authenticated and positively identified pirate ship, the Whydah Gally, which sank off the coast of Wellfleet, MA, on April 26, 1717.
“Wow, Stinky, that sounds really cool. Let’s get going,” says Periwinkle, as she takes his paw and leads him into the teleportation tunnel.”
When they arrive at their destination, the Whydah Pirate Museum, Periwinkle squeals with delight when she sees two of the pirates outside the museum. “Stinky, they look so real. Let’s get our photo with them.”
When they enter the museum, Periwinkle begins looking around for the actual ship. When Stinky sees her quizzical expression, he tells Periwinkle that the ship is still at the bottom of the ocean where it was discovered 30-feet below the surface in 1984 by the shipwreck salvager and underwater archaeological adventurer, Barry Clifford. It is currently buried under 10 to 50 feet of sand, in depths ranging from 16 to 30 feet deep. It’s spread for four miles, parallel to Cape Cod’s easternmost coast.
“Well, phooey. I thought we were going to get to see and board the ship, Stinky.”
“I’m sorry Periwinkle, we will get to see a model and then a replica of the ship, which we can board.”
“I guess that’s okay. Let’s go see that model, while you tell me about it.”
“The Whydah Gally was built in 1715 as a slave ship. It was on its maiden voyage when it was hijacked by the pirate, Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy, shortly after leaving Jamaica where it had traded and sold 500 slaves from Africa, gold, ivory and jewelry. The ship was carrying precious metals, sugar, indigo, rum, logwood, pimento, ginger and medicinal ingredients back to England when Bellamy hijacked it. Bellamy and his crew used the Whydah to pirate additional ships. The Whydah had the treasure of 53 other ships on board when it sunk.”
Bellamy is best known as the wealthiest pirate in recorded history, and one of the faces of the Golden Age of Piracy.
Sinking of the Whydah
“How did it sink, Stinky?” Periwinkle asks.
“The 100-foot, 300-ton, 28-gun Whydah encountered a Nor’easter with 70 mile per hour winds causing ocean swells of up to 30 feet. Though, the captain and crew were within sight of land, they were unable to navigate in the storm and slammed into a sandbar stern first. The ship broke apart and all but two of the 145 men and one child aboard died. The two survivors were Welsh carpenter, Thomas Davis, and the ship’s pilot, 16-year-old Miskito Indian, John Julian. Julian was sold as a slave to John Quincey, the great-grandfather of president John Quincy Adams after the ship sunk.”
“Even though they were pirates, Stinky, that’s still pretty sad that only two people lived,” exclaims Periwinkle.
“The ship was carrying four and a half tons of stolen treasure. According to cartographer and commander of the Bay Colony’s naval militia, Cyprian Southack, at least 200 men plundered the ship of its bounty, including 180 bags of gold and silver.”
“Holy cow, Stinky, that’s a lot of money. Can we check out some of the artifacts here at the museum?”
“Sure, let’s check out some of the loot found aboard by Clifford.”
Items from the Whydah
“Stinky, think of all the stinky goodness and treats and toys we could buy with that money,” exclaims Periwinkle.
“I’m surprised I didn’t think of that Periwinkle.”
“Hey, Stinky, let’s check out that anchor.”
“I did not intend for you to climb on it, Stinky. Please get down,” Periwinkle requests. Stinky grudgingly obliges, and the tabbies move to the next exhibit.
They check out the bell from the ship, discovered by Clifford in 1985. It is inscribed, “The Whydah Galley 1716.”
“Periwinkle, let’s check out some of the cannons and the ship’s replica.”
“Are you going to climb on the cannons Stinky?” Periwinkle asks.
Stinky giggles and replies, “Probably.” Periwinkle rolls her eyes.
“Stinky, you can be such a troublemaker. One of these days you are going to get us kicked out of wherever we are visiting.”
“Maybe so, but until I do, I am going to keep having fun,” Stinky replies.
Once again, Periwinkle rolls her eyes. Then she grabs Stinky’s paw and pulls him down. They spend some time exploring The Whydah’s replica.
When they exit The Whydah replica, Periwinkle spies a large and very strange looking object. She asks Stinky if he knows what it is? Having no idea, Stinky takes Periwinkle’s paw and leads her to the object.
“Periwinkle, the sign says, that this is part of a 3,500 pound concretion. Items encased in this mass of hardened sand and stone include human remains, plus what appear to be a pistol, cuff links, a belt and additional personal items. Taken from the wreck site several years ago, everything inside was protected over the centuries until conservationists started removing the material, and that is when they discovered the bones.”
“That’s cool and creepy at the same time,” says Periwinkle. She adds, “I don’t know about you, Stinky, but my paws are getting pretty tired, and my tummy is growling.”
“Aargh, Periwinkle, I think we should head back to my house and plunder ourselves some grub and grog!”
“Stinky, you are so silly, but I totally agree.”
After a quick trip in the teleportation tunnel, the tabbies arrive at Stinky’s House. Stinky’s mom fixes them a snack, and they retire to the catio to enjoy the nice weather and visit with Stinky’s fursibs. Periwinkle tells them all how sorry she is about Misty May getting her angel wings. They all thank her for her consideration.
After their snack, it’s time for Periwinkle to return home. Before she leaves, Stinky tells her that they have shared just a small amount about The Whydah Gally and Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy. He explains that a Google search of either The Whydah or Bellamy will bring up oodles of websites with additional information that their readers might find interesting.
Finally, it is time for Periwinkle to return home. She tells Stinky how much she enjoyed this unique Meow Like a Pirate Day adventure. She and Stinky share lots of whisker kisses and paw hugs. Then Periwinkle enters the tunnel, and with the usual wave, blown kiss and whoosh, she is gone. Stinky retires to the bedroom to nap and dream of his love, Periwinkle.
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