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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Adventures with Barti Ddu...

We had been growing tired of the dock and bay fishing.  Sheep head, Flounder and Sea Bass had become boring.  I thought of turning to some Red Fish chasing but shallow water and sailboats don't mix, nor does holding on the channel markers in the chop of the cut.  So let's go bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper, Yeh!  While planning reef destinations the Name Black Bart stood out.  It was far enough that part of the people wouldn't make the trip but close enough for a day trip.

Now about Black Bart... Bartholomew Roberts (17 May 1682 – 10 February 1722),It is easy to understand the lure of piracy; in the merchant navy, Roberts' wage was less than £3 per month and he had no chance of promotion to captaincy.

A few weeks later the Royal James had to be abandoned because of worm damage. The Royal Rover headed for the Isle of Princes, now Principe. Davis hoisted the flags of a British man-of-war, and was allowed to enter the harbour. After a few days Davis invited the governor to lunch on board his ship, intending to hold him hostage for a ransom. As Davis had to send boats to collect the governor, he was invited to call at the fort for a glass of wine first. The Portuguese had by now discovered that their visitors were pirates, and on the way to the fort Davis' party was ambushed and Davis himself shot dead.
A new captain now had to be elected. Davis' crew was divided into "Lords" and "Commons", and it was the "Lords" who had the right to propose a name to the remainder of the crew. Within six weeks of his capture, Roberts was elected captain. This was an unusual move since he was openly against his even being on board the vessel, and was probably due to his navigational abilities and his demeanor, which history reflects was outspoken and opinionated. According to Johnson:
He accepted of the Honour, saying, that since he had dipp'd his Hands in Muddy Water, and must be a Pyrate, it was better being a Commander than a common Man.
His first act as captain was to lead the crew back to Príncipe to avenge the death of Captain Davis. Roberts and his crew sprang onto the island in the darkness of night, killed a large portion of the male population, and stole all items of value that they could carry away. Soon afterwards he captured a Dutch Guineaman, then two days later an English ship called the Experiment. While the ship took on water and provisions at Anamboe, a vote was taken on whether the next voyage should be to the East Indies or to Brazil. The vote was for Brazil.
The combination of bravery and success that marked this adventure cemented most of the crew's loyalty to Roberts. They concluded that he was "pistol proof" and that they had much to gain by staying with him.




Roberts and his crew crossed the Atlantic and watered and boot-topped their ship on the uninhabited island of Ferdinando. They then spent about nine weeks off the Brazilian coast, but saw no ships. They were about to leave for the West Indies when they encountered a fleet of 42 Portuguese ships in the Todos os Santos' Bay waiting for two men-of-war of 70 guns each to escort them to Lisbon. Roberts took one of the vessels, and ordered her master to point out the richest ship in the fleet. He pointed out a ship of 40 guns and a crew of 170, which Roberts and his men boarded and captured. The ship proved to contain 40,000 gold moidores and jewelry including a cross set with diamonds, designed for the King of Portugal.
The Rover now headed for Devil's Island off the coast of Guiana to spend the booty. A few weeks later they headed for the River Surinam, where they captured a sloop. When a brigantine was sighted, Roberts took forty men to pursue it in the sloop, leaving Walter Kennedy in command of the Rover. The sloop became wind-bound for eight days, and when Roberts and his men were finally able to return, they discovered that Kennedy had sailed off with the Rover and what remained of the loot.Roberts and his crew renamed their sloop the Fortune and agreed on new articles, which they swore on a Bible to uphold.
  1. Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment. He shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and shall use them at pleasure unless a scarcity may make it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted.
  2. Every man shall be called fairly in turn by the list on board of prizes, because over and above their proper share, they are allowed a shift of clothes. But if they defraud the company to the value of even one dollar in plate, jewels or money, they shall be marooned. If any man rob another he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.
  3. None shall game for money either with dice or cards.
  4. The lights and candles should be put out at eight at night, and if any of the crew desire to drink after that hour they shall sit upon the open deck without lights.
  5. Each man shall keep his piece, cutlass and pistols at all times clean and ready for action.
  6. No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man shall be found seducing any of the latter sex and carrying her to sea in disguise he shall suffer death.
  7. He that shall desert the ship or his quarters in time of battle shall be punished by death or marooning.
  8. None shall strike another on board the ship, but every man's quarrel shall be ended on shore by sword or pistol in this manner. At the word of command from the quartermaster, each man being previously placed back to back, shall turn and fire immediately. If any man do not, the quartermaster shall knock the piece out of his hand. If both miss their aim they shall take to their cutlasses, and he that draw the first blood shall be declared the victor.
  9. No man shall talk of breaking up their way of living till each has a share of 1,000. Every man who shall become a cripple or lose a limb in the service shall have 800 pieces of eight from the common stock and for lesser hurts proportionately.
  10. The captain and the quartermaster shall each receive two shares of a prize, the master gunner and boatswain, one and one half shares, all other officers one and one quarter, and private gentlemen of fortune one share each
  11. The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favor only.


In late February 1720 they were joined by the French pirate Montigny la Palisse in another sloop, the Sea King. The inhabitants of Barbados equipped two well-armed ships, the Summerset and thePhilipa, to try to put an end to the pirate menace. On 26 February they encountered the two pirate sloops. The Sea King quickly fled, and after sustaining considerable damage the Fortune broke off the engagement and was able to escape.  Roberts headed for Dominica to repair the sloop, with twenty of his crew dying of their wounds on the voyage. There were also two sloops from Martinique out searching for the pirates, and Roberts swore vengeance against the inhabitants of Barbados and Martinique. He had a new flag made with a drawing of himself standing upon 2 skulls, one labelled ABH (A Barbadian's Head) and the other AMH (A Martiniquian's Head)...  Pirated from the complete story at Wiki

Now what does this have to do with a Ship wreck in Panama City?  Not a damn thing really since the artificial reef is named after Captain Charles Bartholomew who was the Navy's Supervisor of Salvage in Panama City for many years.  It did give us a reason to look up Pirate history and learn a little.  I can't wait until we get back south and he experiences some of the pirate locations and takes a tour of the Mel Fisher museum. For now I try to make home school interesting by adding pirates and other fun things.  He can't wait until science! LOL.   But if I Remember on the 10th of February when we get to the keys we can celebrate the Blackest Day!  Margaritas and Plantains sound good.  

video
Tin Man and the insanity of the channel.  Now he is having some fun.

We had been tired... back to original story!  It turns out that the logistics of bottom fishing from a sailboat while battling dive boats for territory and the wind is a bit overwhelming.  Now if I had a disposable anchor on board and could set it and drift back over the wreck all would be acceptable.  But trying to drift fish was no fun.  I also found out the butterfly jigs are no fun for a 10 year old.  The tackle and rod are way too heavy to be fun.  So after the bitter disappointment with the reality of bottom fishing from a sailboat our attitude was a bit lacking.  We did manage to find the wrecks that we wanted but execution of the catch was not in the cards for the day.  But we understand more and can make a better attempt next time.  (find cheap disposable anchor and line).

We were here!  Guess Island Time and Vacation Time are on different Time Clocks

On the way back in we stopped at the State Park to catch up with an old friend.  (forgot it was his 12 hour fishing trip day but at least he caught his 2 snapper limit)  We took a couple of showers in the park to ease the heat of the day.  But after checking the BUG count at 4pm we were not going to stay for the sunset feeding.  Not even at anchor!  It is amazing what 3 miles can do for the amount of insects that eat you alive. 

The next afternoon we took out our revenge on the local Sheep Head population and have dinner for the next 3-4 days.

 Number one and two
Number 4  didn't take number three since I was cleaning the first two when Tin yelled "here"

So now we have fish back in the cooler and Cajun spices in the air.  His learning conservation was  having to throw back a "keeper" sea bass since we had dinner for days.  That ended his fishing day because "that is no fun" , referring to throwing them back due to an abundance of food.  It will be real hard on him once we get back south and one fish is 4 days of food.  Catch and release, and the mind set of a 10 year old. 

W


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