“Pirate Over Board!”
A couple of years ago when I attended one of several Classic Boat Festival events dressed as Jack. At the end of the day, my husband and I were invited to come aboard our Victoria based Navy vessel, a 102 ft. sailing Ketch, the HMSC ORIOLE.
After a couple of hours pirating like rock stars, my day’s work in character, make-up and full gear, made it time for me to disembark and find my way back to my own “ship”. With fatigue eminent I truly was not thinking straight, and started to descend the ship backwards with my heals digging into the ladder (unlike most normal people who use their toes). My husband claims it was the rum at work….
Suddenly, to my dismay, my knees gave way (perhaps from being on my feet all day), and I had a fair fall of 4 ft. ahead of me. In a snap decision I decided to jump ‘into’ the fall in hopes I would land on my feet,…. or at least on my hands and knees on the dock below and not flat on my face. Forgetting that the Jack attire is ‘front’ heavy, catching my balance once on solid ‘dock’ became no longer an option. As I did manage to land on my two feet, the ‘front load’ of my attached miscellaneous goods kept me struggling to stay upright inducing the “Jack stagger” causing me to aimlessly move forward towards the dock’s edge. With one last attempt to stop the inevitable, I dropped onto the dock in hopes to put the brakes on the fall. Bewildered….. I kept rolling…..”what the…!?!”…. and ‘over the dock the pirate went’… into the salt chuck.
As my performance was being applauded by those crew members and guests still on board the Oriole, my attire started to absorb the water rapidly making it feel like a dead weight. Holding on tight to the dock’s edge, in a state of panic I called for help. Only my husband, (who noticed the anxiety on my face) and another large male heard my plea and dragged, (not pulled) dragged me out of the water. Once on dry dock and totally embarrassed…. the crew and guests roared with laughter and gave me a standing ovation. Oblivious to their generosity, the Captain of the Oriole then yelled: “That was the best Jack dismount I have ever seen…. better than Jack himself!” …. followed with a ….. “I’ll party with you anytime… Captain!” Glasses were then raised by all with a, “here here!”
What they didn’t realize was that it wasn’t a stunt at all, not planned….. and as they were obviously impressed, I decided to laugh along with them all the while taking off my pirate boots allowing the water to pour between the gaps of the dock’s 2 x 4 planking . Nothing was damaged except my, uh, well, cell phone….. did I say cell phone?
As we were heading back to the “Pearl” (Black Envoy), I was peeling of my soaked layers of “Jack” attire and laying my affects in the trunk, when I was met by a security guard flashing his light from my head to my feet and back again. “Do you need a hand?” He offered. I smiled outwardly, (laughing inwardly) and told him I was just fine. A bit of a shock for him to see a bearded face with rather feminine legs wouldn’t you say?
The next day, crew members on board neighboring boats were discussing the large splash from the night before. Never figuring it was a “Pirate over board!” they all agreed it must have been a large Sea Lion….