Arrr! Pirates at Tall Ships Festival #TalkLikeAPirateDay #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travels

Ahoy, mateys! It’s #TalkLikeAPirateDay, a yearly event held every September 19. But my niece Patty Mac and I celebrated a little early this year by attending the annual Tall Ships Festival a week ago Saturday.

The festival is sponsored by the Ocean Institute at Dana Point Harbor. Ordinarily there are only two ships at dock, the Spirit of Dana Point and the Pilgrim, a replica of the 19th c. hide brig Richard Henry Dana immortalized in his memoir, Two Years Before the Mast. The brig sailed from New England around Cape Horn to what was later named Dana Point Harbor to pick up cowhides from the California ranchos. The vaqueros would slaughter the cows on the cliffs and throw the hides over the side where the sailors gathered the uncured hides to transport back to New England factories. The hides were used to make leather goods.

the brig Pilgrim

For the festival, four other ships joined in the fun. Click to learn more about the participating ships.
tall ships

At mid-day, a group of Royal Navy re-enactors joined up with the pirate re-enactors to recreate the capture of Edward Teach, aka Blackbird. It was fun to watch and gathered quite a crowd. The festival is good, clean, family fun, and we saw a lot of excited little pirates and mermaids in the crowd.

Pirates attacking

For more information on pirate history, check out a couple of previous Talk Like a Pirate Day posts:

Ahoy, Matey: Pirate Rules #Research

Ahoy! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

And if you’re interested in fictional pirates, check out my steamy pirate 12,000 word short story.

Marooned coverMarooned
by Lyndi Lamont

Heather MacGibbon is traveling from England to her home in Jamaica with her new husband, Roger Parnell, a man she detests. When their ship is attacked by pirates, Roger is killed. Heather, disguised as a boy, joins the pirate crew.

Pirate captain Adam Langworth suspects there is something odd about the new lad. When he discovers she is a woman, she begs him to keep her secret, a violation of the ships’ articles. When her identity is discovered, Adam and Heather find themselves marooned on a deserted island with nothing to do for the rest of their lives but make love.

Available for 99 cents from from Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Nook, and Smashwords.

Wishing you “Fair Winds and Following Seas”.




Prague’s New Town & Hidden Places #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travels

Tuesday Travels is back with a post about Prague’s New Town and some interesting places we visited. I didn’t mean to put Tuesday Travels on hiatus for six weeks, but July was an exceptionally busy month, what with the #AuthorLove event, and I can only manage so many blogs per week!

Rebecca and I signed up for a walking tour of Prague’s hidden places. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we weren’t disappointed. The tour took us to areas we hadn’t explored yet, including some real oddities. Like this moving statue of the head of Franz Kafka called Metalmorphosis, by eccentric Czech artist David Černý, known for once having painted a Soviet-era tank pink. This statue is made of metal plates and is constantly in motion, making it difficult for newcomers to figure out what it is. Wish I’d thought to take a video rather than just a still shot. You can view ten controversial sculpture’s by Černý here

Kafka Head statue

Our guide took us to two vintage shopping malls. The first, Lucerna Palace, was built in the 1920s, in the old, solid architectural style. It’s beautiful inside, but also graced by another strange sculpture by David Černý, this one of Czech hero, King Wenceslas, riding a dead, upside-down horse! It’s apparently supposed to be an ironic twist to the heroic statue of the king in nearby Wenceslas Square.

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I was glad our walking tour included Wenceslas Square, as teh included tour in our river cruise/tour did not take us here. Wenceslas Square is the center of Prague political activity. This is where people gathered to watch first the Nazis march into Prague, followed by the Red Army 5-6 years later. The square is also where peopled gathered to protest and/or revolt, in both 1968 revolt and the Velvet Revolution of 1989 when Soviet hegemony ended peacefully. Here are a few of my photos of Wenceslas Square. You can see what a beautiful day it was.

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I couldn’t resist including a photo of the brewery, as Budvar aka the real Budweiser, is my favorite Czech beer. I had some on draft while we were there and it was delicious. Sadly, the bottle I bought here was skunky. But beer is always better on draft.

On the way back to Old Town we stopped at another vintage mall, Černá Růže (Black Rose) built in the 1930s in a historic palace. Actually, it is two buildings joined by an arcade, one from the 1840’s and the other from the 1930s, though the site has been occupied since the Middle Ages and was once a coaching inn. The day we were there, the ceiling was decorated with a delightful display of colorful umbrellas. It was prophetic as our beautiful September weather disappeared in a rain storm as we entered October.

The mall contains a large outlet of the Moser crystal shops, located in the older of the two buildings. The crystal pieces were lovely, but outside of my price range.

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We passed the headquarters building of the Communist Party, which is appropriately red.

Commie Party HQ

Communist Party HQ, Prague

I’ve rambled on too long here, so I’ll stop. Next week, Prague Castle up close.