Of Grandpas and Pirates

The 2010 Wooden Boat Festival did Port Townsend proud.  It had more caulked seams per square foot than any harbor within the watery boundaries of the United States of America.  A visitor could hear the boatyard cognoscenti gibbering in their nautical patois.  It was music to my ears.  I spent all of Saturday roaming around with a video camera and a notebook.  I hope to share the results with you in the coming week.

Sunday was devoted to a different kind of boat show experience.  My four year old grandson, Asher, accompanied me for a guy’s day out.  It was his first of hopefully many boat shows.  It is my Grandfatherly duty to see the boy raised as a sailor.  I am pleased to report that he took to the boating scene like an old hand.  His first delight of the day was in fact the Jefferson Transit shuttle bus ticket.  He certainly enjoyed the ride, thinking every red light and stop sign meant we had arrived at the festival.

We started right in on a tour of the docks and then proceeded to the Maritime Center where all the little pirates were being dressed up for the much advertised treasure hunt.  Once you put yourself in way of this sort of activity it becomes apparent that pirates have hijacked a sizable portion of the nautical ambiance at the wooden Boat Festival.  I suspect Kaci Cronkhite must have a bit of the pirate persuasion in her psyche to allow these sorts of goings on.

We were shepherded by various buccaneers-at-large toward the Cupola House for the promised hunt for treasure.  There we met up with one Captain Blackheart who was about to raise the Jolly Roger on the flag pole.  Asher presented himself for inspection as can be seen in the following video.

This hunt was no quick dash around the tropics race to an X marking the spot.  It involved a scenario that involved the delivery of the treasure map by a band of surly brigands rowing a longboat into the harbor with black powder guns a-blazing.  This spectacle was followed by a meandering course about the festival grounds which took us to the beach much to the delight of Asher who likes nothing better than spending time filling his shoes with sand.

As the children gamboled along the beach with Captain Blackheart’s merry crew.  Another longboat approached.  This one displayed an evil intent backed up with black powder.  The Captain and crew returned fire while children  hurled rocks.  One of the longboats crew fell in a mortal swoon and the brigands decided to leave such an inhospitable coast at once.  The hunt resumed and soon the treasure was found and retrieved from beneath the sand.  The chest was opened and loot was distributed to all the young pirates who eagerly lined up to take their share.

All in all it was quite a spectacle and a challenge to film as part of a moving crowd of kids and their parents wielding cameras like cutlasses.  I was happy to take a rest at the Children’s stage where we viewed a totally silly but completely enjoyable play featuring even more pirates.  The pirate portion of the day was ended so we patrolled the docks a bit more and examined the Chesapeake Light Craft Booth among others.

The day was topped off by another fine bus ride, much to Asher’s approval.  Having secured him in the child seat in my car, the small pirate was asleep by the time we left the city limits.  This years Wooden Boat festival offered many enjoyable moments especially the treasure that was to be found through a grandson’s eyes.

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