Ransom

NorCal 2010

35 posts in this topic

Okay, gang, NorCal is coming up soon. One of the biggest, most heavily attended events on the pirate calendar. Those of you who have been, know what I mean. NorCal is HUGE. It also has the added attraction of the schooner Aldebaran doing a ship to shore cannon battle both days. ( I should know, I be part of her crewe!)

So, start thinking about heading to the Bay of Saint Francis come June—traditionally on Father's Day weekend. Tales of the Seven Seas will be there, as usual, so come on by and say howdie. :lol:

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I know it's a bit early, but for those wanting to head south/north for NorCal, now is a good time to get your hotel reservations in if you don't plan to sleep in a tent on site (must be part of a crewe encampment, there is NO GENERAL ON SITE CAMPING at NorCal).

The Best Western in Benicia is perfect. It is a straight, five minute shot from the hotel to the event. A plus, they have a very nice free full continental breakfast each morning, and on week nights (we get there a few days early to play tourist in SF), also serve a free simple dinner—with beer and wine! Saves you quite a bit of food money.

If you make reservations on line, the rooms are only $99. We waited until end of May to make them last year, and almost got aced out. We got the last room, as there was a big NASCAR race somewhere close by, and all the officials were staying at the hotel. I made our reservations today, just to be safe. We have stayed there three times now, and I recommend it highly.

There is no other hotel that close to the event. You do NOT want to stay in Vallejo, where the event takes place. Vallejo has no good hotels.

Make your plans now, mates. It's an awesome event! <_<

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Ah! Vallejo! The memories! Just the sound of your name brings them rushing back like the hot slap on the end of a wet fist!

But I digress...

So, NorCal, eh? Never been. How is it? Is it great on Saturday and petering out on Sunday?

Looked at the website. Couldn't find anything about permitted weaponry. Doubt I'll carry any firelocks down to the PRC, but what are the rules on edged weapons? Do they let one carry them or do they tie them down?

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Edged weapons are peace-tied.

And it's generally very busy both days. You can always hang out in the Tales camp if the crowds get a bit overwhelming.

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Eye just sent off to Poison Quill to be gate listed with TO7S and she was delighted I wanted to make port with her group ..

I will be setting up an 'A' frame canvas tent and stay at the fair.. Eye decided to drive this time so I can lugg a few pretties with me to dress up the front of my tent area in public view.. I really want to be involved this year as a participant and maybe be on the Aldebaran for a day.

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Woo hoo, that's great Eyes. It will be fun to have you hanging with us all weekend! <_<;)

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Edged weapons are peace-tied.

And it's generally very busy both days. You can always hang out in the Tales camp if the crowds get a bit overwhelming.

Not worried about being overwhelmed as much as bored, but glad to be offered the refuge of the Tales camp against either. :)

If weapons are peace tied, I'll sooner leave mine at home. What's the point of carrying a custom made, one-of-a-kind, reproduction GAoP sword if you can't draw it for admiration?

Aye Eye! I looks forwards to finally meeting you, amongst others, in 3D, you rum crusted son of the seas!

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Thanks for the hotel info Ransom- I'm making my plans now- Nor Cal will be our big event this year! Possibly Portland in Sept.

And Eyes- it will be a pleasure to see you again, my brother!

Edited by Gunpowder Gertie

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Just to clarify a few things.

As far as I know, the event organizers do not offer discounts on hotels. It's not like a convention where everyone stays at the same place.

The Best Western in Benicia is the closest to the event — it's right off the freeway, and a ten minute straight shot to the event site.

Also, the BW free dinners are only provided on week day evenings, not on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The free continental breakfast is every morning — and it's a really good one.

Just around the corner from the BW is a gas station and mini-mart. Another block or so down, and there is a shopping center, with a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the famous Pirate Pizza, where we hope to get a big gang together for dinner Saturday night. They love us there, so it's lots of fun. :blink:

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So, just out of curiosity, what would be the most affordable lodging for the festival? Would one expect all the nearby hotels and motels to be sold out by now? Is there camping nearby, if not on site?

My chances of going this year are only about 0.01%, but I figured it'd be good to know just in case.

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Norcal Pirate Festival is just around the corner. who be going sound off mates.

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Norcal Pirate Festival is just around the corner. who be going sound off mates.

Oi! ME!

Leavin' tomorrow mornin' actually!

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One more day of slaving in the factory afore finding me liberty on the high seas of San Fransisco bay... biggrin.gif YArrr! Ya Well kinda ..blink.gif

Gonna be a lot of fun fer sure!

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Well, you will be for a time on Sunday...

I still have to pack - haven't decided what to wear; something to scramble around on deck in, for sure.

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I'll definitely be there! This time bringing new friends to the whole pirate scene, it's gonna be a blast! If you see me there, don't be shy, come up and say ahoy!

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I'll definitely be there! This time bringing new friends to the whole pirate scene, it's gonna be a blast! If you see me there, don't be shy, come up and say ahoy!

The first day was a blast! It was so good to meet in real life people I had met on the Pub...

Oderlesseye, Dman, Chainshot, Ransom,Quartermaster James,Patrick Hand - an amazing gathering!

And more tomorrow!

BTW- looks like we set the record for the most pirates at a gathering...

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and yeah- I should be at Bilgemunky's afterparty right now....

off to set sail.......

Edited by Gunpowder Gertie

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I'm still recovering from the NorCal Festival. Gertie - I spent Sunday late morning/early afternoon on land but am sorry to say I missed you!

We sailed up on Saturday and made it up to the channel in time for the first ship-to-shore battle. I had arranged for Ransom and Chainshot to be ferried over to the Aldebaran via motorboat, and in due time our friend Russ sped over to us with them. They were joined by a man who was creating a documentary about pirate festival who wanted to film us during the battle. We slowed down as much as possible, but since we were under sail, we could only slow down so much, so Russ matched out speed and threw out some lines. Once his boat was next to ours, Ransom and Chainshot jumped aboard. It was a very "James Bond" moment.

Then we got everyone squared away on the guns. I handled the small arms, Ransom assisted with one of the large cannons and Chainshot assisted with the rail guns (this year we had five, with three people scrambling around to load and fire them.)

The gun battle commenced. We made a few passes, firing between two and three rounds per pass, swiveling the cannons and scrambling around. This was made more complicated by the gent who was filming us, since we had to keep telling him not to walk in front of loaded cannons or not to stand where he might get hit by a boom, etc. At times, I would be loading my pistols only to find a camera less than a foot away from me; after enough warnings, he comported himself more safely. After about half an hour, we wrapped up the gun battle and Russ came by to pick up the camera guy so he could film the Guinness Book of World Records event taking place on shore. We had been asked to be in the area at 4:15 so we could be in the picture, so we sailed around for awhile, all of our black powder implementia save the cannon we were going to fire for the Guinness picture. At 4:15, we sailed by - hopefully they got the picture when we fired our cannon, but I guess we'll see when the picture is made public. They are doing a final count, but so far it looks like the festival did break the previous record.

Since the tides were so low, we had to sail around for a bit more before we were able to get into the marina, so we kicked back and relaxed for awhile. Then we dropped the sails and motored into the marina. Getting into our spot was, as usual, a challenge, since we had to go straight toward the dock, have a couple of folks jump off and then maneuver the ship so that it is headed outwards, which involves other people leaping toward the dock (in this case, me) and working with the lines to pull the stern toward the dock. Essentially, doing a 180 in place with no side thrusters. Not an easy job with an almost 40-ton ship. Once we got the ship secured, we kicked back for a bit and Ransom and Chainshot went to collect Quartermaster James so he could say hello. The three of them came back and we were able to relax and chat for awhile. And Ransom and I were able to do our annual birthday toast and exchange presents. Then it was time for dinner; Ransom, Chainshot and Quartermaster James had plans at Pizza Pirate in Benicia with a bunch of other pirates and the Aldebaran crew had plans for a short meal at a local eatery before collapsing in our collective bunks.

The next morning, we made our way to the festival after breakfast. We spent our time hanging out in the Tales camp and wandering around and visiting friends. Oderless Eye was in his Fop garb, carrying a wig and delighting the kids by allowing them to be an admiral for a minute. He also had four crabs that he very cleverly attached to a mechanism that allowed him to "walk" them about the festival. Ransom showed off her new ray gun, courtesy of Patrick Hand; I can tell you that it is, as they say, WAY cool. Patt also handed my my sketchbook, so I handed it around the camp and folks were able to see the work that everyone had done. Patt was resplendent in his airship pirate garb.

On Sunday's gun battle, we were also going to be joined by Oderless Eye, as well as Ransom and Chainshot and another member of Tales, Rob Anybody. I told them when they needed to be on board and what they'd be expected to do. Then the crew went back to get the ship ready.

Just after 2:00, we shoved off and left the marina. Then we got the sails up and prepped for the battle. The shore crew was ready faster than anticipated, so they started the battle early. So we fired back. Ransom and Rob helped with the larger cannons in front and Chainshot and Oderless Eye helped with the swivel guns. At one point, I saw Oderless Eye scrambling across the deck with his linstock to light port-side guns. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon! And this time, we didn't miss the shore crews mooning us...

Then it was time for us to sail back home, so Russ maneuvered alongside Aldebaran so that folks could step into his boat to be ferried back to the festival. We weren't going as fast, but any time you have to jump from one boat to another when both are moving it's pretty darn exciting. We waved goodbye and made our merry and exhausted way back home.

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Many thanks to Red Handed Jill, Capt. Hayden, Ransom and Chainshot for making it possible ; firing the ships guns upon those crab infested British!

norcal-pirate-fest-vallejo-waterfro.jpg

Wot a Hoot! Thar were many high lights to this festival and Being on the Aldebaran was definatley one of them.

The first day Eye portrayed Myself as Oderlesseye, as a greeter at the main entrance and later selling my shtick about having risked my life twice for the coin shared out as Booty. Dman assisted me in doing this right from our encampment... Kids and parents sometimes lining up for attention and a chance to choose between the sea story or the 'B' Story... I always have a lot of fun with that..

Thanx Red Handed Jill for the compliment on Admiral Crabs.... He was a new Character Eye unveiled at this event.. The High ranking Dress Of a British Admiral with his snooty nose in the air walking his crabs Spike, Sally, Sandy And Supper...Many a patron was entertained and one woman eye thought was going to die laughing..

36296_1356865726573_1379371688_30926960_6270589_n.jpg

The Admiral for a minute gig was the first time Eye sought to pull that off and it went well.. Next time Eye will add a communicay from the Fleet saying the fleet is trouble, being Under attack from the Spanish Armada.. Oh dear what shall we do???? What are your orders sir???? eagh eagh..

Meeting Quarter Master James ( a Real Gentleman He Is) Sorry, If Eye am ruining your reputation sir.... Was a treat to me.. Gun Powder Gertie and her side kick Black Tess were great companions and temptations on and off before and during the festival. Eye love you both dearly! Patrick Hand, Dman And His Wench Victoria,Ransom, and the rest You know who ye are ,are awesome shipmates...

The last High Light for me was being inducted into the TO7S . They literally baptized me into their great crew while at the same time the last cannons were fired signifying the end of the festival..

Eye think this festival has really cemented friendships Eye will have and Treasure for the rest of my life..

Edited by oderlesseye

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I would like to say thankie to you eye, it was great hanging with you and being on your Adventures. And Thankie fer letting me be yer first mate when you were Admiral Crabs that was all kinds of fun. And to let you know you are a great friend and Shipmate to me and victoria.

Yer Friend

D.man

Edited by D.man

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Ah, NorCal, what a blast—literally and figuratively.

Firstly, we touched bases with Quartermaster James, Gunpowder Gertie, and Black Tess at the Best Western Hotel in Benicia on Thursday. It was great fun to be able to review the days events over breakfast each morning. And the four, late night, after event evenings, out of garb and relaxing with Quartermaster James in his hotel room, as we (myself, QMJ, and Chain Shot) sipped Absinthe and talked of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Such a sublime treat.

Friday

We spent Friday with QMJ exploring Chinatown, which included a lovely Dim Sum lunch at the Oriental Pearl restaurant. From there we walked through North Beach, and on to Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf, where we stopped for alcoholic refreshment at the Crab House. LOL We must have walked ten miles that day playing tourist. We had hoped to hook up with Eyes, Gertie, and Black Tess, who had gone off to find out if they could take the tour of Alcatraz. (We had all ridden over to SF on the ferry from Vallejo, then split up to go on our separate adventures). As it turned out, that wasn't happening, so we hopped back on the ferry and returned to Vallejo, the other three catching a later crossing. We enjoyed a lovely dinner on the waterfront, then headed back to the hotel.

Saturday, and NorCal.

It was so grand seeing all the Tales gang again, and also being able to introduce them in 3-D to QMJ, who fit in with the group as if he'd always been a member. Also, Patrick let me know that I would not get my ray gun until Sunday, when he would be in Airship Pirate garb, so the suspense was killing me!LOL

First was gate duty from 10-11. QMJ had me rolling with his running commentary while handing out programs for the event. "Collect them all, valuable coupons inside!" or "Extra, extra, pyrates invade Vallejo, read all about it!" Then we strolled the event site, meeting people, checking out the many vendors, and listening to the music on the main stage, which was just across from the Tales encampment. Kate, from the Tales group, was singing with a group of women calling themselves Queen Ann's Revenge, and they were awesome! The crowd loved them.

Then, at around 2 o"clock, Chain Shot and I headed for the yacht club, to meet up with a guy called Russ, who would ferry us out to the Aldebaran. This we did, but as we came up alongside the ship, I quickly noticed that the Aldebaran was not going to luff-up and slow down. Russ's boat kept going faster and closer to the ship. It was at this point that I realized this was going to be a "moving" transfer. Kewl! Russ's small boat, still jetting along, came alongside, tied on to the Aldebaran, and then we scrambled up on deck. Too fun! From then on, we got battle ready, and had a great time firing at those British landlubbers. Then, after the photographer had been off-loaded, we sailed around the area for about an hour. This was when Jill and I went below to toast our mutual birthdays. As we were below, and the ship was leaning at about 35-45 degrees, we leaned back against a top bunk, braced our feet against the bottom bunk on the other side, and sipped our rum quite happily. Then we went back up on deck to assist with the final salute of the day for the Guiness Book record. Chain shot and I helped as much as we could with taking down sail, putting out fendors, etc, to get the ship ready to dock. When all was secure, the toasting rum appeared! A VERY good time was had by all. Chain Shot and I returned to camp to collect QMJ so he could meet everyone on the Aldebaran, and that was very fun. Then, as we had already promised to meet some other members of the Tales gang at Pizza Pirate, we bid the Aldebaran goodbye until the morrow. Dinner at Pizza Pirate is always fun, as they love us there. After that, we returned to the hotel with QMJ.

Sunday

First off, Patrick Hand finally presented to me the Bombardier's Thunderbuss ray gun. It is just awesome! I am so lucky to have such a grand work of art, from a man I admire so much. Thank you Patrick, a million times! I was also allowed to wear Admiral Crab's white wig for a time, which itched. LOL I thought his crab leash looked more like his crabs were in bondage! More visiting with friends, talking to the public, answering questions, etc. Then at 2:00 back to the Aldebaran for the Sunday battle, taking Eyes and Rob Anybody with us as new recruits. Off we went, hoping the ship would not get hung up in the mud because of the low, low tide. That hazard overcome, we sailed out to meet the British again. The Aldebaran crew worked like clockwork, firing at least two and sometimes three rounds per pass. At one point I was holding two lintstocks, leaning over and using one to fire Wee Babbett, and one to hand to Bob Neese, as he was slower in getting his gun ready to fire. Very exciting! Chain Shot and Eyes worked together flawlessly, keeping the rail guns firing, while Iron Jack and Red-Handed Jill worked like lightning at swabbing and reloading the two cannons midships, for which Rob Anybody and I were in charge of firing. It was just an incredibly grand time! But all grand times must come to an end. The tender came out to pick us up, we did another moving transfer from the ship to the small boat. We all cheered our great time, then Eyes, Chain Shot, Rob Anybody and myself were taken back to the yacht club as the Aldebaran sailed home for Port Richmond.

We got back to the event site just in time to catch the last gig by Pirate Charles. What a kick butt way to end the day. Despite the heat, me, Eyes, Bilgemunkey, D Man, Victoria, and Gertie rocked out to the music, then were joined by Weezer and Lady Jaxx. Just WAY too much fun. LOL I'm sure there will be many "interesting" photos of that showing up sooner or later!

A rousing closing performance by Queen Ann's Revenge, along with many of the other entertainers closed the event, up to the final cannon blast which signaled the end of another outstanding Northern California Pirate Festival. After "baptizing" Oderlesseye into the company of Tales of the Seven Seas and taking a group picture, we broke camp, many hugs were exchanged, and it was over until next year.

Monday

A final breakfast with QMJ, and farewell to Gertie and Tess, and then for us, the long drive back to Oregon, with a whole shipload of grand memories.

CAN WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!!!!!

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I keep hearing about this "baptism" - what happened??

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Right before we broke camp, Claire and I grabbed Eyes, the whole group stood around cheering as we pushed him on the ground, holding down his arms, while Weezer gave a short speech, and then baptized him by pouring water from a mug over his head. It was grand fun! :P

Oh, and in my description of NorCal, I forgot to mention the...umm, amazing, and very..err, suggestive giant "Wanking Kraken" blow up kids ride. Fortunately, kids wouldn't "get" it, but for us adults, it was hilarious!

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