Ahoy me hearties

On Saturday night I went out with some of the staff from where I worked before I got ill. One of the nurses was leaving to start a new job and we all went on a trip around Bristol docks on the Matthew.

The Matthew is the boat that John Cabot sailed in when he discovered America before Columbus. He was an Italian but made his home England, he set off from Bristol in 1497 originally heading for Asia to search for traders. But navigation was obviously not his strongest skill as he ended up at the Americas on the coast of what is now known as Newfoundland.

The replica that we sailed around the docks in was built in 1996 ready for the 500 year anniversary of the voyage and on May 26th 1997 the new Matthew made the same journey as John Cabot did.

The theme of the evening was pirates, so we all stepped out in our best fancy dress. It’s not an unusual sight to see pirates in Bristol there is a long history of piracy in the West country. One of the most famous pirates, Blackbeard, was a Bristolian. His real name was Edward Teach, was born in 1680 and married over a dozen women bigamously. He captained the Queen Anne’s Revenge, a captured slave ship, with a 500 strong gang. They terrorised the American coast and the West Indies for years and were responsible for over 2000 deaths. He eventually died in a bloody battle with pirate hunters, he was shot 5 times and had multiple sword cuts.

In my neck of the woods we take the annual International talk like a pirate day on 19th September very seriously and to help all of you who want to join in, here are some well known pirate phrases for you to practice:

Ahoy – Hello

Arast – Stop and give attention or Check it out or No way!

Aye – Yes

Arrrr! – I agree

Shiver me timbers – exclamation of surprise

Me hearties – My friends

Landlubber – someone who stays on dry land and is rubbish at being a pirate!