Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Captain’s Log, April 30        At sea. Bearing North, North East
    I have not written in several days. Much has passed, but hardly is it worth mentioning. The crew is shaping up, save for a few. I will deal with them shortly. Of late it has been very cloudy, thought there has not been a storm. The clouds are depressing, and I am heavy of heart. I hate clouds, I hate them.
    We sail on.
    Perhaps more later.
Annette Bonny
Bonny Blood, Captain
Captain’s Log, April 25.        At sea, north, north east.
    FINALLY!!! I can taste freedom in the air again…
    My mother once told her shipmate Mary Read long ago said the open ocean is freedom’s sweet refrain, spread before you like an endless table for those who hear the call. And I hear it.
    I hear it in every breath of wind, every wave that rolls off the prow, every timber that creaks beneath me. This freedom, this endless, boundless,  freedom, free to nature’s call with the bite of storm to prick your nostrils. Aye, this life!
    We put asea this morn, it dawned bright and clear. The storm blew over us in the night. I can still taste it in each breath. I think it might blow back on us, but I am beyond caring.
    My crew is nearly halved. All the women who returned with me last night I believe to be fine stock. All the ones who straggled in before midnight I think can be shaped up. The ones who showed up dockside this morn, just in time to watch us hoist anchor and sail away, I am more then glad to be rid of. One might even use the word delighted.
    There will be no room for failure on this voyage. There is never room for failure or doubt in the path of greatness. AND WE WILL BE GREAT.
    My crew will be the most fierce, the most daring, the most famous crew in the Spanish Main, and in the end, the world. We will cause men to tremble at the sound of our wind, monarchs to lay down crowns before us, and the very powers of this old world to be shaken to their core. We will be Great.
    My mother used to tell me that taking your life by the throat is the only way to live, and living like a dog - afraid of your own failure, is not life. It is like a half-turned hourglass, time neither passing nor retreating, only existing. You can never grasp that which you desire if you are afraid to reach -- life and fame are only a hairsbreadth from death and despair. Life is given to us to be lived, and not lived half alive.
    The Bonny Blood sails under those words.
    She used to tell me also, that only pain can make a real woman. She would tell me that right before she whipped me. Well, pain made me a real woman. Pain will make this crew real. I will make them real.
    I can hear the wind freshening above decks. We are in for a bit of storm, I think. Good.
    So the hourglass begins to turn.
    The lad was at my door. I had to go and inspect the rigging. The blacks do make a fine crew! And Mira, she is an able lass! I think with their help we shall have the crew shaped up in very little time.
    The sky darkened even while I was above decks - I only returned to grab my charts. We shall need them before this night it out, mark my words! A storm is coming!!
    I must return to the helm. 
Annette Bonny
Bonny Blood, Captain

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Captain’s Log, April 24.   Tortuga
    Ahh. My soul’s afire tonight. Nights like this, I know I can take the world apart, and nothing will stand in my way.
    The day dawned dark and cold. We pulled back into port, due to the heavy wind that sprang up yesterday. Tortuga’s a fine place to weather a storm - I can hear the waves breaking against the natural breakwater now.
    I amend my speech - Tortuga’s a fine place to weather a storm - minding you’ve not a nose for trouble. Because if you have, here it breeds like rats in a ship’s hold. Bah! Men. I know for a fact half my crew is attached to at least one right now. Makes me sick.
    Of course I let them go ashore. Hm, yes, it actually worked better then I had hoped. We all went to the taverns together, and yes, we danced. I love dancing. I’ll have to teach the lad to dance sometime.
    I informed them beforehand I excepted them all back shipboard by the hour of twelve. And lo! I have half a crew back, sober, or leastwise mostly, and ready to set sail in the morning. The ones who aren’t, well, their dedication to my cause is clearly not a strong as they gave pretence. I am hardly surprised.
    Better off without them. I can’t stand women who constantly look for their next encounter. Gah. In men it’s to be expected - they seem to live for it - but in women it’s hardly a desirable quality. Bah.
    Ah, but the dancing was good tonight - very good. There is a fresh crew in port, and thus they have not been saturated in wine and women for days. I find the dancing is far better when it’s so.
    There was one young mate who caught my eye. Quite fetching to look upon, a mighty fine dancer, if I be any judge. But he never gave me a second look and I can hardly say I am disappointed. I don’t expect it, much less yearn for a man’s attention.
    And there was a swordfight, a dash of flavor to the fire in my heart. Yes, it was a good night.
    I retire now. We set sail, pending the cessation of the wind, at dawn. I cannot wait. I itch for the smell of sea breezes.
Annette Bonny
Bonny Blood, Captain

Captain’s Log, April 23.    At Sea, north north east.
    Wind blew up strong today. Most of the new hands are sick. Great. Mostly likely a storm on the way. Going to head back to port until it passes.
Annette Boney
Bonny Blood, Captain
Captain’s Log, April 22.   In port at Tortuga. Bound for sea.
    The Bonny Blood sets sail today, with all hands aboard. Most consider it ill luck to rechristen a ship after her first sail, but I hardly think Royal Pride a fitting name for a pirate vessel. Nor is such a name fitting, I think, for her former profession as a slaving vessel.
    Despicable, the acts some men will stoop to. To steal innocent people and sell them as slaves - ah, but what won’t men do? You’ll not find a woman who agrees with this practice, not should you search the ocean wide!
    I hear the crew coming aboard now, it won’t be long, and we’ll be off, off to find that traitorous crew of mine aboard the Silver Main. To think, after all I did for them - slaving, cleaning, fighting, navigating, avenging Captain’s death - they marooned me just because I dared show myself for what I was. A woman.
    ME. They marooned ME. Annette Bonny, daughter of the famous Anne Bonny who fought like seven men, the only one of her crew to survive. Me, Annette Bonny, the terror of the seven oceans, the pirate captain who’s name will be legend, who will cause the monarchs of Europe to tremble when it’s uttered! Well, everyone’s entitled to one fatal mistake…and marooning me was their death sentence.
    Every miserable mate on the godforsaken, worm ridden ship will ring the devil’s bell before this voyage ends. They will tremble and shake, those miserable misbegotten sons of maggots. I will see to that.
    Yes, the crew is aboard now. My mate, young wot’s his name, he’s calling for me. A bright lad that one. He would have made a fine slave, brought a high price on the market. It makes me shiver all over when I think of it.
    I’ll get more down later.

    Such a fine crew! A woman could not ask for a better more willing crew. They’re all young and sturdy, hardy and ready for adventures. The only improvement I could have made in their selection was to find a few more who knew their way shipboard. But that shall all change in but a very short while. And as it was, I was lucky to find any who knew their way round, Women don’t typically sail.
    That girl, Mira, she seems a bright one. She’d have to be, given that she dresses and talks like a man. Sailed as one, I don’t wonder. Navy, judging by the scars on her hands. They’re not light with their punishments, those dogs. Bah! Even so, I knew her as a woman the moment I clapped glims on her. She had the look of a woman - alert, relaxed but poised, listening without saying, knowing without being known. Yes, that one is more promising then I had hoped for. She’ll do nicely.
    We pulled out to sea a short time ago.  I had to set the sails myself, with the help of the lad - what is his name?! - and the other slaves. Sorry, ex-slaves. I can’t for the life of me recall all their names; such strange sounding names! Though the lad keeps telling me them over and over. He sings them out, and they sing them back, and it’s sort of become a chant as they do their work. They’ve learned fast, those blacks. A fine crew. I’ll be sad to loose them at the end of this voyage.
    We’re sailing north by north east. We’re sailing at a broad reach now, about five or six knots. Not a bad speed! This will do for now. I intend to spend the next few days training the new crew. A week at most. Their women, of course they’ll learn fast.
    The lad’s calling me again. WHAT IS HIS NAME?! AH!!
    I’ll write later.
Annette Bonny
Bonny Blood, Captain.