Whilst the Good Captain was upstairs in the castle in the air reading the ledger that had mysterious found it’s way into his possession the crews busied themselves with their usual land based pirate duties. There was a rotating shift of crews doing all manner of tasks both on and off the ships.
For some that task was cleaning and maintaining the ships, even whilst moored in port the ships needed to be kept in top condition, not just sea worthy, but well maintained as well. For others time at port meant repairs, repairs to the ship, to the sails even repairs to the crew’s clothing. While another group would spend their time sharpening swords, cutlasses and knives.
Then there were the men responsible for the cannons and those on sentry, in actuality there were men milling around at all hours of the day doing all numbers of jobs. And it was because of the rotating rosters that at any given time, including the middle of the day while the Good Captain was reading his ledger, that some of the pirates were relaxing with some well earned down time.
Two such pirates where, Spike O’Crabcakes and Barnacle Patches McGree, both pirates aboard the Revenge and both enjoying a bit of downtime by sitting on the side of the ship, looking out onto the bay and raising a few tipples of cider from they’d brought back from Nancy’s. They were only three hours into their day off and they’d already drained more tankards of cider than their minds could count.
As the two men chatted, each story getting wilder than the one before it, they rocked back and forth on the port side rail of the ship, the rocking having nothing to do with the ship moving on the water.
“Cheers Big Ears!” Called Patches as he swung his tankard towards Spike in yet another toasting of mugs. But the last of his words dragged on longer than expected, almost as if they were echoed, then there was a splash as the drunken pirate hit the water.
Spike laughed heartedly as he swayed on the rail, unlike his mate he did not lose balance, instead he took a huge swig from his tankard and went back to talking as if his mate was still sitting beside him.
Patches was not underwater long, barely a minute, but to him it felt like a life time. He didn’t struggle, he didn’t thrash, he was too drunk, but some how he did manage to get to the surface. Then still holding his tankard in his right hand he looked to the left, then to the right, spied the rope ladder on the side of the ship and paddled his way toward it.
Had he swum around the ship climbing up the rigid ladder of the dock would have been easier than climbing up the swinging rope ladder but alas his drunken mind did not suggest such things. His task was made even more difficult with the tankard still in his right hand, but again his drunken mind did not suggest he let it go, so he didn’t.
Back on the deck of the Revenge a soggy Patches dripping with water walked, two steps forward, one to the side, one back and another two forward and eventually back up to where he was sitting with Spike and resumed the position he was in only minutes before.
“Pour me another one!” he said to Spike as he waved his tankard at his mate, sea water could be heard sloshing inside the mug but neither man cared.
“Where did ye go?” Spike asked as he poor his friend another drink.
“I went on a journey…” Patches started, “a journey under th’ sea.”
“Under th’ say ye sea. ‘n wha’ sea did ye say ye saw?” Spike’s speech suddenly got worse.
Patches started to tell his story.
“Under th’ water, deep down at th’ bottoms o’ th’ ocean I wents.” Patches related. “Deep down in th’ ocean thar be a colony o’ bees.”
“How do they survive?”
“Breath stroke, now shurrup I’m tellin’ me story o’ where I wents.” Patches continued. “He wha’ guards these bees be a named Leelee, ‘n he be th’ cap’n o’ th’ bee!”
“Leelee, cap’n of the bee?” Spike laughed. “Ok keep goin’!”
“Leelee will shoot ye dead if ye try ‘n plunder from his underwater ap…apar…” Patches struggled with the word. “…bee hive. It be sealt wit’ spells ‘n stuff ‘n some say it be th’ gate t’ Hell!”
“’n ye jus’ returned from thar ‘ave ye?”
“Aye ‘n I told ye t’ shurrup while I’m a natterin!” Patches continued on with his story. “If any pirate so much as steals a peek at Leelee’s stash he will scuttle them whiles they sleep.”
“So when are ye’ goin’ t’ sleep!” Spike laughed.
“I was invited t’ be takin’ a peek ‘n then return t’ be warnin’ others who may follow!” Patches took a swig from his cider and sea water mix, scrunched up his nose at the taste, took another swig then continued. “Leelee does brew his mead from Hell wit’ jus a little bit of psychotropic sea weeds ‘n crustaceans. Should ye ever get t’ taste it be like a infernal explosion in yer stomach. ’twill get ye high, maybe even make ye die, at mighty least ‘twould make ye blind ’cause th’ booze content be always sky high.”
“’n ye was able t’ partake be a tipple o’ this mead from Hell?” Spike asked.
“Aye, and we be drinking it right now!” Patches called loudly and raised his tankard high.
The two men both cheered as their tankards crashed together spilling booze all over their hands, then together as one they both fell backwards and landed on the deck of the Revenge with a loud thud.
Previous Pirate story here.