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Gitana Pirate Crew 2017.jpg


The Jolly Roger - a flag designed to frighten and intimidate a pirate's victims, custom and unique to each pirate captain to whom the flag belonged.
In the late 17th and 18th centuries, during the Golden Age of Piracy, these symbols were flown.  

On the Hudson River this past weekend, Pirate Flags were au courant as the 5th Annual Honey Badger Pirate Sail made the scene once again!  All together, there were at least a dozen boats that participated with anywhere from 4-10 crew members per boat -- That's a delta of around 90 swashbuckling-scallawags yelling "Arrrrgh" at the top of their lungs.  


This year, a gavel and a scythe represented the ship of Cap'n Reaper (Clifton Wessels-Yen) with the ONE°15 Brooklyn Sail Club on their boat dubbed "Devil's Reef".  

A Jolly Roger with a nautical boat flag meant that Cap'n Nitzan Levy was near with her crew from Sailors NYC. (The boat flag, a nod to her club's logo).

A "G" for "Guppy" meant the on-set of the squirt gun yielding Cap' Jason Fish and crew - who's home port is Steuben, Maine. Perhaps the most fearful looking ship belonged to Cap'n Jon Gimpel, aka "Black-Eye'd Gimp," who's boat from Manhattan Yacht Club was adorned in black bunting.  Cap'Gimp also dangled a skeleton right on the bow to be seen by his enemies as he approached.Boundless other Jolly Rogers flew from various ships rigging as pirates plundered the Hudson in search of hidden treasure.


Barbara Marcoz along with Joel Hoag with the North Cove Sailing Club put together a brilliant course consisting of various pirate clues. This "challenge" was referred to officially as: "THE HUNT FOR THE TREASURE OF CAP’N JACK PARROT-GOT-ME-EYE!"Pirates were to complete, in order to pursue the booty and clues were given out via VHF marine radio.


In the end the winners of "THE TREASURE OF CAP’N JACK" were a team of Hornswaggling Privateers who's crew was a mix of MYC, True North, and North Cove sailing club members... true freebooters who came together to capture the treasure. Team members: Inna and her husband Ian, Kathleya  and Aleksandra were all lead by captain Barbara who operates her ship as the Fearless "Lioness of Burgundy."Aside from the Pirate Challenge, in the spirit of pirating itself, various bands of misfits wielded water cannons, and were armed with marshmallows to attack other boats.  


The Flagship Vessel Gitana, made her annual voyage down the East River from her home port in City Island to the Brooklyn Marina and then finally the North Cove Marina to host the official community afterparty.


Gitana is a wooden boat built in 1936 -- she's a true Pirate ship captained by yours truly, Cap' John Honey-Badger McDuber.  That said, Gitana was not the furthest away vessel to participate - As previously mentioned Cap'n Fish from S/V Guppy made the trip all the way from Maine (after spending some time cruising the Bay of Fundy).  


The annual Pirate Sail is designed to coincide with the Saturday before "Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day" (Sept. 19th) which also syncs-up with the NYC Pirate Con.  Thus at nightfall, our Honey Badger Pirate Sail crossed path...errr... swords with the (non-sailing / landlubbing) Pirates of Pirate Con. (Side note: I will say that while these pirates may be landlubbers, they can certainly drink rum and they looked damn good.)


As sword fights ensued, the battle of Pirate Con-sters (costumers) vs. HBYC Pirate Sailors gained momentum as the classically trained fencer, Cap'n Debora taught a lesson or two about sword play to the costumers -- lesson learned, don't challenge a sword-yielding Pirate Sailor!  


I'd like to thank all of the various clubs, club members, and private boats who came out to plunder in pirate merriment! The following clubs were represented:  North Cove SailingHudson River Community SailingManhattan Yacht ClubOne°15 Brooklyn Sailing ClubHoboken Sailing ClubSailors NYC and various private Vessels including Guppy and Gitana - All part of the Honey Badger Yacht Club. Special thanks to Meghan Reilly and the North Cove Marina for hosting Gitana at the Marina.  Special thanks to those who organized the event: Clifton Wessels-Yen, Barbara Marcoz, Joel Hoag, Caren Fitzgerald, Herb D'Entremont, Jon Gimpel, Debora Abrams-Wright   This year, the Pirate Sail was the biggest, and baddest its ever been, and we hope to continue to share our love of sailing and pirating with the community of New York and her surrounding ports.


- Captain John Hornswaggle McDuber

Ye Ole Pirate Crew.jpg


Take a trip back in the way back machine and see photos from the 2016 pirate sail and more...

(Warning this link takes you to the older HB site - so be sure to come back HERE!)

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