September 21, 2008


Piracy is crimes of robbery committed on the high seas by the Captain and crew. Life often became boring for pirates after long days and nights at sea as they searched for ships to prey upon and plunder. Fighting was common. Pirates lived by a strict code and divided the pillaged loot.

Talk like a PIRATE DAY is celebrated in September.
Auast, me hearties! It’s a pirates life for me and me rascals, scoundrels and knaves. Yo ho, drink up me ‘earties.

Avast ye - stop and check this out
All hand hoay! - all hands on deck
Blimey! - exhortation of surprise
Heave Ho - give it some muscle and push it
Hornswaggle - cheat out of money or belongings
Old Salt - an experienced sailor
Savvy? - do you understand and agree?
Scuttle - to sink a ship
Seadog - old pirate or sailor


Quarter Master is about as valuable as a captain and usually took over a captured ship until it was disposed.
Boatswain inspected the ship, sails and riggings.
Carpenter repaired leaks.
Mates took care of the ships sales, ropes, rigging and mooring of the ship.
Riggers released the rigging and furl the sails.
Swabbies mopped the deck and kept it clean.
Sailing Master handled the navigation and direction of the course the ship takes.

A gentleman pirate of the early 18th century.
Why would an Englishman born into wealth in Barbados, educated, married and a respected plantation owner turn to piracy?

Stede Bonnet bought a ship, named it the Revenge and rigged it with 10 guns. He and his paid crew set sail for the American east coast plundering ships. He met up with Edward Teach, Blackbeard, and they sailed together capturing merchant ships along the east coast. North Carolina Governor, Charles Eden offered Bonnet clemency from the King of England if he would become a privateer against Spanish ships. Bonnet changed his name to an alias, Captain Thomas, and his ship name to Royal James. He was tempted to continue his piracy plundering ways in July and was captured and hung along with many of his men in November 1718.

KNOT terminology

Hitch, attach a rope to an object.
Stopper knot keeps the rope from slipping through a hole.
Butterfly knot is used when you need a single loop.
Triple Crown knot is a double loop.
A knot is set by tightening.
Join two ropes with a full carrick bend.
Anchor is to bend and attach rope to a ring.


Schooner - a fast ship with a shallow draft, capable of up to 11 knots, could carry up to 75 crew and mounted 8 cannon and 4 swivel guns.
Sloop - another fast ship, capable of up to 11 knots, could carry up to 75 crew and mounted 14 cannon.

Brig - a two masted ship, square rigged on both masts, in the 18th century similar t as a Brigantine.
Brigantine - the choice of many pirate crews, able to mount 10 cannons.

Pictures from the past show captains wearing a tricorn hat, long coat with big cuffs, and knee breeches with buckle shoes. In port a gentleman captain might wear more colorful attire, brocades and damask.

18th century trousers were loose fitting above the ankle.
The common sailor would have worn a shorter coat called a fearnought and linen breeches or trousers. To be practical they wore a scarf on the head, a small knitted cap, or a small brimmed hat. At sea they went barefooted to be seaworthy on deck and to get a grip climbing ropes. Shoes were simple leather, some laced instead of with a buckle. Neck clothes and kerchiefs were fashionable for seamen.
"Blimey! Don't forget me gold earring."
A colorful sash around the waist might get in the way of duties of seaman.
Heave ho! What port wench wouldn't find pleasure in untying a sash from around a capn's waist?

Pirates maintained their own weaponry. They brought on board with them swords, knives, muskets, flintlock pistols. Axes and tools used in maintenance of the ship were a versatile weapon. The ships belaying pins kept in pin rails holes could be easily grabbed for defense during an attack. Small hand held round cast iron grenades filled with explosive powder could be set off with a fuse and thrown at the enemy.
Pirates roamed the treacherous seas to find wealth from ships they overtook. They faced penalty of death if caught.
Privateers in the 16th to 19th centuries, were commissioned with Letter of Marque from a country’s government to seize and rob enemy merchant ships. Many pirates were given clemency to come to the aid of a country as a privateer.
THANKS for stopping by. Leave a comment to be put in a drawing for a Pirate basket of treasures.
BRIDE OF PASSION ~ Historical ~ set on the high seas and in New Orleans. In a scheme of greed and deceit, Claret is blackmailed and forced to leave France. On a treacherous voyage, a notorious pirate will take her captive. Will the renegade pirate, Andreas, set her free?
Connie Rachal


Margay said...

What great information for people who are interested in pirates.

P.S. I love the book cover. It's very ethereal with the eyes and the coloring.

myrtleme said...

blimey, being a pirate fan---i loved this post, thank you..have a really great day.

Lorrri said...

Those of us who love pirates find all that nautical stuff interesting. Do you have any info on the dress - britches on loins and all that HOT pirate stuff. :-) dreaming away.....

Karen H in NC said...

Very interesting information about pirates.

Love the book cover too. I am a big fan of historical romance novels, primarily of the Regency era. But years back, books of pirates, privateers and romance on the high seas were as common as the regency books are today. I'm glad to see some books from pirates era being published again. It's a time period I could really get back into again. I'll definately put this book on my BTB list.

Nancy the Romancechick said...

Very interesting information, Connie!

BethRe said...

Arrg, pirate fans, very cool post

Meljprincess said...

Hi Connie,
I enjoyed reading all your info. I have a privateer (nice name for a pirate) in my ancestry and I'd like to write a fictional story about him. Your book sounds fantastic and I'd love to read it.
I think I would have loved the job of Sailing Master as they used the stars as guides. Kind of like the Quarter Master in the US Navy does now. "Yo ho ho ho a pirate's life for me!"

Mel K.

Anonymous said...

I love the book cover. It's the best one I've seen lately

Kathy said...

'Tis a beauty of a cover, to be sure, Connie! Ye must be over the moon.

I've a soft spot in me heart for pirates. Aye. They be a boon to me soul. Can't wait to read yer book!

Kathy said...

Ah-harr! 'Tis the pirate lover agin. What drew ye to pirates, Connie?

What was the inspiration for ye ol' book? ;)

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Well, the difference between a pirate and a privateer depended which side was talking about you. If you were working for a goverment and they were talking about you, you were a privateer. If the ship you were plundering were talking about you, you were a pirate. :-)

Welcome, Connie and great information! (and correct me if I'm wrong about priate/privateer).

~Anna Kathryn

Anne Clayre Mason said...

This is great information about pirates. Love the cover,too. I can't wait to read the book.

Virginia said...

I truly love reading books about pirates and got a big kick out of the talk like a pirate day. Your book sounds fascinating would love to read it.

Jannine said...

Hi Connie:
What fabulous information you've provided. I have so many books on pirates as I plan on writing one. However, it can be a bit daunting if you're new to that period.

I would love to know how you became interested in writing historical romances with a pirate for a hero. Also, how do you justify making the hero a dreaded pirate?

Cool cover.

Kris Kennedy said...

Very cool info!! These are the kinds of things that really transport my as a reader. Thanks so much!

Connie said...

ARGGGH... me mates!
Pirates are treacherous at the sea and at port. Can a woman tame them? Keep a pirate true to his principles until the very end of a story, when he can at last totally give into to his desires and claim the lady who captured his heart.

I enjoy history. The GREY NUNS, from France,brought young ladies from the ophanages to become brides for the first men settlers in New Orleans. This inspired me to write BRIDE OF PASSION. What if I threw in a pirate or two along the way to keep my heroine from her destination? I added blackmail and a murder mystery. What pirate would want to give up his adventurous life to settle down? Being at sea gets in a pirates blood.

Thank you for the comments about my cover. Trisha Fitzgerald is the talented cover artist.
Check out her myspace. If you need a cover artist, contact her.

Cherie J said...

Great post! Vert informative as well as fun. Love that book cover.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the facts and comments about pirates. I remember my History professor saying that the pirates practiced the first form of democratic governing in the New World. The pirates had to follow the articles of ship regulations, each pirate had a vote on whether they would attack, where they would sail, and how others who did not follow the rules were to be punished. It they thought their Captain wasn't doing a good job, they could vote him out.
I really like to read these kinds of stories and your book has been added to my TBR list.

Jane said...

Hi Connie,
I look forward to reading "Bride of Passion." I was first interested in pirates as a kid when I saw Goonies. The interest returned after seeing Pirates of the Caribbean. I'm having a little trouble with the pirate lingo.

Theresa N. said...

I've always enjoy pirate stories, even before Johnny Depp :).
Theresa N

Ruth M. said...

ahh (rg)! A piratey book I havent read yeat. Thanks for all the great and entertaining info

ruth m

peggy said...

A great interview.the info you shared was very interesting.
i'm so glad to see a historical pirate book I really enjoy reading them.a good romance at sea sounds great.

Dina said...

Great interview and love the cover.
I enjoy reading about pirates.

Darlene said...

Loved the book. The numerous twists and turns kept my attention page after page. Way to go girl! Keep up the great work!

aka Lady Rebel

Renee-Marie Roy said...

Hey Girl,

Wishing lost of sells on your book!

I've been knowing Connie for several fact, we're critique partners and in the near future, we plan to collabrate writing a book.

Connie, I'm here for you! You ROCK!

Renee-Marie Roy

squiresj said...

Why are we so fasinated by pirates? If we had lived during that time, we would not have wanted to meet up with one. Yet kids today and even in my time growing up like to pretend to be pirates. I think it is the treasure they are looking for.
Anyway I still enjoyed your blog as I have a treasure chest I used for boys in class I teach to get prizes.

ddurance said...

I have always been fascinated with pirates. I went on an evening cruise on a schooner in St. Augustine where pirates told ghost stories. It was so much fun and I would have had the neatest pictures had my camera not crapped out on me. LOL


Elaine Cantrell said...

Blimey! What a great post.

Elaine Cantrell