Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In the Navy, Yes, you can Sail the Seven Seas...........

Well, it's the new year and it's back to the keyboard.

I guess I can blame it all on Russell Crow.

Back in 2003 the movie Master and Commander, on The Far Side of the World came out.

Now re enactors/living historians have a very strange relationship with movies. It is a love/hate thing of the first order. Most folks in the hobby can quote from at least 60 to 70 historical movies. It is a rare event when you don't hear a bit of dialog from Zulu, or any historical movie made in the last 60 years. If a movie is well done, (at least in OUR opinion) it is watched multiple times and appreciated. If it doesn't, well it is a terrible thing to behold. It is so bad with me, that my good wife will not go to any historical movie with me, because I ruin it for every one around me by pointing out all the inaccuracies. Don't get me started on movies such as The Patriot (with Mel Gibson) Revolution (with Al Pachino) and Last of the Mohicans (with Daniel Day Lewis) All three have the tendency to cause a nerve below my right eye to twitch, as well as cause me to toss things at the television when these movies show up on it. Just to show how seriously we take these things, I interrupted a argument between two of my friends about the historical accuracy of the Disney cartoon "Pocahontas". I had to point out the fact that it had a talking racoon in it which sorta made the other historical errors pale in comparison.

Master and Commander was different. It had the feel, the look and realism that we look for in this type of movie. Now, I have always enjoyed movies about the sea and fighting sail, such as "Damn the Defiant" "Captain Blood" and "Horatio Hornblower" But even with it's small errors M & C was head and shoulders above what had been done before. It got me thinking, I wonder if there is anyone doing age of fighting sail reenactments anywhere close? I found that I was getting a little bored with the traveling medicine show, so I was interested in exploring a new field. I started out with a small group in Florida, but they soon went belly up. A prince of a fellow Jim Pierce who lives up in PA then contacted me about his bunch of fellows, crew members of the HMS Squriell. They took me under their wing and so to speak "showed me the ropes" I couldn't believe how much fun it was to start out something new.

Well, everything was just whipping along like gangbusters and I was happy as a clam but PA is a LONG way to drive to attend a event. So I was talking to Jim, (Da Boss) and he told me about a fellow named Chris he knew who was involved in a group called Ship's Company of the Roanoke who primarily did the Civil War navy but were starting to venture into the age of fighting sail. This group was based here in North Carolina. Well, I hooked up with Chris Grimes and Andrew Duppstadt of the Ship's Company who welcomed me like a long lost relative and started doing the sailor thing at more local events. I have not looked back since.

However, there was a bit of a cloud on the horizon. Chris (Like a siren tempting brave Ulysses) started talking about Civil war reenacting. I had avoided Civil War reenacting like the plague, due to some bad experiences with folks doing that time period and the fact that a lot of people think that war is still going on. I also don't have a lot of fun burning powder like I did when I was much younger. Chris told me that their group wasn't geared to shooting or battle reenacting, but more interpretation with the public, one on one. He also told me that it wasn't that difficult to get your kit together. Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I can resist anything but temptation and new stuff. I have started working on gathering the equipment of a sailor from the 1861-1865 period.

And it is ALL Russell Crow's fault.

1 comment:

Chris Grimes said...

Bwahahahaahahaha! Just like a siren, my song lures you toward the darkside. As you saw at Fort Anderson/Brunswick Town, we also get to visit some really neat and beautiful places. Hopefully the next visit to the Cape Fear region will be as the crew of the HMS Cruizer, arriving to pick up that poor, misunderstood Governor Martin.