Black Beard the Pirate
September 7-9, 2012
This weekend, Dana Point’s Ocean Institute is celebrating its 28th year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival! You will have a great time exploring the majesty and wonder of real working Tall Ships. Interactive living-history encampments including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages.
Inside the Ocean Institute, explore their work on protecting the local watersheds through hands-on labs and art activities; get up-close and personal with some of the ocean’s most amazing sea creatures, including sea stars, jellies, rays and octopus. One event your child will want to participate in is the Ocean Institutes Pirate School! Your child will learn all there is to know about talking, walking and singing like a pirate! Don’t miss out on all the activities this year’s Tall Ships festival will have and celebrate Dana Point’s rich maritime history!
Pirates or Privateers??
Many landlubbers might be easily confused as to the difference between a "Pirate" and a "Privateer"... below is a description of both to ensure that all brave souls who venture to the 2012 Festival know which one to look out for!
A pirate is one who commits “piracy” by engaging in robbery, pillaging, or plundering at sea (or sometimes on shore). A pirate is someone who attacked and captured ships from any nation he so chose -- not having been commissioned by a sovereign nation. Pirates lived by their own rules. If a pirate wwere caught by any country, the punishment was usually death.
A Privateer would hold what is called a "Letter of Marque." This was an official government document that stated that the individual could legally hunt and capture any ships of that country's enemy. Privateers had immunity for the country that commissioned them, but were considered prisoners of war if caught by other countries. Privateers were sometimes known as “gentlemen pirates."
The Pirate of San Juan Bay (Dana Point)
Dana Point had only one real pirate encounter but it was a devastating event in history for the local San Juan Mission and Rancho Capistrano cattle ranch.
On December 14, 1818, a pirate fleet led by Hippolyte de Bouchard, anchored in the waters just off Dana Point (San Juan Bay). That same night Bouchard led his crew to the San Juan Mission in search of rumored gold. The pirate band attacked the mission, ransacking and pillaging for hours only to find no treasure. Bouchard then led his pirate band just north to Rancho Capistrano assuming that the gold must be hidden somewhere on the ranch grounds. Once again finding no booty, the angered Bouchard led a devastating & murderous assault on the Ranch. This tragedy led to the end of the working ranch until the middle 1800s.
Thanks for taking a peek ~