Dream Chaser

The year is 1723 and the condemned pirate, William Benton, awaits his appointment with death at Execution dock. To pass the time he recounts tales of his adventures to the naïve young journalist, Nathaniel Bagshaw, who hopes to publish a popular book on pirate histories.

Benton’s story begins in 1718, when the pirate stronghold of Nassau is under threat and its inhabitants are torn between accepting the King’s pardon or continuing their precarious life as sea rovers. Captain Gunnarsson and his crew choose the latter and are forced to flee a place they once called home. Their luck seems to change when they sight a Spanish galleon separated from the treasure fleet by a storm, but during the pursuit their ship, Dream Chaser, is engulfed by a sudden, eerie mist. When they emerge they find themselves no longer in known territories, but in unknown and mysterious lands. Now they are struggling for their lives as they attempt to return to familiar waters with or without the Spanish treasure.…

Pirate ships

Pirates made use of many types of ships, in particular smaller versatile vessels which could navigate the shallow waters and shoals characteristic of the Caribbean. Bigger was not necessarily better as larger ships with their complex rigging and large area of canvas were more difficult to sail. Although the term ‘ship’ strictly applied to three-masted, fully rigged vessels, the word was often applied to sloops and brigantines at the time. The names applied to seafaring vessels have changed over time, but here the terms here are those used during the Golden Age of Piracy. During this period, ships were often defined by their type of rigging rather than the shape of their hull or number of masts. A lot of ships possessed at least some oars in the early 18th century, whether brigantines, sloops, or frigate-built ships, allowing for more versatility in calm weather. Made them more mobile, especially when there was no wind.

Storm Seeker

Founded in 2013, this pirate band from Neuss and Düsseldorf in Germany plays hard hitting metal with both male and female vocals intertwined with the unusual sounds of hurdy-gurdy, accordion, and flutes, but they are also know to play some acoustic tunes. Their songs tell about pirates and life at sea sometimes sprinkled with a hint of pirate humour. Although hailing from Germany, their lyrics are in English.

 

The Spanish War of Succession

“In 1706, my older brother, Rupert, fought at the Battle of Ramillies in the Spanish War, and he’s never been the same since. He saw more bloodshed there than any man should witness in his lifetime.”

— Nathaniel Bagshaw

Sea Battle of Vigo Bay by anonymous (1702)The War of Spanish Succession was fought in Europe and the colonies between 1701 and 1714. The theatre of war in the Americas was known as Queen Anne’s War and involved a series of wars fought by British colonists against the French and their native American allies.

In 1700 King Charles II, the last Spanish King of the House of Habsburg, died with no direct heir to take over the throne of Spain. Before he died, he had named his half sister’s grandson, the Duke of Anjou, Phillip of Bourbon, as his successor to the Spanish crown under the name Felipe V. Felipe was also in the line of succession to the French throne.…

William Benton

Now a condemned pirate in Newgate prison in London awaiting his appointment with gallows, William Benton was once boatswain on the pirate vessel Dream Chaser. Originally from Plymouth in Devon, the 35-year-old loquacious seaman and anti-hero is renowned for his biting wit and sarcastic humour, which on times made him extremely unpopular with the crew. At times self-serving and self-important, it is not unknown for him to surprise his shipmates with unexpected acts of fairness and compassion. He also possess a strong sense of justice and refuses to submit himself to any master, making him a suitable candidate for a pirate crew.

What did pirates eat?

Ships at a harbour mole and a yacht sailing away by Willem van de Velde the Younger (1673)What did pirates eat? Anything they could get their hands on. Although fresh produce was scarce on long sea voyages, pirates didn’t usually spend as long at sea as the average sailor on a naval ship or merchantman. They would normally sail out from their base to seize there pray and return with their booty, where they could purchase fresh provisions. When no friendly port was available, food could be obtained by foraging on one of the many islands or even from plundering. After the fall of the pirate nest Nassau in 1718 and with the increasing pressure on pirates from the Royal Navy, their bases no longer existed and the sea rovers probably had to go for longer periods without fresh food.