The incredible life of the Pirates, riches and risk
The life of pirates was at full speed, sail, steal, kill, enjoy, die. Normally the duration was only a few years, their high risk and due to the multitude of dangers and diseases to which they were exposed
Was pirate life really that interesting?
The Pirates also led a harsh and dangerous life aboard their ships.
This is how pirates lived on board: not everything was to wave their flags. They readied their weapons, trained for combat, fled from death and disease. They looked for their food, and did other jobs, like taking care of their boat.
The details of the amazing life of the Pirates, surrounded by emotion and almost permanent risks, to try to get what they wanted most, a rich loot.
Sail, fight, steal, and maybe die
They were looking for a new life and riches
The great difficulties of life in Europe, made dazzled by the riches of America, many Europeans undertook a trip to those distant lands seeking to enrich themselves.
Adventurers and unscrupulous people came among them, as were many of the Pirates, with the purpose of getting rich quickly.
It would not be easy for them to get riches, since the mere fact of sailing and the trip on the ship at that time, was already a great risk.
Life during the trip on the pirate ship was very difficult and the capture of ships was very dangerous, they were constantly risking their lives.
The most important country or European power of the time was the Crown of Spain. Treasure-filled Spanish galleons sailed freely across the Caribbean.
At first these ships were lightly armed because no other European country approached those waters. But since they also wanted to participate in the riches of America and did not have the capacity to directly confront Spain, they used another system. They encouraged the corsairs and took a part of the wealth without risking.
For this reason the ships that made the route to America were armed and sometimes grouped in convoys or large fleets.
Looking for some good loot
Accustomed to boarding, they occupied their favorite places to jump
They risked their lives navigating with great difficulty through the Atlantic Ocean for 5000 km
And they weren’t willing to come back empty-handed. They would do everything they could. They had no law to follow and unlimited greed.
+ Who were they?
Something more than looking at the sea
The ocean crossings lasted months, and there were few opportunities to land on an island
This is how pirates lived, their black or red flags, Weapons, Merciless pirates, Death, Food, Work on the ship, Ships faster than safe: caulking, caulking, Wounds and diseases: scurvy …
+ Where did they come from?
Surprises and curiosities of his life
The worst meeting at sea
The appearance of a pirate baro was a curse, nothing good could come of it
The dreaded vision of a pirate ship
Terror when contemplating the pirate flag
Flags: Black or red
Decorated with skulls, bones, skeletons, swords, shields …
The black color threatened her and the red color meant that they were ready for anything. Surrender or death. The flags could have been red, recalling the blood that they were capable of spilling or that they had shed on other occasions, when boarding ships that had resisted.
Later, black women became common, now better known. Many pirates, now famous, liked to have their own flag, to differentiate them from others.
The Flag: Jolie rouge or Jolly roger
Corsairs also used to wear insignia of their country
The first pirates were French and settled in the Antilles, it is very possible that its recent version comes from them. Later the bones and skulls were added, although there were many different designs.
They instilled terror with bones, skulls …
Terrible fear in his victims
The mere appearance of the pirate flag and more if it was red, with the drawing of a skull and tibias, created panic. On occasions sailors who had not fought in their lives found themselves at the forefront of expert pirates. They paralyzed their victims, who were usually people without any military training.
Also present in the life of pirates
The proximity of a boat that was difficult to identify was a great danger
Full sail to the unknown
Death could not only come during a boarding a ship for loot. All sailors, including Pirates, could be surprised and enter the Sea of Death, Sea of Fear, Lost Ship Cemetery, etc.
There are some areas of the seas where electrical and magnetic phenomena occur that cannot always be explained. The area of the Caribbean Sea also has another mystery, that of the White Waters that pirates and sailors have contemplated with fear since the time of Christopher Columbus.
+ Dangers and Mysteries in the sea
Give a pirate souvenir!
The best weapons to board a ship
Firearms and white weapons are important
Pistols, muskets, knives, axes, pikes …
Firearms of the time were unsafe
They were usually single-use weapons. And it took so long to reload them that during combat it was better to get rid of them, once fired. Some used them as a truncheon, as they were very hard and heavy. His precision was poor, except at close range.
And effective bladed weapons
The firearms they used were in keeping with the time, 16th-17th-18th centuries and with the objectives they intended to attack ships.
The best edged weapons were knives, swords, spears, boarding axes, spurs, chuzo, halberd, etc.
The firearms they used were pistols, arquebus, arquebus, musket, etc. and they were fired especially at the beginning of the boarding, since in the hand-to-hand fight there was no time to recharge them.
They warned with a cannon of what could happen to them if they did not obey the order to stop sailing
Cannonball, the last warning, stop sailing or pirate boarding
The famous pirate Blackbeard made all his cannons fire at once, causing a huge roar, which even tipped the ship. His ship was armed with numerous cannons, of all sizes, that he carried on board when he captured another ship. It was very easy to be scared by such noise and smoke. The crew of the other ship could have an idea of how it would be destroyed, if those cannons fired pointing at them.
They avoided using cannons because of their power
The cannons were destroying the ship
The precision of the firearms was very poor at long range, from a single shot, and it took too long to reload.
On the other hand, the corsairs, tried to seize the ships to sell the cargo, and the passengers, if it was interesting, so they were not interested in damaging their future assets.
They used the cannons as essential, to frighten, break the sail of the ship and prevent it from fleeing, then going on to boarding.
When they reached the ship, they made the boarding and with the axes they broke the sail, to immobilize it. After the fire of their weapons a first shot of pistols
and muskets, they went to hand-to-hand fighting with knives, daggers, etc.
With captured crew and passengers
If they were forced to fight, their victims would pay dearly later.
Both Pirates and Corsairs, Buccaneers or Filibusteros, were people who risked a lot in exchange for riches.
Especially the Pirates, who respected neither Laws nor Kings, they only cared about getting what they wanted,
even if they had to apply any cruelty.
In such a way that if the capture of the crew and passengers of the attacking ships or cities did not bring them any benefit, on some occasions they did not hesitate to kill them, even in the most cruel way.
If they managed to position themselves side to side, the boarding was imminent
Naval battle and boarding at times
Beginning of the pirate boarding
If they had not known the experience, the fact of seeing a group of cruel pirates about to board your ship, often created panic. But if they had already told you how these wild pirates behaved and how blood flowed, if they were forced to board, fear paralyzed many of the crew before the fate that awaited them.
+ Battles at sea
Death or the terrible mutilations
The mutilated pirate
Produced during the boarding of the pirates: eyes, legs, arms ..
Death was part of his job, since you had to be very desperate or very ambitious, to take that type
of life. In areas like the Caribbean, pirates attacked for centuries.
The mere fact of sailing at that time and living on a ship, with terrible living conditions, was already risky. If we add to this, the risks of storms and sea currents, it was risking one’s life.
In addition, their way of fighting hand to hand, by boarding, made them mutilated or injured on many occasions.
If they were captured by the authorities of any country, their destiny was to be hanged in a public square.
In many maneuvers and work on ships it was necessary to climb the masts or to unfold sails
The risky climb to the sails on a moving ship required strength, skill and balance
In many maneuvers and work on ships it was necessary to climb the masts or to unfold sails. For this reason accidents and falls were not uncommon.
A fall on the deck of the ship caused death if it was from a great height or at least wounds and broken bones. A fall into the sea in the middle of a storm made help impossible and he would be lost at sea.
They ate better than other sailors, from raisins to fish
They fed on biscuits, smoked or salted meat, raisins, children, cheeses, etc. When they could fish, they incorporated fish into their diet, which was a little more varied.
Sometimes they brought animals on board, which they sacrificed during the trip, in order to have fresh meat. The chickens were highly prized, because they provided fresh eggs, throughout the journey.
+ Food and Drinks
The large number of islands made it difficult to locate the pirates and allowed them to stock up on water and food
In the Caribbean Sea there are countless small islands, where it is possible to hide and go unnoticed
Together with the good climate and in many cases with abundant vegetation, they were the most similar places to Paradise for a European from England or Holland. The cold and rain of the almost always England or the frosts and snowfalls of the Netherlands, were at a disadvantage with the warm temperatures of the Caribbean.
+ Pirate Islands
Good loot in its Golden Age
The chase of the filibusters used to be successful and catch up with their prey
Huge sailing ships laden with wealth and valuable merchandise, sailed the seas
Thousands of jobless sailors and good connoisseurs of the trade, dedicated themselves to piracy. The change for them was advantageous, the same activities but without limits. It no longer mattered that the attacked ship was from his own country. They no longer had scruples, they were in business. It didn’t matter who they robbed, everything was allowed. They no longer had a King or Laws to comply with, except their own.
+ His Golden Age
The fast filibuster ships ready
During the voyages they pampered their boats, taking the best possible care of them. They were their most valuable tool, on which they depended to reach their prey, and they needed them to be in the best possible condition.
Repairing them, draining water, preparing and repairing candles, caring for and cleaning their weapons, were part of the routine of their work.
There were two essential jobs on their ships: caulking and caulking. Both jobs had to be done well and were often done by pirates themselves. If the job was not done well, water could get into the boat and there would be great difficulties to navigate.
Speed on your boats: Carenos
The danger of cleaning the helmet from algae and mollusks
Pirate ships needed maintenance to be the fastest. During the crossings the algae and some types of mollusks were fixed to its bottom. Over time they slowed down the pirate ships. The adzes with a very thin blade allowed them to tear the mollusks from the hull.
These operations of cleaning the ship’s hull were one of the most dangerous moments for them. They could be caught in the middle of cleaning work and would not have time to flee or to engage in combat with their cannons.
They chose isolated island beaches off the beaten track to do so. Soon the ship was clean and regained its normal speed.
Avoid water: Caulk
Pirates depended on the safety of their ships
Until the 14th century, ships were built of wood and required constant maintenance to prevent water from flooding them. The gaskets were easily damaged and there were small water inlets that endangered the ship.
To avoid this, they needed to caulk the boats, emptying the space between the timbers, filling it and sealing it to ensure that no water entered. This work was slow and they needed special tools. Depending on the size of the ship, it could be extended since it was also used to careen the ship. The pitarrase allowed to open the joints of the wood. They used a mallet to hit the different irons. Descale remover with a diagonal tip to clean the joints and tear off the tow. Caulk iron with a narrow blade to insert new tow into the joints. The funnel-shaped ladle to introduce the pitch into the joints.
Ships grew in size and naval technology developed
Hustle and bustle on deck, facing a possible collision
Faced with a possible attack, the entire crew mobilized on both ships, some were preparing to attack, others to try to save their lives.
Scurvy dreaded disease
The permanent pursuit of the deadly Scurvy
The origin of the disease was unknown
The poor diet they had, made diseases easily appear. Scurvy was one of the best known, due to the lack of vitamins, not having fresh fruits and vegetables. This disease of sailors in general also appeared sometimes in the life of pirates.
I deal with Sunstrokes, Frostbites, Trauma. As well as the injuries in the combat, they made that his life was not easy, nor long. The possibilities of dying were many, and the loss of arms, legs, and eyes, very frequent.