Thursday, July 28, 2016

Broad Channel Pirates!



BETWEEN THE BRIDGES IN BROAD CHANNEL
July 28th, 2016
Peter Mahon

Broad Channel Pirates!

The sun had passed it's mid-point in the overhead sky and the barely perceptible morning breeze had disappeared leaving in its wake only the humid stagnant afternoon heat as the 40 women made their way aboard the 70 foot fishing charter "Capt. Mike" in Howard Beach last Sunday.  This year's Broad Channel VFW annual "Girl's Only" fishing trip had been re-christened in memory of a much loved member who passed away back away in 2014 as the organization's "Annual Suzanne Grillman Fishing Tournament."  Suzanne would have loved the idea of the all girl fishing trip being named after her as she always believed that it was much better for a woman to give a man a fish to eat for the day but to never, ever, teach that same man to fish because he will only wind up sitting in a boat drinking beer all day! 

Shortly after 1 pm Mike Cannon fired up the "Capt Mike" and pulled away from the dock and slowly headed out into Jamaica Bay in search of keeper sized fluke. Now this is where the story gets interesting.  As the ladies were setting about to enjoy their afternoon of fishing and female camaraderie they were completely unaware of the fact that their male counterparts left behind on the island of Broad Channel were planning their own, male only, boat excursion, a pirate attack upon the fair damsels aboard the "Capt. Mike".  Preparations for the guys only trip required a stop at the Broad Channel Gift Shop on Cross Bay Boulevard where more than 200 "rapid fill" water balloons were purchased as well as various items of "pirate" related apparel - head scarves, swords (calm down...only plastic ones!), and the like. There was a lot of moaning and groaning about their inability to procure eye patches and parrots for the crew.    

Water balloons filled, pirate garb worn, swords slung, coolers iced and filled with copious amounts of grog, the only matter left was to procure a boat for their planned junket. This took a little longer than expected but ultimately one was obtained.  Of course that fact  makes me wonder why anyone in their right mind would be willing to provide their own boat to a group of adult men without any fishing gear whatsoever, running around dressed as pirates yelling "Avast Matey", "Arrr!", "Ahoy There!" while lugging around hundreds of water balloon and coolers full of beer.  Then again, keep in mind this is Broad Channel we're talking about.

Obviously someone had recently watched one of the Prates of the Caribbean movies as their newly acquired vessel was temporarily christened the Black Pearl as the boys set out on their quest to locate and wreak havoc upon the Capt. Mike somewhere on the waters of Jamaica Bay. About an hour after leaving port and many cups (cans) of grog (beer) later one of the lads spotted the Capt. Mike in the distance near the Marine Parkway Bridge and confusing Herman Melville with Robert Louis Stevenson, yelled out to his comrades "Thar she blows!"  Approaching the Capt, Mike, the crew hurriedly distributed the water balloons among themselves as they ducked out of sight below the boat's gunwale and waited until their smaller craft was alongside the larger ship whereupon they rose up and unleashed a broadside of water balloons towards the women who were fishing from the deck of the Capt. Mike while waving their plastic swords and yelling, "Ahoy wenches, here's a little something for all of ye!"  Truth be told, the ladies gave as good as they got with some catching the water balloons in mid flight and returning them to their senders!  

With all their balloons spent, the wannabe pirate laddies broke off their engagement with the Capt. Mike and turned tail back to safe port in Broad Channel.  Arriving at the VFW around 3 pm they spent the next hour or so regaling all present with the grand tales of their pirate raid upon the girls on Capt, Mike!  Somewhere around 4:15 pm the grand tale telling gave way to a visible nervousness regarding the reaction on the part of the girls to their raid when they arrived back at the VFW later that afternoon.  When the ladies did arrive back it was non-eventful with most smiling and simply remarking that they all had a great time.  I pulled one girl aside and inquired about the possibility of pay pack.  She smiled, winked and in a hushed tone said "Pirates my ass!  All of these guys are a canvas short of a full sail...I doubt any of them have ever heard of Anne Bonny because if they had they would realize that there will be pay back, they simply know neither the day nor the hour!"

Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?  


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