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Pirate for a Day
Carol Zarudenec Smith for local2 sault ste. marie
May 23rd, 2012 at 2:32pm
July 22, 2010 the Soo was privileged to have the HMS Bounty docked at the waterfront by the Roberta Bondar Pavilion for a few days and permitted Sooites and tourists to explore it from deck to hull. Who didn’t want to see a replica of The Bounty and movie pirate ship? This caused long line-ups as only a number of interested people were allowed on the ship at a time. The operation ran smoothly so everyone could “come aboard” and walk around this beautiful vessel.
The HMS Bounty was built by MGM Studios in 1960 for the film “Mutiny on the Bounty” that was released in 1962 starring Marlon Brando. It was also used in such movies as “Yellow Beard,” “Treasure Island” and “Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man‘s Chest.” It was an adventure exploring the ship and seeing how life would’ve been on board. The Mess Deck is described, “The tables in the mess area have no legs but instead are hinged from the ceiling planks (inner hull) and are suspended on the inboard side by adjustable lines. Because sailors were only given one serving for each meal, if the ship was tilted, the length of the lines could be adjusted for the heel of the ship. They could also be raised out of the way when not in use.”
Another plaque denotes, “Adding to the horrendous living conditions of the common sailor were superstitions of the day. At the time of the Bounty’s voyage, it was still bad luck to bathe while at sea. With all of the hard work, tropical climates and filthy living conditions, the thirty sailors living in this area would not have bathed on the Bounty’s voyage until it made landfall in Africa some 7 months after it left England. Fresh food on board ship was live pigs, chickens, sheep etc. The officers, not the sailors with whom the livestock lived, ate the live animals.”
In the aft portion of the t’ween decks we have the quarters of officers and “idlers,” those who did not stand a watch or deal with the navigations of the ship but were vital to its mission (surgeon, clerk and botanist) and everyone slept in hammocks. Often sailors were not allowed to go ashore not because of possible desertion but to keep the ship safe from diseases that were rampant on shore.
It all began when John Zeppa entered a pirate costume contest at the Station Mall in July 2010. Lo and behold he and Sally Toivonen along with her poodle Tasha were chosen to be greeters on the famous ship HMS Bounty. John claimed that he was excited about this chance to go aboard this well-known vessel.
Tim Murphy, local actor and comedian, dressed to resemble Johnny Depp as Captain Sparrow from the film, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He really played the part well entertaining spectators who strolled around the ship. Sally Toivonen and her dog Tasha, also in pirate attire, greeted the lines of people who wanted to view this ship. Being fun people, John, Sally and Tim portrayed their roles expertly. They got right into their parts by using pirate phrases like, “Shiver me timbers,” “Yo ho ho where‘s the rum?” or “Aar” and “Ahoy matey.”
Many people delighted in having their photos taken with the three of them. I’m sure they all felt like celebrities having camera flashes exploding frequently. It was an awesome experience John said he won’t soon forget.