Today was probably the day of this year's heritage days I was looking forward to the most. Our presenter today was Dan Conlin, Curator of Marine Heritage for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and the author of the recently released Pirates of the Atlantic: Robbery Murder and Mayhem off the Canadian East Coast. Now, anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that I am smitten with tales of the age of sail in Nova Scotia. I find tales of piracy particularly interesting since they usually run a fine line between fact and folklore. Much of the folklore was even created by the pirates themselves in an attempt to fearsome to potential prey. It was much easier on the pirate crew if they could convince a ship to surrender based on reputation rather than actual bloodshed.
Using his cutlass as a crude pointer, we were given a background the general roots of piracy. From here we moved to stories of specific pirates and their time in Nova Scotia waters. I am sure that the crowd favorite was the story of a female pirate who came to Annapolis Royal. We were even able to examine some of the colourful history of Oak Island and its potential as a location for pirate loot.
I would like to thank our young pirates who came dressed in costume for this presentation. They added a great deal of colour to our proceedings. Perhaps the greatest testament to Dan is that he had five five year olds in the front row and, with the exception of some minor wiggling, we did not hear a peep out of them.
All for now,