Review: Custom Pirate Eyepatch

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Rating: ★★★½☆
Pyrate Leatherworx

*note: I adore and endorse the craftsmanship of Pyrate Leatherworx. However, I’ve received many reports of late from dissatisfied customer regarding poor communication and long overdue orders. Prior to placing an order based on this review, I strongly urge you to first read these comments from concerned readers.

This may come as a surprise to you Jack Sparrow lookalikes out there, but part of the excitement of being a pirate is getting to dress in a fun and unique manner. Sometimes this means choosing the right slops and jacket, other times it means sporting a fine hat or funky facial hair. But other times it means we get to ACCESSORIZE!

Eyepatches are a longstanding staple of the pirate look. For the healthy-bodied individual they’re more comfortable than peglegs, and less dangerous than hooks (remember not to pick your nose!). Continue reading

Review: The Captains Marshall

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Captains Marshall: A Promise of Freedom
by Catherine R. Donaldson

The Captains Marshall is the tale of two young cousins, Giselle and Saoirse Marshall. Following the early demise of their twin fathers – a couple of respected, good hearted shipbuilders. Their cruel grandmother seeks to get the girls married off as soon as possible – the cousins’ own feelings on the matter be damned. Rather than succumb to the lives of high society wives, Giselle and Saoirse coerce their fathers’ former coworkers to help them steal a ship and join them in a life of adventure and piracy. Continue reading

Review: Cap’n Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall’s Guide to Pirate Parenting

Rating: ★★★½☆
Cap’n Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall’s Guide to Pirate Parenting
by Tim Bete

If you’re like me, or not like me for that matter… in fact no matter who you’re like, upon reading the title of “Cap’n Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall’s Guide to Pirate Parenting”, odds are significant that you asked yourself that most basic of questions, “Is this for real?” It’s a question I’ve had to ask before with some books, and the answer has sometimes been surprising. In this particular case, however, it’s a definite “No.” Continue reading

Review: Maui Dark

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Maui Dark Rum

Many words can be applied to Maui Dark Rum, but “timid” it is not. From the moment the bottle is opened, a broadside of sensations is unleashed. Oak and burnt leather, and a heavy sweet musk with hints of nutmeg and pepper. This rum can be brutal and merciless, and that’s before you’ve even taken a first sip.

Maui Dark tastes much as it smells, with the same musky earthiness, toffee, and a bit of char. It isn’t subtle, and it certainly isn’t gentle. Strangely, as this rum journeys through your mouth, it leaves the majority of the tongue untouched, instead focusing its attentions on the back of the mouth – the rear roof, the base of the tongue, and the back of the throat. It’s in these areas that Maui works its mojo, for good and for il. Continue reading

Review: Gosling’s Family Reserve

Rating: ★★★★★
Gosling’s Family Reserve

I’ve long been a fan of Gosling’s Black Seal rum. Dollar for dollar, it’s one of the finest rums around. True, it isn’t for the faint of heart – but it soundly encompasses what rum is meant to be, and is one of the most affordable rums around that can be enjoyed straight up. So when Gosling finally started making their Family Reserve Rum more readily available, I was duly excited to finally try it.

First, it’s always a delight when a rum distiller takes the time to package their product in a manner befitting a spirit of such rich history. Gosling’s Family Reserve (also called Gosling’s Old Rum) is bottled in frosted glass of an extremely dark green. Its cork is sealed in black wax, embossed with a company seal and identified with rustic labels which include individual bottle/batch numbers. The whole affair is encased in an open-faced wooden box, and is truly a sight to behold. Continue reading

Review: Pirates of the Oregon Coast

Rating: ★½☆☆☆
Pirates of the Oregon Coast
by Achilles Massahos, Brian Benson, Kathleen Seligman, Michael O’Shaughnessy, and the Unknown Mariner

What with Caribbean Pirates getting so much attention – followed closely in popularity by Barbary Corsairs and Madagascar renegades, west coast pirates seem largely forgotten. Personally, I can only name one pirate that frequented the Pacific Northwest, and that’s One-Eyed Willey from the Goonies (which may not have been entirely historically accurate, I fear.) As such, the chance to learn a little about this under-appreciated region was most welcome.

“Pirates of the Oregon Coast” follows the exploits of a small ship and crew as they deal with local indians, Spanish authorities, and shipboard politics. The elements are present for a truly compelling read, but unfortunately the authors (five of them) seemed unable to commit to a single focus. In some respects, this book is historically-based fiction, featuring real places and feasible scenarios that might have served to illustrate likely historical truths. But in other respects it’s sheer fantasy, with magical jewels and sooth-saying birds, mystical glimpses of near and distant futures, and out-of-body experiences. These two extremes are interwoven in such a way as to make it difficult – if not impossible – to seperate the fact from the fiction, thereby dilluting this book’s potential as an educational vehicle. Continue reading

Review: The Last Voyage of the Black Betty

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy the CD
Genre: Jazzy, beatnick lounge songs. About pirates.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

It may surprise you to learn, I listen to a LOT of pirate music (far more than I’ve yet reviewed, shamefully.) As such, I’m rarely truly surprised. Impressed, certainly – it’s always a treat to hear a new origninal song, or an exciting new presentation of an old song. And it’s always thrilling to learn of a new pirate-rock or pirate-shantey group picking up the torch and lending their talents to create truly original material. BUT, sometimes it feels like I’ve heard it all. Continue reading

Review: Hot Pirate Babes 2007 Calendar

Rating: ★★★½☆
Hot Pirate Babes

How many times have a bunch of blokes been sitting together and come up with the brilliant notion, “hey, we should make a calendar of hot pirate babes!” Without a doubt, the idea has been tossed about many a time. But for some reason it wasn’t until 2007 that someone actually took the project to task. And thus was born Tiger Lee’s “Hot Pirate Babes Calendar”, being the ultimate in aptly titled products this side of the Grand Canyon.

Hot Pirate Babes features 12 months of seagoing beauties – each of them armed. And while most are somewhat under-dressed for combat, many nonetheless sport combative snarles that make it clear they have something other than amore on their minds. I mention this point because it’s a subject that draws wildly different reactions from different viewers. The calendar’s cover, in fact, features a buxom blonde firing her pistol and bearing her pearly whites in a manner that says anything but “come hither.” (Unless, of course, it’s “come hither so I may gut you like a spaniard.”) In my own experience scorned women have proven best avoided, and aren’t something I would normally opt to pin to my wall (we’re talking calendars, remember.) Some of my mates, however, have clearly differed on this subject, and expressed that a warlike countenance can be quite the turn-on. Continue reading

Review: Sailor Bags

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders

I’m a real fan of Flying Canoe Traders – they truly excel in clothing that is basic, functional, and sturdy. Their slops and shirts are amongst the few that I would actually wear to sea and trust them capable of enduring real weather and hardship. So when I was in need of a sailor’s bag, it was naturally Flying Canoe that first came to mind.

Flying Canoe’s Sailor Bags are essentially old-style duffel bags, intended to sling over your shoulder and carry your necessities. Roomy enough for a change of socks and knickers, toiletries, and a few other necesities and sundries, they’re definitely intended for the light, efficient packer (I would guesstimate a 2.5 gallon capacity.) But this means they’re also able to be carried as part of your garb, rather than leaving some heavy bag in the corner of the pub to get pilfered and ransacked by unsavory vagabonds. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Goblet

Rating: ★★★★½
Captain Goldtooth Pirate Pottery

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – nothing spoils a glorious pirate personna faster than drinking out of a dixie cup. You may be the meanest scalliwagg around, complete with glorious brocade coat and a bicorn hat that eclipses the sun, but if you’re sipping your rum from a disposable plastic container, you still look a ninny.

Fortunately there are options – pewter and stoneware solutions are on the rise, from tankards to flasks to onion bottles. Pirates can select from the extremely fancy to the simple and rustic. Personally, it’s the rustic I often like best, as it seems most suited to the consumption of rum. And it’s in this way that Goldtooth Pottery truly shines. But if you’re not a rum fan, don’t let that stop you. Goldtooth drinking vessels are just as suited for the drinking of Kill Devil, Bomboo, Flip, Grog, or just plain ol’ distilled molasses. Continue reading