Andrew Scott<br />M. Arguello<br />History 140<br />14 April 2011<br />Pirates and Their Lives<br /> In this posting of my personal research project I will now discuss the types of ships pirates lived on and preferred; as well as, their living conditions and a glimpse of what being a pirate meant. Like I mentioned in my first personal research post, I will be specifically focused on the pirates that sailed in the Caribbean. <br />Pirates preferred fast and agile ships, because they needed to either catch their prey or evade the authorities. The first ship they were inclined to was the sloop. This ship was a pirate favorite because it could navigate pickle shallow waters along the coast lines they ravaged. The sloop has one main sail and the ship was usually thirty-five to sixty-five feet long, bow to stern. It is said that the best sloops constructed of the time were constructed in either Jamaica or Bermuda. This ship is also extremely sea worthy; it was able to stay at sea for long periods of time. They were not only used in the Caribbean but the Atlantic. The cousin to the sloop was the schooner. This too, was an agile ship. However, the schooner had two masts and it could navigate in about five feet of water, just like the sloop. This ship could easily make eleven knots in a good wind. These ships were about eighty-five to one hundred tons in weight. The schooner was large enough to carry a decent size crew. It also had a low silhouette which gave pirate an advantage when stalking their prey. One thing that did not help the pirates was that the Royal Navy used the schooner against pirates for the obvious reasons. Finally the schooner regularly carried six to ten cannons unless the pirates felt they needed more. Moving right along, a third ship that pirates in the Caribbean favored was the brigantine. This massive ship was the largest of the three. It carried both sails and oars and it had three sails. The sails were known for sailing power. The brigantine was normally eighty feet in length from bow to stern. The giant brigantine could sail in about eleven feet of water and it could be easily manned by a crew of one hundred and eighty. This ship was capable of carrying twelve to twenty cannons. It lacked speed, but it made up for that with fire power.<br />Next, I would like to share with you how pirates lived their lives aboard their ships of crime. It was impossible to keep the ships from leaking so they had to constantly pump the water out of the lower decks; this was a daily task pirates had to do. Wooden sailing ships were regularly clammy, dim, depressing and stunk with rancid odors from numerous sources. Ships normally had surgeons, but they were rarely skilled enough. They often did not save injured men. Pirate’s diets consisted of almost nothing but meat. However, fish and meat was rotten and fresh water stank. The pirate life was particularly vulnerable to scurvy, which is caused by the lack of vitamin C. Other diseases they suffered from were malaria, yellow fever and dysentery. When pirates had to use the lavatory, they were required to climb out on the bowsprit to be relieved. One last fact, pirates very commonly had venereal diseases.<br />Furthermore, here are some favorite pirate past times. Pirates liked to play cards and dice. They also liked to fire their weapons if they had the spare ammunition. Probably the more popular hobby was drinking rum and rum punch while they were aboard. Some pirates turned to prayer and the bible to past their time at sea. One past time that sticks out is they liked to hold mock trials. They would mimic what could happen to them if they were captured and put on trial. Pirates also would capture musicians and force them to play music for the crew. And finally, pirates of course were always on the prowl for an easy buck. They preferred their target to give up with ease rather than have to fight for the property of their prey. I hope you learned some fun facts about pirates, their ships, and their day to day life. <br />Sources<br />
Vallar, Cindy. Pirates and Privateers. April 14th, 2011. http://www.cindyvallar.com/piratearticles.html#Howto
Pirates. April 14th, 2011. http://www.warplay.com/Warplay16-Pirate%20&%20Their%20Ships.htm
Blue Heron Elementary school. Pirate Ships. April 14th, 2011. http://www.centennial.k12.mn.us/bhe/Archives/Activities/Pirates/Pages/ships/Ship.html
Deviant Art. April 13th, 2011. http://jdm77.deviantart.com/art/Jolly-Roger-130406498
Cawthorne, Nigel. (2006). Pirates an Illustrated History. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc.