Captain Kidd

THE LIFE OF A PIRATE

Life On Land

When they reached a port, if the trip had been successful, the pirates squandered their ill-gotten gains on gambling, drink and women often spending thousands of pieces-of-eight in a night (in these days 2 pieces-of-eight bought a cow!). Alexander Exquemelin noted that the pirates wasted in a few days in the taverns and stews all they had gotten, by giving themselves to all manner of debauchery with strumpets and wine.

However, there was also work which had to be carried out before the pirates could sail again. The successful pirate ensured that the ship was kept in good working order, this meant careening the ship (scraping the weed and barnacles from the bottom of the ship) as well as repairing sails and rigging. Other crew members would have the job of finding fresh supplies of water and food for the next voyage.

Life On The Sea

Life at sea was one of great contrasts, week of boredom searching for prey then short bursts of excitement as a victim was sighted, boarded and plundered. During the long, boring spells it was not uncommon for arguments to arise among crew members, at such times the captain had to control his crew through either respect or fear. In many cases the captain did not have the last word as many pirate crews were run democratically and often had a strict code of conduct.



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