Surrender the Booty – Pirate High Seas Tactics

Song of the Day: Save Yourself by Stabbing Westward

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In A Kiss in the Wind (release date March 26th!), pirate captain Blade Tyburn engages in not one, but two sea battles. Really, what’s a pirate adventure without some live action?  However, did you know that pirates often avoided going into battle?

Sure, pirates are known for their pillaging, plundering and rioting. But when chasing down ships under sail, pirates preferred tactical strategy over a blood-fest.

Once the pirates spotted a potential prize, they shadowed the quarry, following them for hours, and sometimes even days. They did this to determine several things—what country the ship sailed under, where the ship was headed, how fast could she sail, and was the vessel well-armed.  How did they determine all this? By being bad ass, of course.  These men made it their business to be experienced in the seas they prowled, became knowledgeable of the trade routes, and by having rats, er, informants staked along in ports.

Armed with this intelligence, the pirate crew voted on whether they wanted to take the ship or let her pass.  Should they decide a ship was a worthy prize, they still didn’t attack. Engaging in battle was the last thing they wanted. What good was a prize if she was damaged, or worse, sinking? And no one wanted to die, right? Pirates relied on the elements of speed, surprise, and gotchas!

First, they might show their colors, meaning hoisting their jolly roger. If that didn’t get the knees a-knockin’, they’d fire a single warning shot across the ship’s bow. You’d think that would be enough. Unfortunately there were some stubborn fools. So pirates would resort to vapouring techniques meant to terrorize victims into surrendering. Fierce shouts and fearsome threats, lively battle music, and brandishing weapons were usually quire effective. Giving up the goods spared lives. But those who resisted, well, they were shown no quarter.

If you were encountered by a pirate ship, when would you surrender? Or would you fight until the death?

Me? I’d probably try to use my feminine wiles to outsmart them. LOL!

22 Responses to Surrender the Booty – Pirate High Seas Tactics

  1. wmsimon says:

    I personally would use my years of training in an obscure martial art, a form of self-defense. It is called “Horo Neku”, and takes years of practice to achieve any level of proficiency or degree of skill.

    “Horo Neku” translates roughly to English as “Run like HELL!”


  2. jbrayweber says:

    LOL! I just got a mental picture of you running around in circles on the ship while pirates are trying to catch you. Thanks for the laugh, Will! 🙂


  3. jeff7salter says:

    If they came after me, I’d paddle as fast as I could.
    Hoist the mainsail … whatever.


  4. jbrayweber says:

    Too funny, Jeff. Another mental image. Must be something I’m drinking this morning. Ha!


  5. wmsimon says:

    As long as they don’t catch me, I’m good! And I can still swim, Jenn….:)


  6. jbrayweber says:

    Another great image….


  7. I’d probably try to out sail them. I hate giving up.


  8. jbrayweber says:

    Well…if it was Jack Sparrow trying to board my ship, I’d give up instantly. How about you, Ella? HAHAHA!


  9. Reblogged this on Ella Quinn ~ Author and commented:
    from Jen


  10. Brenda says:

    LOL, loved your post.
    I would probably cry and then someone would run me through with a blade.


  11. jbrayweber says:

    HA! Let’s hope not, Brenda. Maybe they’ll take pity on you and you’ll become their pirate booty, er, I mean, wench. 😉


  12. Hmm. Fight until Victory or death!


  13. jbrayweber says:

    That’s always a good way to go, Nick. 😉


  14. Ha ha Jen, I don’t think my masculine wiles will get me anywhere…unless the ship was full of lady pirates…..or possibly flamboyant male pirates….which would be pretty dam weird for me…LMAO!


  15. jbrayweber says:

    If the ship was full of women, Nick, I’m sorry to say you probably wouldn’t have had a chance. Something about payback for the centuries of oppression and convention. HAHA! Now those flamboyant fellows…well, I think you are on to something. 😀


  16. In my story I’d have a time machine and would have traveled to the future and brought back tons of tear gas. I’d masquerade as a merchant ship but I’d really be a master pirate of all the pirates and steal from them. Afterwards I’d start my secret engines and disappear before they could clear their eyes well enough to see what happened….wow- what a legend I could have become…with flowing red hair and everything!!!


  17. jbrayweber says:

    I LIKE that, Stacey. And knowing redheads were considered bad luck, well, all the better! Just be sure to spare the blonde’s booty. Okay? 🙂


  18. Thanks for your post, Jenn. If I were on a ship that got captured by pirates, would I fight or surrender? Depends. If they’re just a bunch of seafaring thugs, I’d fight. But if they look like Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom . . . .

    Congrats on your new release, and good luck!


  19. jbrayweber says:

    Oh yeah, I know what you mean, Mary Anne.
    Thugs…taste my steel. HAHA!
    Johnny, Orlando, I’d surrender instantly. Probably because my knees would melt from underneath me. LOL!


  20. James Dalton says:

    Great cover’s. As a retired pirate , I would never be on an unarmed vessel. My own is armed. I would invoke the code, or board the bastards and take their booty. I fly a Jack Rackam or an Emanuel Wynne 24/7,


  21. jbrayweber says:

    Ah…a brethren, eh, James? Welcome to my waters. And many thanks for your kind words. 😉


  22. i want a friend…

    […]Surrender the Booty – Pirate High Seas Tactics « MUSETRACKS[…]…


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