The Midnight Princess is a 58' ketch sailboat modeled after Privateer sailing vessels of the 1800s. Currently docked in Panama City, Florida I was part of a day-long charter that included helping sail her.
Motoring out of the marina, we headed into the wind and raised the sails. The gaff rigged main was raised by the captain and one of the guests, then the mizzen was raised by the Captain. I was put in charge of trimming it, something I hadn't experienced before. Fortuntately, it was straightforward – trim it the same way the main was.
The two foresails were unfurled and we sailed into St. Andrews Bay. We crossed the bay several times, enjoying the fresh wind, and spotting a huge ray. Then we encountered another “pirate ship” – the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise, a power-driven boat filled with tourists. The captian and “crew” of the Midnight Princess decided to have some fun! Armed with plastic weapons brought up from below, we acted the part of fierce pirates, while the tourists on the Sea Dragon took pictures and videos. Then they “fired” their cannon at us! Lots of noise and lots of fun.
We survived the attack, and I had a turn at the helm. Sailing back across the bay to a calm spot, we anchored, put out the gangplank, and jumped in for a refreshing swim. Back on board, we all joined in to “heave-ho” the anchor up. We took a final sail around the bay before heading back to the marina. Once tied up, we enjoyed a few beers and relieved the adventures of the day.