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Updates & Bulletins

A quick look at what's new with the web site
and in the Life of The Pirate King...
Haven't seen it yet?

It's not too late! You can still order a copy of the History Channel's "True Caribbean Pirates" on DVD!  Click on the logo above to find out more...


September 14th, 2008

Added a Search tool to the site!

Yes, I know these are not new and I have personally built a bunch for clients in the past, but I have just never gotten around to adding one to until now...

Click Here to try it out!

July 1st, 2007

Lots of Updates and Upgrades!

The last few weeks have seen a ton of new improvements and re-organizations that should help you find information on the site.

Some of the improvements include new free online versions of some great books, as well as a brand new home page menu, and a slew of new historical data.  Take a look at the new sections and then let me know what you think of them by Clicking Here and drop me a line!

HINT: This is also a great way to suggest new topics you would like to see added to the site!

June 26th, 2006

New Pirate Documentary "True Caribbean Pirates" on the History Channel!

I am very proud to have been interviewed for the documentary "True Caribbean Pirates", scheduled to air on the History Channel on July 9th. 

I've yet to see the finished product yet, but I have read the final script and have been very impressed by the man behind this project, Tim Prokop.  When I met Tim for the interview, I was very impressed by the depth of knowledge he had accrued on the subject of Piracy and it's impact on world history.  I can't help but think he'll do whatever he can to make sure this project comes out right. ;-)

Here is the show's Official Press release:

Until the recent attack on a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia, pirates terrorizing the high seas have been mostly the stuff of legend and Hollywood fantasy. But piracy, particularly in the Caribbean, was at one time a very real and dangerous problem.  Men with names such as Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and Black Bart pillaged and plundered ships and seaport towns, offering violent retribution to those who resisted and seizing fortunes at will. Viewers get to know the real characters, fight the battles they fought, watch nations rise up to stop them, and separate fact from fiction in the world premiere TRUE CARIBBEAN PIRATES on Sunday, July 9th, 2006 at 8pm/7c on The History Channel.

After Christopher Columbus landed in the West Indies in 1492, Spain and its powerful navy established a dominating presence in the region. Vast riches in gold and silver were mined in the New World—wealth that soon drew the attention of England, France, and Holland.  The Caribbean would become a free-for-all as these competing nations advocated "privateering," basically the use of freelancing private sailors to fight battles, disrupt trade, and harass the Spanish—all in an effort to establish a presence in the Caribbean without having to pay for a real navy there.

The temptation of Spanish treasure stretched the thin line between privateer and pirate to a breaking point.   One of the most famous privateers to cross into piracy is Sir Henry Morgan.  Tapped by the British Governor of Jamaica to command more than 1,500 buccaneers, he responded by becoming one of the first true great pirates, leading daring attacks and conquests of Spanish colonies at Portobello and Panama and gaining a reputation for brutal acts such as hanging men by their genitals to get them to give up their possessions. 

The cycle of privateers and quasi-legal pirates continued for decades, until an extraordinary event changed everything in the Caribbean.  Peace. Suddenly, tens of thousands of privateers and sailors were out of a job, and thus began the age of the outlaw pirates.  TRUE CARIBBEAN PIRATES follows the lineage of maritime crime from Morgan to Calico Jack, and even on to female pirates such as Anne Bonny and Mary Read, who were far more sensational, and every bit as dangerous, as their male counterparts. 

Using the historians’ input, dramatization, animation, expert interviews, and archival imagery, and filmed in historic locations, TRUE CARIBBEAN PIRATES is the true story of piracy's Golden Age.

Highlights of TRUE CARIBBEAN PIRATES include:

  • Tale after tale of pirate lore that brings to life their unique reality—a brazen flouting of almost every societal rule, disrespect for governmental authority, and unmatched thirst for adventure and brutality, all motivated by a true desire to be free and live their way, and only their way.

  • Understanding the pirates’ true motives and methodology for plying their trade, and dispelling time-honored myths such as those of treasure maps and buried booty.

  • The pirates’ unique ability to intimidate their targets into surrender, practiced uniquely by Blackbeard, who would tuck burning lengths of rope (called "slow match") beneath his hat to create a cloud of smoke that observers swear made him look like Satan himself.

  • Blackbeard’s blockade and hostage crisis at Charlestowne, South Carolina, which sent ripples of pirate fear through the colonies and helped to galvanize support to take the pirates down, once and for all.

  • The establishment of all-pirate playground at Nassau, Bahamas, the city which became the home to seafaring outlaws after they’d been cast out of other areas.

  • The emergence of the unique and legendary Black Bart Roberts, the last of the great pirates and an anomaly in his own world… refusing to drink alcohol and conducting religious services aboard his vessel, and then hanging an Island Governor from the yardarm of his own ship.

  • The brutal exploits of female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and their promiscuous liaisons aboard the ship captained by Calico Jack Rackham.

  • Executive Producer for The History Channel is Carl H. Lindahl

  • TRUE CARIBBEAN PIRATES is produced for The History Channel by GRB Entertainment

  • Executive Producer for GRB Entertainment is Gary R. Benz

  • Writer, producer and director is Tim Prokop

March 16th, 2005 

Everyone stand ready
for the State of the Cove!

  • As you can see, most of the site's new graphics are now in place.  Drop me a line and let me know what you think of the new, updated & polished look! I hope to tweak the main page soon to match the new theme, but since some idiot (probably me) deleted most of the Photoshop versions of those images, it'll take a little while.

  • The Biographies section has been expanded to over 130 bios and is still growing...

  • The new section on Sailing Knots and how to tie them is now complete!

  • The crew roster for the SeaHawk section is 90% done, but this has the feel of something that will take a couple of weeks to finish up

  • Finished the section on how to buy your own private island. The data is serious but it's still a fun read, if nothing else just to contemplate the idea of disappearing off to my own (real) Pirates Cove...

  • Started a section on how to throw a Pirate themed party in case your 7 year old (or 30 year old) decides they want one...

December 12th, 2005

Brace yourselves for the end of an era!

Just in case the news hadn't reached you yet, it has finally happened: I'm engaged to be married.

(Take a moment and compose yourselves)

While living in Florida I met an amazing woman named Melissa and on Sunday, Dec. 11th, I asked her to marry me. Despite the many reasons against it, she said "Yes".

Since people will be probably be wondering,
here is how the actual proposal took place:

On Sunday, December 11th I surprised her by having a friend of mine take the two of us out by boat to a tiny island in the middle of Lake Travis ( 30°26'18.00N, 97°55'18.00W for those of you with open ) and marooning us out there.

She was under the impression it was just a romantic picnic under a Texas sunset, but after we finished our picnic and were finishing the wine, I tricked her into standing up to get a better look at something across the lake. When she turned around, however, she saw that I was down on one knee in front of her with a ring in my hand.

(She began to cry a little at this point)

I explained to her that I had been in love with her since we first met in Florida, and I couldn't bear to have the sun go down on another day without knowing that she would be part of my life forever. Then I asked her to do me the honor of becoming Mrs. Melissa Ossian.

(I then went on to briefly explain that we had limited supplies and the sun was going down. Luckily, survival instincts kicked in and it did not take long for her to give in under these circumstances.)

We are not sure when the Wedding will be yet (we're still reeling from the engagement), but right now we're thinking it will likely be sometime in early November, 2006. We'll definitely keep everyone posted.

November 18th, 2005

Everyone stand ready
for the State of the Cove:

  • As you can see, most of the site's new graphics are now in place.  Drop me a line and let me know what you think of the new, updated & polished look! I hope to tweak the main page soon to match the new theme, but since some idiot (probably me) deleted most of the Photoshop versions of those images, it'll take a little while.

  • Added a couple of new bios to the site, but will hopefully have more in there soon. Currently there's about 95 or so...

  • Started the massive pirate history timeline and hope to have something post-worthy soon.  There's a LOT of material for me to consolidate on this, so I am not sure on the timetable yet...

  • Added a whole new section on useful sailing knots and how to tie them!

  • Started the SeaHawk section, but this has the feel of something that will take a couple of weeks to finish up

  • Added a section on how to buy your own private island. The data is serious but it's still a fun read, if nothing else just to contemplate the idea of disappearing off to my own (real) Pirates Cove...

Hope you enjoy the updated Pirates Cove!
Drop me an Email and let me know what you think!

November 2nd, 2005

General Updates!

It has been brought to my attention that since I am updating the site I should also add a some personal updates, too.  I have to admit, a lot of stuff has happened since I made my last significant personal update to the site, so to help bring the world up to speed on my life I have jotted a quick chronological list of what's gone on with my life for the last 7 years or so:
  • I survived Egypt and made it back the USA in one piece

  • I moved to Tallahassee, Florida

  • I met an awesome girl named Melissa and fell in love

  • (yes, with her)
  • We rescued a stray kitten and named him Octavius
    (after the Roman Emperor, not the Spider-Man villain)

  • Through some really weird turning of events I ended up working for the Florida Department of Transportation. I spent a lot of my time there working in the State Emergency Operations Center (S.E.O.C.), helping to manage responses the frequent Hurricanes, wildfires, plagues, blights, and the other usual stuff that God frequently sent to wipe out the human population of Florida. (I still have several of the cool S.E.O.C. shirts with the embroidered logo on them. Want one? Make me an offer!)

  • Largely for the reasons outlined above, I decided after 7 years it was finally time to get out of Florida.

  • I moved back to Austin, Texas and subsequently spent about two months unpacking my books

  • Recently was flown out to Burbank, CA to interviewed for a History Channel documentary on Caribbean Pirates. (More on this soon!)

  • October 31st, 2005

    Over 2.5 MILLION visitors!

    I'm not sure how this happened, but Pirates Cove has gotten huge.

    Originally this web site was a jumble of about three pages (mostly text) that more or less just linked you to far more informative sites elsewhere on the Web. I'll be the first to admit the site kind of sucked.  Over the years though, I've made it a habit to stop back occasionally and throw up some new content here and there, but recently when I decided it was time to come back give the place a major overhaul I was blown away.

    You see, I have a counter tool buried in the site that measures visitor's IP addresses in order to figure out how many unique visitors stop by.  This filters out any 'false positives' accumulated by the same person seeing the same page twice, etc.

    As I write this update, the site has had almost 2 and a half million visitors.  Stats show an average of about 300 +/- visitors to the cove on a slow day, a little over 1620 visitors to the site at the record high day (March 08, 2004), and the monthly record is 11,489 unique visitors to the site during the month of January, 2005 (still trying to figure that one out).

    Wow.  Somehow my usual email signature of "Thanks for stopping by the Cove" seems inappropriate, but still, Thanks!

    To celebrate this milestone and the upcoming 10 year anniversary of the site, I have decided to give the place a massive upgrade/makeover. The upgrade will add new graphics, content - You name it, it probably got messed with in at least some small yet significant way.

    Luckily, I have some extremely ambitious plans for it in the near future.
    All of the timelines, biographies, and other information that are here now will stay, but I am gong to be adding a lot more content based on the number of emails I have received over the years.

    Here's a peek at some of the new content I am working on for the site:
    • More Biographies! Lots! (Pirates, Privateers and Explorers)

    • A new and comprehensive World Timeline of Piracy and Privateering

    • Revamped and updated area about Me
      (yeah, I know you don't care but it makes my Mom happy, so shut it)

    • Dedicated Sailing section with info on ship types, rigging, knots, and more

    • Create a new area celebrating the history of the greatest fictional Pirate group (yes, my Alma Mater) the Seahawks of Scarborough Faire

    • Detailed information on Renaissance era costuming (This will be huge)

    • A new section on Pirate Children's party ideas
      (I get a ton of emails on this, too)

    • Information about food on board a sailing ship

    July 30th, 2004 

    Long, long overdue Bulletin Update!

    Major site overhaul has been in progress for awhile now, but the real world has made upkeep difficult.  I will keep up trying to add new content and finish cleaning up and re-post the remaining old content soon.

    On a personal note, thanks to all of y’all who’ve gone out of your way to send me Emails complimenting the site and showing your interest in Piracy and Nautical Archaeology. When I started this site I thought I’d get a couple of hits a year, but now I’m getting about 5-10 emails a DAY and even though some are just weird (if not downright bizarre) it’s comforting to know I’m not the only freak in the world who still finds Lego Pirate sets cool.

    If you want to drop me a line, you can do so by Clicking Here

    Looking for Older Updates?

    There are a bunch of old site updates that date back to 1996, but they have now been archived.  If anyone really cares to see them, feel free to Click here

    Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page

    Gold Doubloon