In honor of “Talk Like a Pirate Day” TMSM Mythbusters is going to take the day off from cracking myths and will instead share with you this fun and educational “Are you a Pirate” quiz! Keep track of your answers so that you can add your score at the end to see see where YOU would measure up in a pirate crew!
1. If you are entitled to a double share of the loot and booty you are the ______.
A. First Mate
2. If you desire to be captain, what is the way to achieve this?
C. Buying off the rest of the crew
4. On a pirate ship, when be the musicians given time off?
A. On the Sabbath
B. When in port
C. Every Thursday
5. If you are onboard and you tell someone you are going to the ‘Head’, what are you about to do?
A. Go to the Captain about a grievance
B. Go to the bathroom
C. Go to the front of your pirate class
6. If you are sailing under the Jolly Roger and you are sailing under a red flag, with a winged hour-glass, an arm with a sword and a death’s head who is your ship’s captain?
A. Christopher Moody
B. Jack Rackham
C. Henry Every
D. Tom Tew
7. If you are in the middle of battle fighting ‘scurvy bilge-rats’ for your very life, which of the following implements are the most useful to you in the fight?
C. Bloody Flux
8. What is the difference between a cutlass and rapier?
A. The cutlass is shiner
B. The rapier is proud it is in the lyrics to Whiskey in the Jar
C. The rapier the 1700s version of a glitter finish
D. The cutlass was shorter and heavier
9. If you are pirate, which of the following is your favorite port of call?
B. Key West
C. The Outerbanks of North Carolina
10. If your are looking for a ship built for speed, you want a ______.
C. US Navy Air Craft Carrier
1. B. Captain of the pirate ship
The Captain and, sometimes, the Quartermaster were entitled to a double share of the proceeds of any looting. On some ships the Captain would receive only a share and a half. On some ships the Quartermaster would receive less than the Captain. Pirates also gave cash compensation to crew members who suffered loss of limb while on duty.
2. B. Election by the crew
In most cases the pirate captain was elected by the crew. In many cases his authority could only be exercised regarding choice of victims and leading up to and during battle. The pirates tended to have a very democratic and enlightened system of management.
3. C. Pistols and swords on shore
Pirates had formal articles which members of the crew signed, or at the very least, agreed to. One of the conditions of being a crew member was that if you have a disagreement you don’t settle it while onboard. It was generally not acceptable to have women or small boys onboard either, as this could also lead to disputes. One of the captain’s prime functions was to keep the crew happy and functioning as an effective team.
4. A. On the sabbath, of course.
In ‘Black’ Bart Roberts articles musicians were, indeed, given the sabbath as a day free from labor.
5. B. Go to the toilet
The head is, of course, the toilet. It was normally located at the front of the ship.
6. A. Christopher Moody
The blood-red pennant showed deadly intent, and Moody held a policy of no quarter (no sparing of lives, we take no prisoners) if a ship ran from him. The hourglass with wings told his victims that their time to live was flying away, so surrender NOW or die. In the middle of Moody’s flag is a white arm holding a dagger which means “We will fight”, and the Jolly Roger symbol means death.
Many pirates had their own individual Jolly Roger. Jack Rackham’s flag had a skull above crossed swords, Henry Every flew a flag with the profile of a skull above crossed bones while Tom Tew had a strong arm holding a scimitar.
7. B. Cartouche
The cartouche was a box for storing cartridges. Bloody Flux was dysentery. Booty was the loot you took after winning the battle. Hardtack was dried bread made from flour and water baked into a moisture-free rock-like substance to prevent spoilage – it had to be broken into small pieces or soaked in water before it could be eaten.
8. D. The cutlass was shorter and heavier
The cutlass was a heavier, thicker and shorter type of sword, used mainly for slashing rather than for thrusting. It was well suited to combat onboard ships where there was restricted space and many obstructions. Due to its weight is was not as quick as the rapier, but could be used more effectively in close combat.
9. A. Tortuga
Tortuga was located in, what is now, Haiti. It was the home base for a group of pirates calling themselves the ‘Brethren of the Coast’. They operated from there during the 1600s, until wiped out shortly after 1680. It was originally settled by the French and had been attacked by Spanish troops who didn’t want people from other nations settling in the New World. The other ports mentioned were well known for hanging pirates, although Port Royale was, at one time, a pirate haven.
The pinnace was built for speed and was very maneuverable, with a shallow draft. The barque was a smallish ship, usually with a shallow draft and a little broad so as to allow it to carry cargo, but it was not fast. The galleon was a large merchant vessel used for carrying large and heavy cargos – if it was any slower it would sail backwards. The frigate was a large, fast warship, but not in the same class as a pinnace when it comes to speed. Pirates often times preferred to have a small, fast ship as to cut and run was, sometimes, a better option than to have to stand and fight.
Now add up ye score and find out what you would do on a pirate ship!
0-2 Points- Unless you were press ganged last night you need to walk the plank land lubber!
3-4 Points- Powder Monkey- You know the guns and how to swab a deck!
5-6 Points- Ship’s Cook- Without you the pirates would starve. Just keep the hard tack, well away from me!
7-8 Points -Ship’s Navigator- A pirate ship’s version of a GPS!
9 Points- Quartermaster- You are in charge of seeing that the Captain’s orders are followed and handle the ship’s day to day management.
10 Points- Captain- Usually elected by other pirates, you run the ship. BUT your wishes can be dismissed by a simple majority vote of the crew because Piracy was a democracy!
TMSM would like to thank the following sites and groups referenced in this quiz: The Kalmar Nyckel ; The Moody Crewe (Thanks to Moody Crewe & Overland Pre-emptive Salvage Company Founding Crewe member Barnabee Wylde for his help with the explanation of the Moody flag symbols!); www.funtrivia.com; www.brethrencoast.com
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