Pirates scuffle over captured captain
Buccaneers reenact battle near Bath
By DAN PARSONS
BATH — While scouting for supplies near Bath on Saturday, pirate Captain Bill Hall was captured by what some of his crew called a band of “fierce” female pirates. After a brief skirmish beginning with artillery and ending with hand-to-hand combat with swords and knives, Hall was ransomed to his men for three barrels of rum and one man to be hanged.
That was the scene that played out during a living-history demonstration at North Creek Marina near Bath Saturday afternoon. Hall, a Bath resident, who co-led the skirmish involving about 30 pirates, began reenacting in 1985 by portraying Civil War skirmishes between the Union and Confederate navies. When he began acting as a buccaneer, he said he wanted to dispel the “Hollywood version” of pirates.
In tattered clothes and with rotten-looking false teeth, Hall looked the part. He was later captured by the female pirates and taken aboard their one-masted vessel. As it rowed to shore to request a parley, Hall’s crew went on the defensive and fired on the boat with artillery, rifles and pistols.
Carl Popadick, a burly pirate with full beard from Atglen, Pa., awaited the enemy pirate ship with two flintlock pistols tucked into his belt.
The scenario is not one likely to have occurred in the 1700s, when pirates frequented the waters of eastern North Carolina, Popadick said.
Back in character, after several volleys fired at the approaching enemy pirates, Hall’s crew realize they have been firing on their own captain. To avoid further risk to their captain, the pirates on land call to those in the boat to request a parley — a conference under the white flag, to discuss trading goods for Hall’s safety. It didn’t go well.
Popadick, who goes by the pirate name of Rank, took the opportunity to challenge Hall’s captaincy and is killed in the scuffle. The band of female pirates, led by a Captain Deevine, brokered a deal of three barrels of rum and one of their men in exchange for Hall’s safe return. When the deal was struck, Hall, was led hogtied back to the pirate camp where both gangs gave visitors to their show a view of the life of 18th-century swashbucklers.