My guest this week is a pirate website!
Under the Black Flag is an international crew, dedicated to learning and teaching the lore of piracy, factual and fictional. Their Captain is Jake Lankster – or in “real life” Leonidas Gourgourinis. Leonidas is Greek, so forgive his occasional slip with English. Hi Helen I would like to thank you for invite the Under The Black Flag team to your fine site or should say on to your fine ship... It's a great honour for us to be your guests.
Under the Black Flag is an internationally crewed website, dedicated to learning and teaching the lore of piracy, factual and fictional. Our diverse origins bring a richness to our ship. Our mutual lust for the gold on our horizons keeps us focused on our goal: to live the dream of freedom, fantasy, and power that piracy has sailed down through history to represent.
Everything started one and half years ago and the task was - and still is - to create one place on the Internet for all the information about pirate history that we can find. It's difficult and takes time, but the most important thing is that we try to reach that goal. On the early stages of the project it was only myself – Jake Lankster and my brother, Black Captain (Paul Gourgourinis) at the helm. Some friends called us dreamers, some others, just crazy, but the journey to the Pirates World had begun.
First we created our web site undertheblackflag.com and then we created a page on Facebook. We had no crew, no members, no captains - only the dream but still we set sail. We needed to hoist our colours. That was difficult because we wanted to have a unique pirate flag . It took us about two months to create our personal Jolly Roger. We wanted the flag to have the style of the old times but also something from our modern days. I believe we made it and we are very proud for this flag. For this beautiful flag I must thank an old captain of utbf - Captain Harry Flow (Harry Giannopoulos) - for his help and the awesome job he had done.
Then we started to spread the word of undertheblackflag. The amazing thing was and I still can’t believe it, that in the sea of the Internet we soon found many pirate souls to join our fine ship Arcadia. Our crew started to grow fast and then we realized that it was time to write the articles or the pirate code for our ship. With this task finished by Captain Black, our code explained everything that a member or captain should do or not.
From that time on we become a real Internet brotherhood and that is amazing!
Some of our fine members started to help us by sending photos to post or biographies of pirates and history texts etc. Soon we realized that It would be an idea to create a real pirate council like the Brethren of the Coast. The members of our council all have the rank of Captain or Capitana for our ladies The utbf council has acted for a year now and we have made very good progress. To be a Captain or Capitana in utbf isn’t something easy. You must be an active member for six months and do one great thing to help our brotherhood. So if anyone is interested please get in touch
So, here are our Captains and Capitanas I will start with our ladies.
First is Andrea Jones from Chicago, better known as Capitana Red – Hand the author of the Hook & Jill book a real great lady and awesome person. She is the voice of wisdom of our council. She says about utbf
“Not many people today have the chance to live their dreams. Still fewer are bold enough to dare. I live and work in a land of adventure, where I enjoy the best -- and the worst -- of company. Lovers, companions, pirates, Indians, gypsies, fairies, wild beasts... and even Englishmen. My home port is the Neverland of J.M. Barrie, returned vividly to life for me in my own stories, a series of Neverland novels for adults, beginning with "Hook & Jill." Sailing as a storyteller on Captain James Hook's "Jolly Roger," I met up with another band of pirates. When hailed to join the company, I snatched up my quill and signed the articles. And it's honored I am to assume the role of Capitana Red-Hand.
Do you work in a cubicle? Jump ship, matie, and make it a coracle. Our Under The Black Flag crew boasts nearly 4,000 shipmates. We'll toss you a line, too, and pull you aboard the good ship Arcadia!”
Second is Maya Delezou from Athens, we call her Capitana Morgana del Sol she is an actress and gives our page a more poetic and romantic style.
Third is Capitana Celina Ant from the beautiful island of Crete. She is wild at heart and has great passion like Anna Bonny . She says about utbf.
“Once I met "Under The Black Flag" and knowing slowly the other Captains, I realized that this is the best way to express my interest in piracy, not only as a recording of Pirate History, but my passion for piracy as a philosophy and lifestyle too. For me "utbf" essentially expresses my pirate soul and my dreams as ideology of some things of life.”
Because every pirate ship needs a great singer we have Eric Williams from the USA. His pirate name is Captain Gabriel Black, a real pirate, leader of the Capt’n Black Sea Dogs and creator of the Barataria Pirate and Fairy Faire.
“I love Pirate History and the utbf is a great place to share it. Everyone involved has a passion for Pirates and their history. I love pirates so much I'm the lead singer of a pirate rock band called Capt'n. Black's Sea Dogs. Pirate history is about freedom. Freedom to explore the world. During their day most were unable to travel more than 10 miles from their homes, but pirates traversed the world in search of adventure, fame, and fortune. I think that the utbf group is unique in that its members are from all around the world as well.”
Introducing Captain Francisco El Drako from Greece. He is real a captain in the Greek merchant navy that honour us to become part of utbf.
“So, ye wanna know 'bout the brotherhood and meself huh? Well, it all started long time ago, more or less 2 years! As i was roamming in varius Fb sites and oceans i be unlucky to encounter lousy landlubers abord a flimsy vessel. The fight was terrible and i was loosing, i was cornered and almost start to walk the plank, until a boat sighted from afar. With no second though i jumped into the sea and start swimming to him. Gun shots were sounding and an evil promise was made. One day we will find you Francisco El Drako... It was Cpn Black of the Brotherhood rowing with passion to me rescue. As soon as the introduction were made he made his self clear to me as i was to him. When we reached the shore he introduced me to his brother Jake also captain an' Scholar of the brotherhood. Together they were trying to raise a brotherhood where all fugitives Cpns or not as long as they were in love with the sea and Her creatures to find shelter and accommodation. There we met other Cpns as well as Capitanas telling stories of victory and massacre next to a campfire. Drinks were coming and buxom wenches were making the see sighting interesting. From my stand i can tell one tale as far as i'm not dead yet that more stories will come of glory and history... Siempre Fe Trustfull to the core”
Captain John Morris is also from Greece. He’s a great pirate researcher and one of the best historian that our team could have.
Captain Sanks Black is from Austria and last summer become a real Skipper as he says “Inspired from utbf my dream come true….”
At the end is my brother Black Captain one of the founders of utbf. A pirate soul, my alter ego I could say. He is a great fighter and when he loads the cannons of Arcadia nothing can stop him. With Black Captain on the deck you have nothing to fear. As far me - I prefer not to talk for Jake Lankster.
I would like to thank our members for their support as they give us strength to continue to share pirates history. You are awesome mateys….
Leonidas says: "So far we have made to post 300 articles about pirates and their history also we make 27 videos which can see it on our youtube channel. Also a large collection of about 2800 pictures and we are very proud for this achievment. In our future plans is to make a pirate magazine and pirate tv channel. As utbf team we always give our support in any pirate activity and welcome everyone who want to advertise his pirate project.All is need to sent as a mail on utbf team so we can discuss what she or he want. In this pirate journey i have met some wonderful persons and i'm really lucky to find them. Such the Mackay pirate family which Jeff is the script writer of the Buccanneer Movie and we hope this year will go to Hollywood. A great pirate lady and awesome blogger which give articles for our site, Pauline you must visit Pauline's website and also two great pirate authors, Rima Laham Jean which wrote "The Noble Pirates" and Jen Corkil Hun that wrote "Hoist The Colours"
Thanks a lot milady Helen,
So, as Captain, who would you invite to dine at your Captain's table?
If i could i will invite all the Capitanas and Captains of utbf with all members it will be a great.
You never know maybe one day the become true.
NEXT WEEK – I will feature Leonidas Gourgourinis’s excellent book
Next Guest: Margaret Gill The Scilly Isles and her book The Narwhal