POSITION : PIRATE'S BAR
SOMEWHERE IN THE GRENADINES
NO FIGHTING YET
MOOD : WHAT MOOD ?????
this is the second part of the Caribbean history, and this is finally about what some if not most of you associate with this part of the world :
Jack Sparrow here we come,
real life is much more complicated, and full of legal minefields , so
to be a Pirate is not necessarily the same as being a "Pirate".
Does anybody understand what I am talking about ?
Good ! Because now you have to read on !
After his first voyage and when it became clear that sailing East ( Portuguese ) and sailing West ( Spanish ) led or would lead to new discoveries, both countries tried to avoid open conflict on these spoils but rather wanted to establish their legal and more importantly 'moral' rights on these new discoveries.
So they turned to the Pope !
Oh dear, always religion when money is involved.
Or is it the other way around ?
that the New World that was about to be detected
( meaning at the time of the treaty nobody knew what they were talking about !!! )
should be divided into "Spheres of Influence" :
The demarcation line was about halfway between Cape Verde Islands ( Portuguese) and Cuba/Hispaniola,
meaning all new lands West of that line was Spanish, all East was Portuguese.
As a result ( modern ) Brazil became Portuguese, as the line ( Meridian) cut through the north-eastern part of South-America,
all the rest became Spanish,
from the Lesser Antilles through the Caribbean Sea to what was being called later :
The Spanish Main,
land that stretched from Mexico through Central to South West America.
What a bargain !!!!!!!!!!!!!
And then the "GOLD RUSH" started,
the occupation, the harsh colonisation, the looting, robbing, stealing, murdering, you name it, the Spanish did it.
And it was all 'legal and morally justified' !
The Conquistadores did know no mercy. And what they ransacked was of course sent home to Spain....by ship, ie big spanish slow-sailing transporters called "Galleons".
The 'Treasure Fleet' was born.
Let me explain !
Whilst focussing on the larger islands and the mainland to the West and South West, the Spanish saw no possible plunder in the Lesser Antilles.
Instead of securing these waters that stretch over 400 nautical miles from the North West to the South East ,
by building ports and garrisoned these,
they only saw them as a replenishing opportunity for food and water. Like the fuel stations on a motorway, these islands were ideal for a stop-over before the long trip either way.
And in order to have enough food, the Spanish decided to set free boar and cattle to roam around , and if in need hunted them down before the next part of their voyage.
and attracted as a result
all kind of people from the 'left -over" nations :
Adventure-seeker, criminals, settlers, you name it, they came, and mostly from Britain, France, and to a lesser extent from Holland,
The rest that joined over the many years to come was a rag-tag of all nations known on this planet.
They settled on these islands and basically provided a service now for the passing Spanish ships by selling the boar and the cattle they did not own but had hunted them down regardless,
preparing the meat by drying it in the sun and then smoking it.
Again, in a way, compare it with a motorway restaurant.
In the Arawak language the wooden frame for the smoking is called 'buccan', which the French called 'boucane' ( hunter=boucanier)
and in the anglicised format became buccaneer.
That tells you quite a lot about the intertwining of languages.
So these 'land-based' buccaneers had quite a jolly good time I guess, made some good money, having had almost a monopoly on the supply chain.
But some more criminal elements, and some being able seamen themselves , started an even more lucrative business by taking advantage of one or two unfortunate crews and ships who came by in the wrong place at the wrong time:
They took over their ships and sailed into the wide wide ocean.
(or better to the next port from where they attacked more ships)
The ( 'sea-born' ) buccaneer was created, the name stuck, and it continued to roam the Caribbean Sea for quite some time to come, known as the
"Era of the Buccaneers".
The hunt for the Spanish galleons was on.
And as long as it was against the Spanish, it was or better became legal, which is good news, right ?
Will tell you later more about it.
But what is important is that all is down to perception of course.
Take Sir Francis Drake for example.
He is a hero in England, but in Spain the lowest of the lowest, a simple Pirate.
Here you have it, look at issues from a different angle and you get different answers.
Whether you like them or not...
That is the reason why we need lawyers and pay them a lot of money for things that often are
'bleedin' obvious in the eye of the beholder !
And with this thought i leave you for the moment until another day...