[Well...this is it...]
Near the Florida Keys, I decided to lead us on a voyage of exploration, to take in the sights before retirement.
Far to the east was a port that has been a problem since the very beginning. It was the first of the ports I ever attacked, the only one to survive a raid, and a general nuisance.
Our eight ships readjusted course for our lengthy voyage east. It was almost like I had experienced all of this before.
Once we neared San Juan, the Spanish ships became more frequent. They were ripe for the picking as some would say!
[Well, we know where Captain's Head respawned, but why is it stalking us?! Is it Captain Hadd's head watching over us and attempting to guide us/trick us?]
The odds were vastly in our favor.
The crew stormed the land with great furor, aiming to kill every last Spaniard and take San Juan for Holland!
The Spanish only had three sets of infantry, all three of which too small to hold off any form of attack able to be made by us.
No matter our numbers, our weapons spoke volumes. Swords destroyed guns! Spanish went running!
And how fast they did run! Quite clearly I remember that day!
It has been a lengthy bit of time since that day.
I recall the moment the Dutch flag was raised, however. Joy sounded across the city as Spanish rule was terminated!
Our trips not over, the real reason behind such a voyage revealed itself quite quickly.
No doubt the governor of St. Martin would be delighted to see me!
As expected, he was indeed happy with my arrival. I gave the news that I was approaching retirement along with the news of San Juan's capture. After a week's break to give goodbyes, we set sail once more. Our direction was once again the west.
Wind pleaded with me, constantly attempting to bring an early retirement. In truth, the wind is not an ally but an obstacle, constantly moving in ways both mysterious and random. One can never rely on the wind for anything. It is best ignored for the ship will reach land eventually.
[Something I've been meaning to show off for a long time. See the skull and crossbones? Neat, eh? Not sure why it is here.]
Along the way, we noticed Santo Domingo suddenly become English! I swear that the ship that entered was not English. I would describe it as a nationless ship even! Who could that have been? A fellow pirate I've not heard of?
Our eight ships sailed further and further west, our final destination almost realized.
Before our eyes lay the very arcadia of my dreams...
...the Florida Keys.
A large 37,000 pieces of eight had been placed upon by head by the Spanish. It didn't matter, considering my imminent retirement.
We gathered in that very tavern, our gold intact, all of the crew and my seven commanders.
Each man walked away from that table happier than he sailed in. Soon, the only bits of gold left were my own. My commanders had stayed behind.
I promoted every last one of those commanders to Dukes by my own influence alone. Such faithful men deserved nothing more than those titles.
Duke Dinictus of the Eenhoorn sailed the ship with great courage. He sailed back to St. Martin and raised a family there with his earnings, eventually opening a tavern.
Duke Thompson left with De Terreur towards Eleuthera with plans to work with the soldiers on solving crimes.
Duke Scruffy of the Enkelblessure Bijten decided to forget his rank and become the cleaner at the local pub. I hired him later as my family's butler.
Duke Hermetian and the Dorganark returned to his Indian village. He wrote mail once saying that he ran into Francois l'Olonnais after arriving.
Duke Bruceski and the Tipsy Wench were both last seen heading in the direction of the Grand Bahamas. He remained a pirate for many years, sinking many a Spanish ship that dare come back for their lost territories in that region.
Duke Ted of The Fancy Lad sailed to Tortuga, eventually starting his own tailoring business.
Duke Montalban of De Oro Delicioso fled south to Havana after receiving his cut. He showed up again months later to explain how he had set up a smuggling business between Havana and France for when the two nations were at war.
As for the Obsidian, it remains perpetually docked. I make sure it remains in working order but I hardly ever use it anymore. Even with repairs, the wood grows darker each month.
It wasn't long before I was asked to run for governor. These years spent resting in the Florida Keys with my family and the letters of my Dukes caused a bit of a change in my own physical appearance. Not only did I become more refined, I grew out my beard for once! From henceforth, I am not the Demonic Dutch. I am little more than the great Captain Longbeard Goonham!
As governor, I have requested that a painter paint a portrait of me for my room. I suppose that this is is as good of a place as any to stop writing. To those who read this, I hid them in the my captain's drawers. May my lovely children be happy at last. Before this biography of my days of piracy ends, I'll leave those who read this with a message.
I enjoyed those days. They were the highlight of my life. However, even a highlight is little without your family. For me, my entire crew was my family. However, it is time that I make my career as a governor a very good one. I intend to shape the Florida Keys into the best port in the Caribbean! Har!
~Bartholomew "Longbeard" Bonneyread Goonham, February, 1660
There..there just isn't one, okay? Nobody is sponsoring it. There aren't anymore choices. There aren't anymore choices for you to make, only one last choice that I've got to make that you guys will see in a few days.