One of my classes, EN422, focuses on the Real Pirates of the Caribbean. In our class, one of our projects is to travel to Bristol, finding six key locations from back in the day. This place really smells like the sea. When my group of four others and I traveled here, we came on the day of a festival. It made finding the locations a bit more difficult, but we worked really well together. At each location, we had to take a picture, and as we walked along, we had to keep track of where we were for our handwritten treasure map. John happens to be obsessed with cartography, so this worked out great. He’s been working on the map the past couple of days. We really learned a lot more about piracy than we planned. You think of Long John Silver and Blackbeard as myths, but they were real folks! We even dined at Hole in the Wall tavern, which was frequented by several famous pirates. We’ve read some of Sir Francis Drake Revived as well as Robinson Crusoe. One of our last stops in the class is Treasure Island, which has quickly become people’s favorite. Oh, also, when we were leaving Bristol to return to Oxford, a bird pooped on my head. Sigh. Well, little did I know that this happens to be good luck (at least in Bristol). Let’s hope that good luck shows up on my project grade. It’s a good thing I’ve got smart classmates. Now we’re off to write our pirate’s tale about our adventure. It shouldn’t be too hard, since about everyone here does impressions. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here we are at the caves under Redcliffe, where smuggling and illegal trade took place. This also housed several underground walking routes. John holds his mapping journal.
Hole in the Wall Tavern- my favorite spot we’ve been yet. Some think this tavern inspired the Admiral Benbow in Treasure Island.
In front of St. Mary’s at Redcliffe