The weekend started early on Thursday, warm and sunny on calm waters, as all manner of boats began making their way into Two Harbors, a small seaport town nestled into the Isthmus of Catalina Island, twenty some miles south by southwest of Long Beach California. Despite the fact that many of these ships were flying the dreaded skull and crossbones, everyone appeared to be friendly and spent the day settling in. The day wore on as more ships found their way into the bay and moored.By mid-morning of Friday you could smell the trouble in the air, literally. That’s when the cannon fire began. It was sporadic at first and seemed insincere, but throughout the day, still more pirate ships arrived to add their cannons to the skirmish. By afternoon a pitched battle was being waged with enormous booms echoing throughout the harbor and smoke billowing in the breeze, though who was fighting who was anybody’s guess. As darkness fell and the loud crashing subsided, suddenly all of the ship’s crews rowed ashore and invaded the town. The day’s battle seemed to have aroused an unquenchable thirst for everyone because the rum started flowing and didn’t stop. When a few fellows picked up some musical instruments, those who could, and even some who couldn’t, began gyrating to the music with reckless abandon. The revelry lasted most of the night, but as the new day dawned on Saturday, the battles began again, in earnest, and still, even more pirates entered the harbor to join the raging action. The cannon fire was fierce. Ships were boarded and booty taken, but still the cannons roared. As the afternoon progressed, the smoke and loud reports from the guns intensified beyond comprehension. During the brief lulls of fire, frightening screams and raucous laughter could be heard all around. Large troop ships had been arriving throughout the weekend delivering so many fresh companies of scoundrels and wenches that the hills were covered with their tents. And still the cannons roared. But again as darkness fell, the echoes of explosions were replaced by music and, pirates being pirates, all went ashore to guzzle rum and gloat over their dastardly deeds of the day’s fracas. Soon everyone was swaying with rum and song.
Apparently some sort of victory was reached and truce declared, for Sunday began slowly and, with a few farewell blasts of cannon and hoarse laughter, ships and their weary crews set sail toward the horizon. By evening the harbor was emptied. And so, another of the infamous “Buccaneer Days” at Two Harbors is history.