Pirate Protest

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Pirates cheer as Dennis Holland steps off the ferry. The pirates were at the Balboa Fun Zone on Saturday rallying support to save Shawnee, the historic ship Holland is restoring in his Newport Beach backyard. — All photos by Sara Hall

A motley crew of pirates took over the Balboa Fun Zone this weekend.

Dressed in captain’s hats and coats, and adorned with feathers, gold rings, eye-patches and bandannas, more than a dozen pirates gathered near the Ferris wheel around 3 p.m. Saturday and waved signs in support of Newport Beach shipwright Dennis Holland and the Shawnee and in protest of the city.

The buccaneers also passed out fliers and spoke about saving the historic tall ship that Holland has been restoring in his backyard for the past six years. Earlier this month, a judge ordered the shipwright to move the 72-foot wooden ship by April 30 or face fines and possible jail time.

The pirate community isn’t savvy with the city’s ordinance that bans the ship or the judge’s decision. They voiced their displeasure with a few songs aimed at the city council and signs that read “Don’t let Newport Beach plunder it’s own treasures,” along with “Don’t let mediocre minds destroy a great ship” and “Eyesore my Arse!”

The pirates came from all over Southern California to show their support for Holland, who arrived via ferry with his wife, Betty.

Read more about the controversy and the history of the ship here.

A group of girls poses with pirate Brant Johnson as a mom takes their photo during the rally on Saturday at the fun zone. The pirates posed for photos with people, passed out chocolate "gold" coins and waved skull and crossbones flags to bring attention to their cause.
Jesse Jost pets "Pi-Rat" Long John Silver, who had his own protest signs, as Christina Bostrom listens to Christine "Jamaica Rose" Lampe talk about the Shawnee during Saturday's rally.
Holland shakes the hand of Brant Johnson as he arrives at the rally.
George "Captain Cayaenne" Pepper speaks with Holland during the rally.
Holland (middle) speaks with Allen "Captain Sebastian" Malloy of Lake Arrowhead during the rally.
Holland smiles as he meets Michael "Captain McCloud" Lampe and his "Pi-Rat" buddy, Long John Silver.
Holland shakes the hand of Brennan Provino, as his friends Sasha Maczoll (background) and Chelsea Dorris (forground, right) listen to June "Junebug" Blair talk about the Shawnee. The three Newport Beach natives said they were in support of Holland and restoring the ship. The three said they heard about the rally and decided to dress up and check out the action.
Holland talks with some of the pirate protesters at the event.
The group poses for photos for onlookers and media.


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