Third Annual Raft Race in support of Almonte General Hospital

ALMONTE – Be ye, buccaneer or pirate?

One imagines a buccaneer to be dressed like The Highwayman of the Alfred Noyes poem.

“He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin, A coat of claret velvet and breeches of brown doe-skin. They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh! And he rode with a jeweled twinkle, His pistol butts a-twinkle, His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under a jeweled sky.” (Apologies to poetry purists).

After all, what is a highwayman, but a land-lubbing pirate?  Queen Elizabeth I licensed buccaneers to attack Spanish galleons laden with gold and silver plundered from the Americas. Apparently, government-sanctioned looting got you a knighthood in those times as the buccaneer Frances Drake became Sir Francis Drake.

The pirate, on the other hand, appeared to be more hands on. The eye patch and wooden leg suggest that, unlike Sir Francis, he was battle-hardened and had come in contact with the business end of a twinkling Spanish rapier. The beard was probably more of a hand towel than a fashion statement. So me hearties, what will you be – pirate or buccaneer?

It’s time to get your crew of salty dogs together to plan your vessel for the great annual raft race, Saturday, Aug. 10 on the Mississippi River in support of the Almonte General Hospital.  Registration is now open. For information or to register, email We will get in touch. Looking forward to another successful year. Hope to see you on the high seas.