The Dauntless Chronicles 2014

Dauntless Logo. . . the further exploits of Columbus, Ohio’s merry military airship.

Report filed by Commander Edwina Tweed of the HMAS Dauntless.

After the “Star Wars” themed Steampunk Symposium last year, the Dauntless took a much needed  break to re-organize the hold, re-supply and re-tool some of the cabins. After that, it was time to begin preparations for Midsummer Masquerade at Loveland Castle where a good time was had by all ‘til the wee hours, catching up with people we didn’t get to spend enough time with at Symposium and sampling each others’ flasks – yum! Those cabin spruce-ups were just in time because the Dauntless added 6 new members this summer to our roster. Jennie & Lori hit the deck running, full of enthusiasm and ideas for events.  We flew to far-flung Dayton in August to attend Passepartout’s Ye Olde Yellow Cabaret II to be amazed by the dancers and the fire acts and dance to DJ Vourteque. Back in Columbus, we attended COSI’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ exhibit one last time, chatted up some attendees & posed for pictures, and then watched ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (2009) on their huge IMAX screen. The next day, the weather was beautiful for Jennie’s event, The Fair at New Boston in Springfield, where the crew was able to pick up some lovely late 18th- early 19th century accessories for their outfits and enjoy chatting up costumed re-enactors in their period-correct tents.

Commander Edwina Tweed

Commander Edwina Tweed

It wasn’t long after that, in September, that the crew traveled to Cincy for the Time Traveler’s Ball in conjunction with Cincinnati Comic-Con at the Duke Energy Center. The weekend after that, September 27-28, the Dauntless made its way to the Steampunk UnLimited weekend In Strassburg, PA to see and chat with Abney Park and This Way to the Egress as well as ride several steam locomotives and enjoy the sights at a restored train depot.

The Thursday before the ship’s annual picnic was a balmy 80 degrees and the crew readied parasols and picnic baskets in anticipation of October 4th’s picnic. We were all looking forward to croquet and bocce on the lawn and a group row in Mark’s wooden boat ‘Firefly’ on the waters at Hoover Dam. Imagine our dismay when the crew awoke to chilly air and cloudy skies that began dumping hail shortly thereafter! The outdoor plans where quickly scrapped when Mark & Jennie stepped up and offered their warm and inviting home as an alternate location. The spiked cider and hot chocolate quickly removed the chill from our bones.

The next day, the warmth returned as Lori took the helm and flew the crew to Williamsburg, OH for the Steampunk weekend at the Old West Festival. There were train and covered wagon rides, emporiums to peruse, music from Automaton, and events focused around the Steampunk theme including the costume contest for men and women & an invention contest. We mingled with the other steampunks from various airships while enjoying the lovely autumn day.

The crew next attended “All Hallows Eve” October 18th at the Ohio Historical Society Village, a re-creation of a Victorian style Halloween. The village is beautifully lit by lamplight and we learned a lot about death & spirituality during the time. There was a séance and you could have your cards or your palm read by spiritualists while there. Several times we were mistaken for employees of the event, especially during “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” reading, complete with Headless Horseman galloping through!

Steampunk Symposium

Steampunk Symposium

Lori & Donnette then attended HighBall Halloween, one of the nation’s largest outdoor Halloween parties. The theme was “I Love the 80’s” – and who doesn’t love the 1880’s more than we do? We had a blast checking out all the cool costumes & chatting with revelers. We even met a few other steam-dressed people and told them about Symposium, Midsummer Masquerade and other events.

November brought TeslaCon, and Mark’s panel on “Navigation using 18th & 19th Century Navigational Instruments” and Jennie & Marsha’s panel on “Intrepid Victorian Women Adventurers” were well attended.  Having admired Brian’s talents with leather on several occasions, he was kind enough to set up a Leatherworking Workshop for the crew November 18th. Everyone came with a small project in mind and Brian was generous with his knowledge and skill as well as tools, fastenings and leather for the crew to try.

Our Powell Christmas stroll was rained out on December 6th so we had to hold the strolling until Westerville’s on the 20th. There were lots of lovely ice sculptures and décor to see and we trolled our favorite shops while there. The next day was ‘Dickens of a Christmas’ at the Ohio Historical Society. We learned how Christmas was celebrated during the Civil War, tasted some of the food that would have been served during Christmas dinner and enjoyed the décor. Jennie, Mark, Marsha & Dan attended the Christmas buffet complete with St. Nicholas. In the village we chatted with Ebeneezer Scrooge outside the bank and there sightings of Jacob Marley around before “the Christmas Carol” play was performed in the Town Hall.

Dauntless 2014.12

We finished off the year by ringing in the New Year in South Charleston’s Town Hall & Opera House for an 1864 New Year’s ball. We learned the Virginia Reel, the Oslo Waltz and Garfield’s Escape amongst many others and had yummy desserts in between the three sets culminating with a champagne toast at Midnight.

Here’s to a wonderful 2015 and the epic adventures yet to come . . . Commander Edwina Tweed

If you would like to file a report regarding your airship or group’s activities, please CONTACT US and we shall make arrangements to publish the record of your shenanigans for all to read.

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