Editor’s Note: This story appeared as part of an April Fools issue.

Smoke wedded with the usual lagoon stench this day as a testimony to the demise of the fierce Longe Beache Armada.

On the cold black night of yesterday the crew team, in a valiant effort to protect the sanctity of Islavistingham, engulfed their own vessels in blazes of fire and cast them adrift in the lagoon waters. The boats met and locked with the mighty clipper ships of the Armada. This unnatural union resulted in the demise of both the canoes and many of the Armada ships.

The few Armada ships saved by fortune from the angry fire crew boats fled swiftly from the lagoon waters and presumably sailed back to Longe Beache.

“Aye! ‘Twas hard to see me boat go to flames and all, but anything to keep those artless boil-brained bladders out of our waters,” one crew member commented while boisterously celebrating with a jug of rum at a local tavern.

Despite the crew’s intimidating appearance – many with wooden pegs and metal hooks in place of limbs and some in the constant companionship of parrots – Chancellor Henry VIII encourages the townsfolk to feel gratitude for their noble sacrifice.

However, some townsfolk carry malice in their hearts towards the crew.

“They’re a horde of frothy flap-mouthed louts. Once, I saw a whole bunch of ’em scaling Storke Tower bearing knives betwixt their teeth,” a strumpet slurred while leaning against the stoop in front of her brothel.

Although their behaviour hath sparked controversy, Chancellor Henry VIII hath granted amnesty to them for all of their former transgressions.

“Today I decree that the skin of the crew, formerly soiled and blemished by their unruly deeds of the past, hath been cleansed and baptized anew by the waters of the lagoon which they fought so nobly in,” Chancellor Henry VIII said.

He even saw fit to knight a select few of the crew.

“The bravest of these men have proven themselves so valiant that they have lifted themselves from their former positions of shame up unto the pedestals of knighthood.”

Formerly rumoured to be “invincible” by maritime veterans who had witnessed many an ill-fated battle, the Longe Beache Armada was the envy of the whole demesne of California. Nary a single representative from Longe Beache has shown his or her face long enough to make a comment, but the experts agree that the Armada intended to drive alleged heretics from Islavistingham. Rumours have also circulated that Longe Beache, covetous of the fine eateries, taverns, brothels and the delightfully arranged flora and fauna of Islavistingham, intended to occupy it and exploit it for evil purposes.