Once again it was great working with Joshua Gates and his entire team for the show Expedition Unknown. They reached out to me because they knew of my extensive knowledge on the lore of pirates, piracy and pirate treasures. I have always found the history of pirates and piracy fascinating. The producers Shawn Michaels Emilie Dumay and the creator of the episode Aaron Schoonhoven reached out to me on a couple conference calls about doing an episode on the famous pirate Jean Lafitte. I shared with them some of my knowledge about the life of Jean Lafitte; his amazing acts of piracy and that he sided with the Americans against the British during the War of 1812. If Jean Lafitte had not come to the aide of the Americans, they might have lost to the British. Also, the exotic and mysterious town of New Orleans was Jean Lafitte's base of operations.
One thing that always amazes me when I work with Josh and his team is the amount of research they do for each episode. All the information that is presented in each episode is accurate and based on extensive research. Even with all my knowledge about the pirate Jean Lafitte and Jean Lafitte's treasure, they had information about Jean Lafitte that even I didn't know.
It was great meeting Josh at the tavern in New Orleans that used to belong to Jean Lafitte. It is called Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar. It is at the corner of Bourbon St. and St. Philip. It is believed to be the oldest bar in America. The chart that I showed Josh was actually from the archives and was real. Some of the filming which didn't make the episode was when we were filming at a remote grave site at night where the remains of Jean Lafitte's brother, Pierre Lafitte, are believed to be buried. It was very mysterious, and eerie. It would have been great if they included that footage but I understand that they are limited in the amount of footage they can present because each episode is only an hour.
Also, it was January when we were filming and it was cold. For the scenes on the air-boat with Josh it was freezing when we were going at full speed because there was nowhere to hid from the wind. Actually I was hoping that my teeth weren't "chattering" when we were filming or when I had to do any of my speaking parts. We did spend a lot of time traveling in the air boats all through Barataria. For some of the scenes on the outer islands of Barataria it started raining but everyone was professional and we kept going with the production even in the rain and with the cold temperatures. When working with Josh and his team it is a lot of hard work but everyone is always friendly and happy even when were are putting in 18 hour days.
As I mentioned it was a great experience working again with Josh Gates and his team and I look forward to working with them again in the future on more episodes. I have also invited Josh and any of his team members to join me on any of my expeditions, even just as friends and to have a good time - they are all a great group. I hope you enjoy this episode of Expedition Unknown Jean Lafitte!
This is a "behind the scenes" photo of me, Bradley Williamson (blue shirt), one of the cameraman (dressed up as Captain Kidd for some filming) and Jose Gates