Dressed in festive pirate regalia, more than a dozen protesters rallied Saturday afternoon below the Ferris wheel at Balboa Fun Zone, supporting the side yard boat restoration project of Newport Beach shipwright Dennis Holland.
Holding pirate flags and picket signs while chanting "Save The Shawnee," the protesters — some coming from hundreds of miles away — attracted the attention of the bustling Saturday crowd, just in front of the ferry to Balboa Island.
Waving signage stating "Don't let mediocre minds destroy a great ship" and "Screwing someone legally is still wrong," the group collectively cited The Shawnee's historical significance as their reason for protesting the ordinance that requires Holland to move the boat off his property.
"It's good to see such support," said Holland as he got off the ferry from Balboa Island to attend the protest. "It gives me energy to keep fighting. It's loaded my musket up."
Holland, who is in remission from prostate cancer and sees the ship restoration as a form of therapy, noted that he doesn't know what will happen after April 30, the date Orange County Superior Judge Gregory Munoz issued a preliminary injunction against him to have the ship removed from his Holiday Road home. After that date, he could incur fines of up to $1,000 daily, or possible jail time.