Pirates capture imaginations through adventure

Swashbuckling pirates Commodore Terrible Terry Campbell and Capt. Murky Matt Slaman keep an eye out for scallywags wanting to board their new pirate ship at Fisherman's Wharf.

Swashbuckling pirates Commodore Terrible Terry Campbell and Capt. Murky Matt Slaman keep an eye out for scallywags wanting to board their new pirate ship at Fisherman's Wharf.

Kim Young has pirates in her backyard.

The resident of the Fisherman’s Wharf float home community was recently taking out the garbage when she saw the 16-metre Black Spirit pirate ship moored at a nearby dock.

“To come home and see this thing sitting there, I thought ‘oh, this is fun,'” Young said.

Beginning May 7, actors and sailors from Pirate Adventures, a pirate ship theatre adventure company, will take aspiring buccaneers – from youngsters to seniors – on six 75-minute sailings into the Inner Harbour.

The new enterprise mirrors Terry Campbell’s Ottawa-based pirate ship adventure that has hosted about 35,000 passengers on board the Grey Ghost in the past three seasons.

Inspired by his nine-year-old grandson Austin, who dreamed of boarding ships in true pirate fashion, Campbell – also known as Commodore Terrible Terry – combined his imagination and sailing expertise to create Pirate Adventures.

From birthday parties to weddings, 46 scallywags, outfitted in face paint and costumes, can take to the high seas of the Inner Harbour. Everyone is taught how to salute, dance and talk like a pirate.

Grownups are also required to be part of the fun, take part in pirate chants, sword fight and possibly walk the plank.

“We have them make the pledge that they’ve brought their five-year-old imaginations,” Campbell said.

In their search for sunken treasure, privateers will pull a map from the sea, shoot water cannons at a small skiff carrying evil pirate Pete, later steal his key to a treasure chest, force him to walk the plank, and of course, find treasure and split the booty.

“It’s romanticized,” said Grey Ghost Capt. Matt Slaman of the natural attraction people have for pirate life. “You’re your own master. You’re hunting for treasure. Who doesn’t love that?”

For more information, please visit www.pirateadventures.ca.

emccracken@vicnews.com