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All photos by Livia Belcea.

Thar be treasure in that ocean, maties!

By Livia Belcea on June 2, 2016

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A Pirate Adventure is waiting for you on the Pirate ship at Mooney’s Bay, and no, it is not a mirage. The Pirate ship is a real, Transport Canada certified, functioning ship on which you can climb aboard and go on the pursuit of treasure. Pirate Adventures offers Pirate themed parties and activities for kids, corporate groups and special interest groups, by sailing right on the Ottawa River with a Pirate captain and his crew.

After being a Mermaid for a day, becoming a Pirate was a natural evolution. I sailed away on the kid’s ship as the only adult who wasn’t responsible for one of the little mates, and I shamelessly had a great time being a Pirate. The adventure lasts about an hour: just enough time for parents to grab a quick drink at the Mooney’s Bay bar, or catch some sun on the beach.  It’s engaging, theatrical, immersive and hands-on.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by Pirates in full Pirate gear and in character. They will guide you through your quest for treasure, which starts by dressing like a Pirate, complete with vest, sash and head scarf. The Pirates also give you a fancy moustache and a fancy Pirate name. Mine was Loose Lip Livia, and I was accompanied by King Fish Chris. After a few nautical games and funny Pirate questions, it was time to climb aboard, and we did so while crab walking and clacking our pincers.

The premise of the adventure is classic: you’re a Pirate part of a sailing crew, off to find treasure. As you can expect, the seas are troubled and a hint of magic is sprinkled along the way.

Our crew was large: over a dozen little Pirates, a few Pirate parents, Jenny the Red, Pearl the Pirate, Captain Patches, and myself and King Fish Chris, of course. Jenny the Red and Pearl set the stage by storytelling and getting the little Pirates to answer questions and meet the crew and story characters. Soon, the little Pirates were helping Jenny the Red find a treasure map hidden in a bottle in the sea. Then they stumbled across an evil Pirate in her raft and shot water cannons at her, in an attempt to retrieve the key to the treasure chest which she possessed.

They watched as an epic battle took place right on board between an unsuspecting parent who was wielding the magic sword and the evil Pirate who jumped ship, and finally, they located the spot where the treasure was hidden and helped hoist it onto the ship. The excitement was palpable as the treasure chest made its way onto the ship’s deck, and the little Pirates were gleaming as they each got to take home 2 pieces of treasure. Their adventure was complete with sea shanties, dancing, limbo and Pirate talk. I found out what a Scallywag was, but I’ll let you discover for yourself. Captain Patches does a great impression of it.

This bilingual Pirate Adventure is a real treat for urban dwellers eager for a fun time on the water, and a great way for kids to spend a few hours immersed in fantasy. Although my adventure was geared towards children, I suspect that the corporate group adventure for adults would be just as fun and entertaining, as the Pirates were hilarious, well versed in Pirate talk, and never broke out of character.

Pirate Adventures is located on the North side of Mooney’s Bay, adjacent to a paid parking lot. Reservations are recommended, and best to check the weather, as the ship doesn’t sail during storms.