Ahoy mateys! Last weekend The Maritime Museum of San Diego was boarded by PIRATES! Not to worry, despite their fearsome hooks and eye-patches, the breed of pirate your likely to encounter here are of the friendly variety, as you can see in the video below.
Yes, Pirate Days at The Maritime Museum of San Diego is an annual festival, where for two fun filled days you are invited to unleash your inner swashbuckler. Youngsters are presented a goody bag at the entrance, which included a map for The Pirate Scavenger Hunt. This event kept kids busy, searching through the museum’s collection of antique ships and submarines to discover carefully hidden clues. Collect all of them to reveal the route to the mermaid’s grotto, where you’ll be presented your treasure by two lovely maidens of the sea (watch that you don’t step on their tails, they hate that!)
There were carnival games for the the whole family, complete with prizes (or booty if you prefer.) Guests were invited to try their hand at some arts and crafts, creating 3 dimensional paper treasure chests, or decorating their very own a pirate bookmark.
Renactors walked the ships, bringing history to life all around. A Royal Marine fired off his brown bess with an explosion of black powder to the delight of patrons. The Maritime Museum Dancers were in attendance, strutting their stuff and performing historical dances of the regency era aboard the H.M.S Surprise. The Surprise is a reproduction of the H.M.S Rose, a vessel which would have been sailing the seas under the British Flag during the Napoleonic Wars. If this ship looks familiar to you, there’s good reason. The Surprise has been featured in the films Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World, Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and a commercial for Chase Credit Cards.
Feeling adventurous? Why not take up a blade (foam rubber of course) and try your hand at the ancient art of sword fighting with a pirate. Children lined up for a chance to try themselves in battle, proving a good time for all. Brave contenders were rewarded with gold and jewels for their heroic displays of courage, a souvenir of their adventure.
There was a costume contest where young pirates showed of their fanciest togs for a chance to win prizes. Many of the contestants came with handmade outfits their parents had helped them prepare, others improvised with bandanas and face paint. The emphasis was on fun!
The museum also offered a presentation on cannons and artillery. At regular intervals, guests were treated to the thunderous boom of cannons firing a blast into the ocean (sans cannon ball of course.) Educators teach guests about the history of these weapons, and how they would have been used in battle on land and at sea (of course a cannon aboard a ship is correctly called a gun.)
For an additional three dollars, you could take a cruise of San Diego Harbor aboard the museum’s vintage pilot boat, escorted by a real pirate. The tour, which is offered daily, takes you all around San Diego’s scenic waters. This narrated tour will introduce you to a bit of San Diego’s Maritime History, you’ll be able to appreciate the city skyline, and even sail right below The Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier that now serves the city as a museum.
If you missed the festivities this year, make sure to keep up with events on The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s website www.sdmaritime.org There’s always something waiting for you to discover!