Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Set a course for pirate fun

The pirate beckons strollers into the Pirates of the Golden Galleon miniature golf course along the Ocean City boardwalk near 11th St.
The pirate beckons strollers into the Pirates of the Golden Galleon miniature golf course along the Ocean City boardwalk near 11th St. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
The pirate beckons strollers into the Pirates of the Golden Galleon miniature golf course along the Ocean City boardwalk near 11th St. Gallery: Set a course for pirate fun
Avast, ye Shore-goers who love all things piratical.

Along a coastline called the New Jersey Shore, where there may be some real pirate history to be had - Captain Kidd himself is said to have buried a treasure chest on a Cape May County beach - there is a bounty of modern-day swashbuckling adventure to be found.

Pirates - and pirate-themed rides, activities, and trinkets - are back and bigger for Summer 2014.

"I think the idea of pirates and what pirates do conjures up fun and adventure for people of all ages," says Jamie Richard, who owns, with her husband, Joel, the 49-passenger Sea Dragon, a ship with 16 water cannons built in 2008 at Yank Marine in Tuckahoe. Their company, Pirate Voyages, operates hour-long back-bay cruises from an Ocean City dock for $22 a person. Accompanied by their parents, children get to dress up as pirates for a voyage of face-painting, storytelling, sea chanteys, and fun.

Landlubbers who have not quite got their sea legs can still get in on the pirate fun: On the Ocean City boardwalk between 10th & 11th Streets, Playland's Castaway Cove offers a plethora of pirate-themed amusements such as the new Buccaneer Pirate Ship, an open-air, gondola-style thrill ride that swings back and forth. The new electric one replaces a 20-year-old hydraulic version, says owner Brian Hartley, vice president of S&T Amusement Co., which also operates Pirates of the Golden Galleon Golf, a 19-hole miniature golf course with a pirate theme that includes a bevy of interesting icons, including a giant octopus, a menacing pirate captain, and a lighthouse.

"We started in the late 1990s with the pirate theme and we've just built on it," Hartley said. "As a theme, I think it gets more popular every year. People never get tired of it."

Want to dress like a pirate? Air Circus, a kite store on the Ocean City boardwalk, has an entire department devoted to the pirate lifestyle, from tricorn hats to swords to drinking glasses.

- Jacqueline L. Urgo

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