Pirates land in Grand Cayman!

Pirates land in Grand Cayman!

The pirates came ashore Saturday amidst the sounds of cannon and musket fire, quickly outnumbering the red-coated British soldiers assembled on the dock. 

Thousands of revelers awaited the landing along the waterfront, which turned out to be a relatively peaceful affair. Peaceful, that is, once the swashbucklers successfully kidnapped the governor – or at least the man playing the part of governor for the annual rite kicking off the Pirates Week parade. 

Thousands of people lined up along the waterfront in central George Town, eyes shaded by tricorn pirate hats and making frequent use of the word “arrhh.” Many went all the way, from toddlers to grandmothers, embracing the full pirate persona. 

As the pirates paraded through town, sword fights and the accompanying sound of clashing steel became a not-unusual sight, along with the best-dressed pirates stopping to pose for photos with tourists and children. 

It may be Pirates Week, but the theme of the entertainment before the landing was more about extreme sports. A duo donning Flyboards, essentially water jet boots, showed off what the boots could do, swimming like dolphins before emerging out of the water and hovering 20 feet in the air. Another performer on a powerful Jet Ski did flips and barrel rolls, wowing onlookers with tricks in Hog Sty Bay. 

A Red Bull-sponsored “slackline walker,” Alex Mason, performed flips and acrobatics along a form of tightrope suspended a few feet in the air across Harbour Drive. 

The skies at times Saturday looked threatening, but rain stayed away for the most part from the main festivities. 

In the parade, the float from East End took a shot at some of the cruise berthing debates, featuring a makeshift cable car, one of several creative alternatives to a cruise dock to emerge in recent months. 

An AIDA cruise ship stopped in port Saturday with about 2,000 passengers, many of whom took tenders straight to the street party. 

Pirates Week signals the beginning of the annual District Heritage Days, starting with George Town on Monday, followed by East End, West Bay, North Side, Bodden Town/Savannah, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Each district will host a celebration with food, entertainment and culture. 

The festivities will continue throughout the week, until the Sentencing of the Pirates on Harbour Drive on Saturday, Nov. 21, followed by the final street party of the Pirates Week festivities. Sunday will wrap up with a 10K run at 7 a.m. at Calico Jack’s to work off all the rum consumed during the previous week. 

The pirate invasion of George Town begins. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

The pirate invasion of George Town begins. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Governor Helen Kilpatrick enjoys a cup of tea before the pirates land in George Town. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

Governor Helen Kilpatrick enjoys a cup of tea before the pirates land in George Town. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

Little pirates: Youngsters get in on the act. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

Little pirates: Youngsters get in on the act. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

Red Coats guard the National Museum. – pHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

Red Coats guard the National Museum. – pHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

Pirates stop for a chat in the midst of the action. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Pirates stop for a chat in the midst of the action. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Taking aim: Armed with his pistol, this pirate is ready to take over George Town. - PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Taking aim: Armed with his pistol, this pirate is ready to take over George Town. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Captain Jack Sparrow’s in town. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Captain Jack Sparrow’s in town. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

A terrifying biker-pirate makes his way through Harbour Drive.

A terrifying biker-pirate makes his way through Harbour Drive.

Invading pirates lower the Cayman Islands flag, replacing it with the Jolly Roger. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Invading pirates lower the Cayman Islands flag, replacing it with the Jolly Roger. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Avast, me hearties! Pirates aboard the Jolly Roger ship get ready to land at Hog Sty Bay. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Avast, me hearties! Pirates aboard the Jolly Roger ship get ready to land at Hog Sty Bay. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

The Jolly Roger

The Jolly Roger sails into George Town harbor. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

The Jolly Roger, packed with pirates, gets ready to make its landing. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

The Jolly Roger, packed with pirates, gets ready to make its landing. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

A stunt jetskier shows off his skills in the harbor. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

A stunt jetskier shows off his skills in the harbor. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

A young pirate in training. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

A young pirate in training. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

The invasion begins

The invasion begins. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE
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