The Jolly Roger pirate ship will not be making an appearance at this year’s Pirates Week festivities. Instead, the ship’s usual duties of bringing a gang of marauding pirates into Hog Sty Bay for the Pirates’ Landing will fall to a vessel called Big Island Schooner.
Another boat, Blue Sky Sailing’s Splendour in the Wind, will also play a part in the event, bringing the “governor” to shore. The governor will be played by Robert Helina, a former Canadian Army officer.
This will the second year in a row the Jolly Roger, a two-thirds size replica of Christopher Columbus’ 17th century galleon Nina, has not participated in the festivities.
The Pirates Week Office says contact was made with the Jolly Roger ship in early September to participate in the Pirates Week Landing initiative, but the offer was declined.
Though the vessel is a registered local business, and operates as a private enterprise, it still has sentimental value to the Pirates Week Festival office and in previous years played an integral part in the festival.
The ship was damaged after running aground in George Town harbor earlier this month. Festival organizers said they are saddened to see the Jolly Roger in its current state, and wish the ship a speedy recovery, saying they will welcome the vessel back with open arms for future festivals. The pirates and the Red Coats will battle it out in George Town harbor from 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. A host of other festivities will be held throughout the week-long festival, now in its 41st year, including fireworks, an underwater treasure hunt, a float parade, the “Trial of the Pirates,” boat trips, a turtle release, a song contest and much more.
A full lineup of events can be found on www.piratesweekfestival.com.