Looking back in time: Pirates Week

Any visiting naval ships could always be counted on to participate. - Photo: Submitted by Kirsten Jensen

Everyone talks about the ‘good old days’ when times were simpler. Take a look at this picture from yesteryear and see if you can spot places, people and scenes you recognise.

Pirates Week
It has been over 40 years since Pirates Week started in the Cayman Islands — back in 1977, to be exact — and for those of us who were here in its infancy, we have very fond memories of the good old days.

The festivities and celebrations in modern times are well coordinated with lots of entertainment and pageantry. In the ’70s and ’80s, it was more of a big party in Hog Sty Bay, with boats galore in the harbour, conveying buccaneers and wenches to shore.

As can be seen in these images, posted on the Old Cayman Facebook page by Kirsten Jensen, it was not unheard of to have a naval ship in port when the Pirates Landing event was in full swing. Even as a child, I remember how the crews of those ships loved participating in the fun. Water balloons, hoses, and other interactive tools were employed to help make them part of the action.

The National Museum has always played an integral part in the festivities, as friendly chaos reigns in the harbour. – Photo: Submitted by Kirsten Jensen

I believe years later, things like water balloons were nixed due to the danger of some being lobbed with too much enthusiasm, and possibly injuring someone. But, back then, it was a bit of a free-for-all.

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And, who can forget ‘Chief Pirate’ Mike Lockwood, who was the longest-serving committee chairman for the festival? His natural beard certainly kept him in good stead when it came to wearing the costume. He and scurvy scoundrels like Darvin Ebanks have faces that will be forever associated with Pirates Week.

This year, it all starts in Cayman Brac on 5 Nov., moving to Grand Cayman on 11 Nov. and ending in Little Cayman on 21 Nov. Better start working on yer pirate lingo from now. Arrrrhhhh.

If you have some old photos that you’d like to submit, we’d love to see them to consider them for publication. Be sure to include the credit for the image and any information you have about it. Email to [email protected].

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