What kind of socks does a pirate wear? ARRRgyle. Where does a pirate go to uni? HARRRvard. Why are pirates the best? They just ARRR.
Ahoy, matey! International Speak Like a Pirate Day – Saturday September 19th this year – is finally here, highlighting all things pirate. Started in 1995 by two pirate enthusiasts in Oregon, USA, it’s now an unofficial holiday celebrated around the world. Melbourne’s getting into it this year, with pirate-themed events ranging from taverns, to libraries, to the decks of an actual ship.
Avast yer sails and take to the high seas for one of these rollickin’ adventures:
1. The Pirate Market & Tavern
Saturday 19th September, 1pm till late, $5 market entry, $25 day pass, under-15s free
Bull & Bear Tavern, 347 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000
‘Come for the booty, stay for the booze’ is the catchphrase today. The Bull & Bear Tavern is overrun by all things pirate. Kicking off in the afternoon is the Pirate Market, where you can exchange your filthy lucre for all sorts of booty. Pick up an extra eye-patch or even a sword. Then trade a gold doubloon for a tale from storyteller Roslyn Quinn before you go on the Skull Hunt game. Everyone’s encouraged to dress in piratical theme, and not just pirates. Come as a mermaid or a naval officer. The Pirate Tavern runs from 6pm, with songs by The Dead Peasants (pirate folk) and The Rum Runners (pirate metal). The main attraction: the Swashbuckling Tournament. Garner points for showmanship, costumes, and even Creative Pirate Insults.
2. The LuWow’s International Speak Like a Pirate Day Party
Saturday 19th September, 8pm to late, $5 or free for pirates
62-70 Johnston St, Fitzroy Vic 3065
Buccaneers, beware! The LuWow is pulling out all the stops to celebrate International Speak Like a Pirate Day. Enter and you’ll find a tropical paradise reminiscent of the Caribbean islands you used to loot. Captain Black Head is master of ceremonies tonight, making sure all sailors toe the line. The evening’s entertainment includes live music from Eight-Foot Felix and The Coast Busters. DJ Sye Saxon aims to play some sixties-style sea shanties as the Gogo Goddesses dance away. Grab a pint of grog and enjoy. The LuWow’s top pick: ‘The Cannonball Cocktail,’ replete with a firecracker (aka sparkler) so you can relive the time the British Navy fired on your ship. Make sure to stay for the ‘Pirates on Parade’ competition. Now’s your chance to channel Jack Sparrow.
3. The Polly Woodside’s Pirate Day
Sunday 4th October, 10am-4pm, $16 adult, $9.50 children, $43 family
21 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf Vic 3006
Bid farewell to the landlubbers and board Melbourne’s very own ship, the Polly Woodside, for a day of pirate adventures. Straight out of 1885, this lady is indeed a true tall ship: her main mast is 10 stories tall. And get a load of her sails: they’re 1,110 metres, the size of an Olympic swimming pool! But you’re here to have fun, not gaze at the mizzen-mast. On Pirate Day, everyone’s encouraged to partake in activities with the crew of the Polly Woodside. Go on one of the hunts for hidden treasure (the first kicks off at 11am). Play pirate games. You can even help scrub the decks. Although really – let’s leave that to the cabin-boys and cabin-girls. Anyone who tries to make a self-respecting pirate swab a deck needs to walk the plank.
4. Pirate Lingo at The City Library
253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
On Speak Like a Pirate Day, it’s best to pepper your speech with piratical words. We want to hear lots of ‘arrr’, ‘matey’, ‘thar she blows’ and the like. To properly get into the spirit, we recommend checking out a book at the City Library. One on pirates, of course. Our pick: Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways & Sailors' Wives so you can learn about all the lady pirates. Plus, the City Library has a special secret: check your books out at the self-checkers in different languages, including Pirate. Just choose the skull and crossbones and you’ll soon be treated to full-on Pirate lingo. It starts off with ‘Yarr! Put your items on the platform’ and goes from there. Then take your book home and read all about the adventures of Anne Bonney and other female pirates sailing the high seas.
5. The Pirates Tavern
Fridays from 5pm
82 Nelson Street, Williamstown (entry via Ann Street)
Commandeer a ship going down the river and sail your way to The Pirates Tavern. It’s home to the Williamstown Maritime Association, so expect to find a few old seadogs hereabouts. Listen to their tales and you might learn a thing or two about sailing the high seas. Or just don some pirate gear (encouraged year-round by the tavern) and throw back some rum. The Pirates Tavern is within Seaworks, and they’re hosting the new Dockyard food truck event. Every Friday from 5pm to 9pm, at least five trucks are on site, including a dessert option. Plus, it’s indoors with heaters. Warm yourself as you relive basking on the tropical island you just plundered. Back at The Pirates Tavern, every Friday sees live bands take to the stage. Have a boogie as you gaze out to Port Phillip Bay and plan your next voyage.
If spending the entire weekend as a pirate doesn’t whet your whistle, it’s time to do the ultimate. Party at Cayman Islands’ Pirates Week Festival. From November 12th to 22nd, the small Caribbean island is invaded by pirates galore. If you raise all your sails and hope for good winds, you might just make it in time.