Ships Ahoy, Adventures On The Pier

It’s another beautiful day in the Clearwater neighborhood.  I check in with Timmy for an update on his world, then me and the dogs head out for the day.  We stop off at our favorite Largo city park, and after a nice long dog walk and visit with Lois from Detroit, we head to the Pier.

As always, there is plenty happening down on Pier 60.  The sun is shining, and the outdoor market is in full swing, complete with live music. I find a shady spot to park, and head over to the action.  I walk along the Marina, trying to decide if and when, and what I should participate in.  Charter after charter is lined up along the dock.  Dolphin watch?  Manatee watch?   Fishing?  So many choices but it sure is windy today.  I get into a discussion with some guys on the fishing.  Sounds like they aren’t catching much lately, I should wait it out for a couple weeks. 

I turn the corner and there it is.  Buckaneers and Mates, Swash Bucklers and Wenches, hornswaggle and mutiny, Buckos, booty and the plank.  It’s Captain Nemos Original Pirate Cruise adventure, offering day and evening trips on a real live pirate ship.  By Sunset the wind should go down.  Shiver me timbers, this is a sure fire way to wrap up a day. I can’t resist signing up for the Champagne cruise!  Done.  Be back by 4:30 to board.

As I skip away with ticket in hand, the continued gusting winds remind me why it’s not a good idea to try to go deep sea fishing.  But there’s no harm in fishing for deals at the market! I head across the street to wander through the Pier festivities a few hours.  Dozens of artisans are showing their beautiful wares.  I have found two fantastic booths with deals on Christmas ornaments, too! (yeah, I know, I thought I got that out of my system s few weeks ago).   I devour a tasty Gyros from a nameless food stand.  There are Buskers (street performers) everywhere–magicians, balloon artists, fire eaters, stilt walkers, living statues, escape artists, break dancers, performing pets, and jugglers–scattered all along the pier and drawing big crowds.  The entertainment is amazing.  The music is fantastic.  This is Clearwater Beach’s only free form of family entertainment, and it is jam packed with people from all over the world.  I walk along the beach and search for treasures.  I meet and talk with people from France, Sweden, Jordan and Chicago.  I walk all the way down the big pier. I’m wishing I was horizontal on a blanket soaking up the rays.  Suddenly I realize I’ve got 10 minutes to board my pirate ship!

Run!

I arrive to the tail end of the line of fellow “mates” boarding Captain Nemo’s Pirate Ship. “Ahoy, me hearties!” I’m handed a glass of bubbly, directed to the captain himself for a picture, then to the upper deck and bow of the vessel with a handful of Pirates from Iowa and Indiana.  We take turns taking pictures of each other posing as “king of the world” like in Titanic.  The Champagne flows.  Our stories flow.  The laughter and camaraderie flows.  We all become great friends in under two hours.  We are monitoring the massive waters for dolphin sightings.  Zero sightings. Captain Nemo is blasting great rock tunes.  There is a chilling breeze as the sun goes down.  But we are dancing and laughing and darn, it’s warm on this boat!  I quickly take pictures of the skyline, the bay and a bird flying by.  The sun has fallen behind the edge of the water.  The ships sparkling party lights flick on, and it feels like magic on the ocean bay. The moon is quickly rising up.   Our vessel is making the wide turn to start heading back to main land.   The music shifts from Reggae to Rock to, what else than Gangnam Style?  Our merry band of Pirates have laughed until it hurts. Oh, no-no-no more Champagne! Life is good.  We are docked.  Well Blow me down, we are now Landlubbers.  Shiver me timbers, it’s been real.  Fair well, mates.

 

Where did I park?

 

 

 

 

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