Friday, October 4, 2013

A Pirate's Life for Me

Pirate flags are plentiful during Buccaneer Days.
The first weekend of October, hundreds of boats and thousands of people converge on the tiny town (it's really more of a village) of Two Harbors on Catalina Island. The occasion? A weekend full of drunken debauchery while dressed up as pirates, formally known as "Buccaneer Days". If you're looking for an adventure, there is no need to look any further.

The adventure usually starts on Thursday for a fair portion, if not a majority of people. The moorings (parking spaces for boats) are usually full by Thursday afternoon, or Friday morning for the farthest out ones. Then you have more people coming by way of ferry that'll fill the multiple campsites to capacity on Friday and Saturday. I'd be willing to bet that some even come without a place to stay and sleep on the beach.

Moorings fill up fast. Only a part of the bay is seen here. 
Friday night the fun officially kicks off. Everyone dons their pirate attire and heads ashore (unless they are already passed out). If you choose not to dress up, you will stick out like a sore thumb. You may even be forced to walk the plank. They put up a fence enclosing the two bar areas, the restaurant, and a stage area with open spaces for conversing or dancing. There is a band that plays till about 11 and then a DJ for the rest of the evening. They "close" at 2 am but many people continue the party after that.

Donning our finest pirate attire
The next morning it's not unusual to be woken up to the sound of a cannon going off, followed by tons of people yelling "AAARRGHHH". Ashore you will see people, still in full costume, already starting to drink. They may even still be drinking from the night before. As the day turns into night, the shenanigans are plentiful. Saturday night is a repeat of Friday, but with more people and more time spent drinking. I will commend the sheriffs and the lifeguards there who do a fine job of making sure everyone is safe yet allowing them to have fun.

Sunday morning comes. After two days of living like this, reality starts to set back in. The restaurant offers a great breakfast buffet for people to feast on before departing back to the real world.

Monday morning, you wake up almost depressed. Then, while at work, you look down and see the remains of the black nail polish you forgot to take off and laugh. For just a few days, you were living without worries, taking life in by the moment and savoring it. Yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me.

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