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Pirate Adventures On Granville Island (Review)

Pirate Adventures On Granville Island (Review)

Captain Terry wasn’t always so terrible.

Those looking for the captain on land will have no luck, but look for Terry Campbell and they will. Campbell, owner of Pirate Adventures, a theatrical pirate-themed adventure in Ottawa as well as Vancouver, donned the swashbuckling persona upon finding out about his grandson’s ambition and desire to be a pirate. And acting like any other grandparent, his next, natural step was to build old-timey vessels from his own two bare hands, starting sails first in Otttawa’s Mooney Bay before setting his sights on Granville Island.

On a sweaty Sunday, I made my way to the gift shop run by Pirate Adventures, located behind the Maritime Market, to meet with my fellow passengers for the sail. One pirate gave me a vest and a bunch of scarves to disguise my land-lover identity, while another wrote down an alliterative nickname on an adhesive name tag for me to affix somewhere on my person. Everyone around me was a kid or that kid’s parent. Not to mention they were all rocking curly black moustaches.

As a theatrical experience, Pirate Adventures encourages group participation. The First Mate made us solemnly swear to bring out five year old imaginations on board or we’d be forced to walk the plank.

Pirate Adventures On Granville Island (Review)

As introductions were made as the boat made its way past the docked boats, we were soon on our way to beginning our journey.

Pirate Adventures On Granville Island (Review)

Without spoiling the surprise, we were inducted into the secrets of being a real pirate by learning how to talk like one, besides dancing like one.

We then practiced the new vernacular, among other things, on our boat neighbours.


As I sat, not a child not yet a grown up, the narrative of finding the treasure map and the treasure chest key from a sleepy, mercurial pirate was entertaining, silly fun. Nearly all of the pirates and mates working on the ship were actors, and they hammed up their over-the-top lines for the kids, often exaggerating their facial expressions for comedic effect, besides overstating jokes so that none of the subtlety was lost on the audience. One of the highlights that came from this sensational display was a make-believe sword fight showdown between the First and Second Mate.

Pirate Adventures On Granville Island (Review)

An ideal activity to stimulate a young child while taking in the sights down by the marina, Pirate Adventures is a nifty experience for a family to try out, especially with summer heading to a close in just a few weeks.

Sails are available seven days a week, although reservations come highly recommended as sails are subject to demand due to them being overbooked or cancelled.

Pirate Adventures is located at 1820 Mast Tower Rd on Granville Island. They can be reached at (604) 754-7535.


Pirate Adventures On Granville Island  Review by Irene Lo
Featured image via @TheFictionals/Twitter

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