Piney Point, MD – This past Saturday, July 28, the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum put on its eighth Pirates on the Potomac event. Upon arrival, perspective pirates were inspected by the menacing Captain Havens. As they approached the Captain’s chair they were looked up and down by a glare that could pierce through the mightiest hull of a ship. Captain Havens proclaimed each pirate’s new name and gave to them a list of tasks to complete so that they could move up the pirate ranks. Among these newly initiated terrors of the sea were Gabby Abby and Messy Jesse No-Shoes, Johnny Rotten Moldy Feet and Bird Eye Bellows. These were only a handful of the pirates plaguing Piney Point Saturday.
After receiving their tasks, the little pirates ventured to their first activities. Some saw the greedy Captain Blackwell and trudged up to the top of the lighthouse. The high vantage point allowed the scallywags to see any approaching ships that might pose a problem. After exiting the lighthouse Captain Blackwell bestowed a gold coin upon the pirates and then lead them to a small, dark room located just ten paces from his post. As they approached, it became evident that this was not just a room but a damp and dreary cell holding the remains of a former pirate who tried to squander a piece of gold from the captain. Blackwell encouraged the uneasy pirates to give in to their curiosity and peer inside, after which the door was promptly slammed shut. Following a cackle, the trickster released the little pirates and ushered them on their way. Towards their next activity.
Some pirates were instead drawn to the keeper’s quarters immediately, or lead there after the lighthouse. Within the isolated home, pirates made a bandana and a telescope. Others ventured under the rank-up tent to tie knots that would be necessary on their voyages at sea. Additionally, the scoundrels could learn about the multitude of different pirate flags near the museum’s entrance, or play games like bean bag and ring toss behind the education pavilion. After completing every activity and completing a test on pirate flags and scurvy, pirates received a certificate and ranked up.
The activities culminated in a costume contest and scavenger hunt. The costume contest was judged by a panel of experts on pirate garb, language and lack of etiquette. The prizes were anything from a pirate ship birdhouse to a boogie board, and they were awarded by none other than Captain Havens herself. The scavenger hunt took place across the museum’s grounds and both competitions were separated into two age groups—ages 4-6 and 7-9.
Piney Point encountered two different groups of pirates, with the first group ransacking in the morning from 9 a.m. to noon, and the second in the evening from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Any pirates who couldn’t make it out this year should look forward to next year and visit https://www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/PPL/ for more information on the museum.