My favorite part of piratey tourist trapment is the sheer simplicity of the enterprise. An eyepatch, a parrot or drawing of a parrot, a ripped old rolled-up paper bag with an x on it, et voilá: you're just like Disney and the booty just sails into yer tray-shur chests.On the other hand, if you push it just a little too much -- let's say by forcing kids to wear outfits and adding face-painting with superfluous marine biology lessons and dramatic water cannon fights to the boat ride, you're just asking for ridicule. (What with the only "pirates" around here being the kids' great-grandparents who were rumrunning during prohibition.)
Do not, however, tease the Pirates of the Bay, Adventures of the White Pearl New Bedford harbor edu-ventu-tainment boat. The mayor likes it, so it must be okay and another welcome addition to the additions that have already been added to the waterfront additions. (I read that in some press release. Or bumbling and baffling words to that effect.)
I've always enjoyed the New Bedford harbor excursions. A great time for those who knew that the harbor excursion boat existed. A pleasant enough diversion, to toodle around the harbor that, for three or four hundred years, had allowed entrance to fish and oil that brought millions of dollars into the city, more or less.
But there's just something about this one picture of the Pirates of the Bay registration that bugs me:
And just in case you didn't get the memo, I'll reprint it here -- all grammar, punctuation, and syntax errors intact. Because it's no fun without 'em:
New Bedford, Massachusetts-A fun, new waterfront business made its way into NewBedford Harbor today. City officials welcomed “Pirates of the Bay", a new waterfront business that will offer harbor tours for children and families on a 26-foot “pirate boat” named the White Pearl. Outfitted with six water cannons and decorated with a pirate ship- themed mural on its exterior, the White Pearl is designed for adventures. Entrepreneurs Gayle and John Verissimo will begin operating their new business on July 4th, 2009. They have entered into agreement with the Harbor Development Commission (HDC) to run their operation off City docks."We are pleased to partner with these innovative, local entrepreneurs and to welcome a new, affordable recreational opportunity to the families of New Bedford and our visitors. Pirates of the Bay will create a fun and educational way for families to experience our waterfront, one of the City's greatest resources,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang. Children will sing-along to pirate songs as they depart for a 30-40 minute excursion in search of sunken treasure. With treasure maps in hand, children will meet live sea creatures, and will learn clues that will help them in the search for buried treasure as the White Pearl makes its way around the harbor. They will also have an opportunity to shoot one of the ship’s six water cannons."We are excited to see a new business in New Bedford Harbor that promises to draw people to the waterfront and create a new economic stimulus for the City," stated Kristin Decas, Executive Director of the HDC. The fee for each excursion is $12, $10 if children present a report card with B’s or better. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult with a valid license or ID.