Pirates of the Patapsco

The crew of Urban Pirates has just a few simple expectations for the would-be Baltimore buccaneers it takes aboard for its adults-only, BYOG (bring your own grog) cruises:

Participants are expected to make a lot of noise. They must defend the pirate ship with water cannons if it comes under "attack." They should help finish off a bottle of rum, and they are encouraged to play pirate games.

Disney's newest movie about Capt. Jack Sparrow might be rated PG-13. But the past few years have seen a proliferation of shipboard-themed events for the 21-and-older crowd.

It would seem that a great many responsible grown-ups secretly yearn for a fine pirate name like "Shipwreck Sam." Bankers want to put down mutinies, and university professors dream of visiting a world where "X" marks the spot.

"Pirates have been really big now, and have been for the past few years," says Adam Sahhar, general manager of the Urban Pirates, and lead swashbuckler. "There's a lawlessness and freedom about that lifestyle that everyone wants to experience."

Baltimore's annual Privateer Day has come and gone, but never fear, there are still plenty of opportunities before Labor Day to embrace your inner pirate. While some events admit children as well, it's the adults who have the best chance of finding the true buried treasure — their youthful selves.

•The Urban Pirates take eight BYOG cruises on weekend nights between April and October from Fells Point aboard the custom-designed replica the Fearless. Tickets cost $25; call 410-327-8378 or go to

•On July 5, a fundraiser called The Big Green Pirate Party will be held aboard the Constellation to benefit Civic Works, a local nonprofit job-training program. The adults-only event aboard the historic sloop of war built in 1854 will include the firing of cannons, live musical entertainment, savory and sweet pies, and libations from Heavy Seas Brewery. Guests will receive hors d'oeuvres, an eye patch, a booty map and a swag bag. Tickets cost $35-$75; call 410-929-6126 or go to

•The annual Pirate Fest Weekend at the Lock House Museum, held in Havre de Grace, July 9-10 includes a 5K race and a pirate gala that features a pig roast and a live and silent auction. The focal point will be a pirate encampment, in which volunteers dress in authentic costumes and cook with period utensils. There will be skirmishes by water and campfire chats about pirate life. Tickets to the gala cost $50, but other events are free. Call 410-939-5780 or go to

•Take part in a sea shanty singalong or compete in the town-wide treasure hunt for a cash prize during the Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend. Visitors can watch a dinghy race or pay a fee to drench the wench. Skullduggery, an Elkridge-based, historically accurate re-enactment group founded by Kenny Miller, will demonstrate correct pirate attire (i.e., no bucket boots) and provide tips on sword handling. Aug. 12-14 in the Eastern Shore town of Rock Hall. Free. Go to

Piratz, a Silver Spring restaurant and tavern which, appropriately, serves Caribbean fare, will hold a special "Pirates of the Caribbean" party beginning at 7 p.m. Friday featuring the house band, "Pirates of the Drunken Ferret" and a demonstration of the belly dancing that pirates would have seen on their travels. As always, Piratz is decorated with antique maps, pistols, swords and a costumed stuffed duck. Each member of the wait staff has a developed pirate or wench character, and the staff teases and talks back to the customers. 8402 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Call 301-588-9001 or go to

•Last week, Madame Tussauds in Washington unveiled its newest wax figure — none other than Captain Jack himself, displayed against a pirate beach setting. The statue of actor Johnny Depp in the movie role took three months to create, and includes such familiar details as the character's braided hair, beard and trademark bandana. 1001 F St. N.W., Washington. $16-$21. Call 202-942-7300 or go to