Saturday was a great day to say "Arrrr!"
That is what hundreds of would-be buccaneers, young and old, bellowed in Fells Point during the sixth annual Privateer Day festival.
There were plenty of eye patches, tattoos and aliases in the crowd that moved through the historic waterfront neighborhood. Some acted like pirates, some merely watched the show.
A shipload of young pirate-wannabes hopped aboard The Fearless, a 52-foot replica of an 18th-century ship that kicked off its season of harbor cruises Saturday on behalf of a commercial attraction called Urban Pirates.
The first mate on The Fearless, a rough-looking character known as Peppercorn, instructed the youngsters in pirate vocabulary.
"You say ‘Arrrr!' If something is very good, or very bad," said Peppercorn, who is also known as Adam Sahhar, a recent graduate of Long Island University who majored in television and video.
His crew of youngsters, including Bryce Stevenson, 5, and his 3-year-old sister, Perry of Millersville, promptly echoed the pirate shout.
Other lessons in the pirate tutorial included how to say "shiver me timbers," how to sing while stomping your feet, how to tie a square knot, and how to "fight fiercely." Ticket prices are $20 for riders 3 and older and $10 for those 2 and younger.
When The Fearless came under attack from a skiff skippered by Mad Dog Mike, a rogue who seemed to hang out in the vicinity of the Rusty Scupper restaurant, the youngsters manned water cannons on the deck. Streams of water warded off the knave, and The Fearless returned with jubilant crew to the Ann Street pier
Meanwhile, at the foot of Broadway, Capt. John W. Black and his band of 18 re-enactors from southern New Jersey fired at each other with flintlock pistols and generally behaved like scalawags.
This was the fifth year that Black and his band of pirates have landed in Fells Point "This is a beautiful town for a pirate festival," he said. He was clad in black, and quite muscular. As he spoke, a stream of women asked to have their picture taken with him.
After enjoying the pleasures of Baltimore, Black said he would return to Southern New Jersey where he works as a chiropractor.
Not all the goings-on at the festival were make believe.
Myron Peterson stood on Thames Street in front of the Fells Point Visitors Center dressed as Commodore Joshua Barney. He explained that Barney and the crew of the privateers that sailed out of Fells Point in the War of 1812 were not pirates.
They harassed and seized only British ships, he said.
He added that Barney would never have said " Arrrr!"