Many people visit South Bay Beach Club, and the Cayman Islands, to experience true tropical beauty, white-sand beaches, azure-blue waters and a relaxed sense of timelessness. In spite of the Caymans Islands’ notoriety as pure tranquility, the fact is that few, if any, places celebrate their link to their pirate past as closely and lovingly as do the Caymans. Accordingly, for one week every year, this bastion of calmness and serenity celebrates its pirate past with a series of celebrations, mock invasions, special ceremonies and general dancing in the streets.
As Pirates Week 2017 has just concluded, having run from Nov. 9 to 13, we wanted to give you a rundown of what you missed so you can plan to visit during the event next year.
Let’s face it: Pirates have always loved staging an invasion. In this case, our “pirates” engineer a mock version, though it is done the old-fashioned way. It all starts out on the azure-blue waters, where two sailing vessels straight out of yesteryear and filled with packs of swarthy “pirates” traverse George Town Harbor until they reach the shores of Grand Cayman Island. Once on land, their goal is to kidnap Gov. Helen Kilpatrick.
Just as a historical aside, the Caymans were long considered a dependency of Jamaica. Then, once the motherland earned its independence, the islands were split and classified as a colony of the British crown. Beginning in 1971, the British Government appointed a governor, who replaced the previous top politician, the administrator.
Now back to Pirates Week. The peaceful invasion is witnessed by thousands of visitors, who jam the beach to witness this lighthearted and almost-historically-accurate event, making it the only one of its kind in the Caribbean.
Once the mock coup has concluded, the island turns its attention to street parades, costume contests, musical performances, fireworks, a children’s fair, 5K and 10K runs and a street dance finale. There are street foods of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities sprinkled all over the island. In addition, special Heritage Days celebrate individual historic neighborhoods on Grand Cayman Island, including Bodden Town, George Town, East End, West Bay and North End. The action-packed, frivolously fun week-long event concludes with a grand finale night parade.
While there are so many reasons to visit us here at South Bay Beach Club, isn’t it nice to know there is yet one more?