Saturday, September 26, 2020

Mirthful Marauders of Marco Island: The Black Pearl

From left: Becky Cook, Head Piratess Aleesha Asper, and Captain Frank Camarda prepare for their pirate excursion.  PHOTOS BY SUMMER HEADLEY

From left: Becky Cook, Head Piratess Aleesha Asper, and Captain Frank Camarda prepare for their pirate excursion. PHOTOS BY SUMMER HEADLEY

By Summer Headley

I have always enjoyed summers on Long Beach Island, New Jersey (LBI). Being a Lawrenceville, New Jersey native, the place to go from Memorial Day to Labor Day was “down the shore,” which constitutes anywhere on the New Jersey coastline – ranging from Belmar, to Seaside Heights, to Atlantic City, to Wildwood, to LBI (these are just a few of New Jersey’s shoreline finest). The shore’s outstanding plethora of activities extend far and wide, and appeal to all ages and demographics. LBI, the area in which I’ve vacationed the most, boasts mini golf courses, Fantasy Island Amusement Park, shopping, beaches galore, sunset cruises, and much more.

Fast-forward to a few years later, I have now permanently relocated to the Naples side of the Jolley bridge – becoming a new Naplo Island/Marcles resident (Get the

View from the Pearl’s top deck.

View from the Pearl’s top deck.

reference? Hybrid of Naples and Marco Island!). Little by little, I am noticing similarities between LBI, New Jersey and Marco Island, Florida. So far, I have experienced, much like LBI, that Marco is a friendly island with many activities, and the beaches and calm waters are ones to be envied!

Furthermore, the daytime and sunset cruises by both the Marco Island and Naples Princesses are breathtaking. While I have not yet experienced a daytime cruise around the glorious LBI, I have had the opportunity to venture out on two cruises around Naples and Marco Island. One was the Naples Princess (which was stunning!), and the other was a newer vessel. In fact, this other ship is so new, that it just arrived here literally a few weeks ago – and it’s one filled with pirates! She

The Black Pearl getting ready to set sail.

The Black Pearl getting ready to set sail.

goes by the name of The Black Pearl.

Ahoy! I have been told the Black Pearl will be joining us here in Marco Island for at least a few months. The Pearl’s Captain, Frank Camarda, has journeyed from (would you believe it?) LBI, New Jersey (!) to expand our maritime merriment here on Marco. Frank’s family’s famed vessel prepares to excite and enlighten children of all ages. Donned in traditional pirate decor, the Black Pearl flaunts six water cannons, a full-service bar, and an upper deck for a breathtaking view of the Marco waters. According to their website (www.piratesofmarco.com), the Black Pearl can set sail with as many as 78 passengers!

While LBIslanders will have to do without their Pearl for a little while, Marco Islanders will be graced with this spirited ship and an eager new

Tom Arnold receives tickets for the Pearl’s prospective pirates!

Tom Arnold receives tickets for the Pearl’s prospective pirates!

crew. Aleesha Asper, one of the dedicated Pearl crew members, states “I love working in a high energy environment like the Black Pearl. It combines everything I love [including] working with children, meeting people from all over the world, and being outdoors [as well as] learning new skills such as rigging lines on the ship, and bartending. I am one lucky pirate!”

How exciting! I eagerly look forward to future ventures on this vivacious vessel. The Black Pearl is a fun-filled ship that is suited for the whole family, and has become a welcome addition to the Marco fleet. It also presents me with a connection to my childhood. Albeit I will miss the more frequent visits to LBI, I am excited to see that a part of it will join us here in Marco Island.

For more information, visit www.piratesofmarco.com or call 239-404-5422.

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