I say, “pirates”. What comes to mind? The high seas? Jack Sparrow? Eye patches? How about Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes? Probably not, right?
Well, we all had something to learn when we joined Tall Ship Windy for Real Pirates of the Inland Seas, a 75-minute cruise on Lake Michigan that departs from Navy Pier in Chicago. We sailed on a real tall ship and were treated to entertaining stories about the history of piracy on the Great Lakes. Our hosts/storytellers were Orion and Patrick and their routine is part history lesson, part concert, and a whole lot of comedy. Their lively and interactive historical accounts were fun and entertaining enough to keep the attention of everyone on board, from my 2 1/2-year-old daughter to folks my age and older. The teenage girls on board definitely were paying attention and hanging onto every word delivered by Orion and Patrick, as the two young chaps are definitely charming and easy on the eyes. If you’d like a more participatory role in the cruise, passengers are invited to volunteer to help the crew with the sails (as my husband did). And, for the of-age passengers, there is a bar on board offering sophisticated adult beverages at an additional cost. The entire experience was immensely enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone visiting Chicago, or even to residents like myself who don’t make it down to Navy Pier all that often.
The Real Pirates of the Inland Seas is just one of the themed cruises hosted by Tall Ship Windy. Their schedule comes to a close at the end of September, so if you can’t join them for a cruise before then, definitely put it on your to-do list for next summer!