We were taken aback when we arrived in St. Peter’s and were greeted by a crew of biking pirate sceletons, with flags and banners adorning the village. Initially, we thought it might be an early start to Halloween festivities, but as it turned out, we were fashionably late for the Pirate Festival, which coincidentally coincided with the arrival of Hurricane Lee.
Now, you might be wondering, why pirates? Well, it appears that pirates had quite a lucrative career in these waters, pillaging Nova Scotia until the mid-19th century. They struck terror into the hearts of both the maritime fleet and local fishermen.
The “Golden Age of Piracy” occurred from 1690 to 1730 when Nova Scotia, was largely unsettled by Europeans, making it a possible location for pirates to hide-out or refit. The governor of Fortress Louisbourg in the mid -1720s was so afraid of pirate attacks in Cape Breton that he asked for extra naval protection. One of the nastiest pirates of the “Golden Age”, Ned Low, raided fishing fleets who used Nova Scotian harbours as shelters and fishing stations. Low terrorized a New England fleet in Shelburne in 1720. Some have suggested that he hid treasure in Nova Scotia.
It seems the pirate spirit still lingers in the air, even without the Jolly Roger fluttering above.