The Pirates of the Caribbean movies have re-ignited children’s interest in pirates but a little town in Southern Norway has had no such problem getting kids interested in piracy. Farsund has a wealth of history about pirates and their crusades against British ships that would pass through their waters.
Back then, the Norwegian government actually approved piracy against the British because they were seen as the enemy. A little town called Loshavn was even made by money stolen from these ships.
To celebrate this interesting history, the town of Farsund has a festival called “kaperdagene” or Pirate Days.
There are concerts, games and activities for kids, food and live pirate battles.
One day during this festival, there is a wooden boat race and a Pirate show late at night.
I took a trip to Farsund from Kristiansand and checked it out. I arrived at about 3pm and found lots of people, music playing and captains getting their wooden boats ready for the big race. These wooden boats do not go fast and many are well over 50 years old – all are hand made. Some have little diesel engines and others have petrol.
I was invited to go onto one of the boats for the race to take some pictures. I could not refuse. My captain was a man called Kjetil and his son and daughter were also along for the ride.
It was a lot of fun and all were eager to win the race, so there was the occasional collision in the water. That does not mean much for these strong wooden boats and if anything, it adds to the excitement.
There was a boat of pirates selling Coca Cola, One with a man attached to a mast and a piano player at the back and others with families.
Afterwards, I went to the Pirate show “kaperspill” which starts at 10pm. Now that is something that all children need to see. It is all about ACTION!
The show is a battle re-lived between the British and the Norwegians. A British ships sails into the harbour and is attacked by local pirates. The captain is taken into shore and his men taken prisoner.
There are about 5 canons that shoot blank rounds that are so loud, most kids need to wear ear protectors.
Thousands of people attended the show and all of the local stores were open until midnight. It has taken place for 20 years and we hope that it continues for another 100 years.
A fantastic event!
Adam Read Visit Sørlandet