Front row from left to right: High Seas Hollee (Hollee Repman), Captain G (Gina Marotta), Jackpot Jules (Julie Marotta). In the back row, meet Madman Mike and Dakota the Dangerous.

The Pirates of Lewes

Ahoy, Mateys! Many people may not know that there Arrrrrgggghhhhh Pirates living among us.

In Lewes, owners, Captain G (Gina Marotta) and Jackpot Jules (Julie Marotta), along with their 1st mate, High Seas Hollee, and enemy pirates, Dakota the Dangerous and Madman Mike, take willing seafarers (up to 39 guests) out on a 50-minute Pirate Adventure Cruise down the Lewes Canal, searching for treasure on Sea Gypsy V, their 40-foot Pirate Ship, 6 days a week. (They take a break from their piracy and tomfoolery on Sundays, because even Pirates need a day of rest).  

Leaving from their new location at the end of Anglers Marina (past Irish Eyes, following “Pirates this way” signs), guests meet at the Pirate Cove. Before they set sail, little guests dress in pirate costumes; a vest, sash and face paint provided by the crew. Kids are provided an additional eye patch, sword, tattoo, bracelet and bag of booty, all of which they’re allowed to take home after the adventure. While waiting for the voyage to begin, kids engage in crew training, and are required to take The Pirate Pledge before boarding the vessel. Before they set sail, The Pirate Shack offers a festive backdrop for a quick photo op, and there is plenty of pirate memorabilia available for purchase: T-shirts, Hats and Stuffies. They even offer free parking and a Private Pirate Porta-Potty, so everyone is sea-ready when the ship departs. 

Captain G took over the Pirate Adventure Business in 2017 upon obtaining her Coast Guard 100-ton Captain License. “We wanted to make the adventure more modern, exciting and fun,” Gina said. So, when the boat departs, guests experience much more than just a boat ride down the canal. “We’re theatrical and interactive. We keep the kids busy,” Gina explains. They always have a run-in with enemy pirates and engage in firing 12 cannons and a hilarious battle at sea (so expect to get wet from the water guns). “We also do some PG-13 humor in the back of the boat for the adults,” Captain G says with a smile. 

“We have skits we do, and we give modern facts about the wildlife on the canal, sea life, and information about real pirates from Delaware; like Captain Kid—who is rumored to have buried treasure somewhere on land in Cape Henlopen, and Blackbeard—who was a bad guy, and tied cannon fuses on his beard so smoke would billow out from his face to scare people,” Gina explains. They also play music on the boat, dance the limbo and everyone leaves with a handful of booty (pirates’ treasure). Special seafarers and birthday guests even become honorary 1st mates and receive special Captain’s gold. 

From May through September, they run morning and afternoon Pirate Adventure Cruises, weather permitting. “I follow Coast Guard weather, and if we have to cancel or delay, we provide refunds or rescheduling,” Gina said.  Advanced ticket purchase is required, and guests can call 302-249-3538 to make reservations, or book directly online at The entire pirate encounter is 70-90 minutes and prospective seafarers can check out their videos online. Tickets are $35 per person, children 2 and under are $10. They also offer Private Charters for birthday parties, private groups, and evening cruises. Tips are always welcome, and a Venmo QR code is supplied on the boat, in case guests leave their gold, booty, or doubloons at home. 

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