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25th Anniversary Catalina Buccaneer Days 2014 - Black Beard’s Black Out Two Harbors

By G. Ozeri

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The 25th Anniversary Buccaneer Days 2014 was held at Two Harbors on Catalina Island, October 2 until October 5th 2014.

As you arrive into the Harbor 1 “Isthmus” port,  ships, yachts and boats are hoisting the pirate colors with their boats all decked out in pirate garb with canons blaring.  Even Black Beard’s Blackout couldn’t stop the 25th Annual Buccaneer Days Festivities at Two Harbours Catalina Island.

As the Jolly Rogers flew over the crowded slew of boats in Twin Harbor, for a brief moment it seamed as if Buccaneer Day may be interrupted. In keeping with the spirit of the event the band played on and the ice stayed frozen long enough to see electricity charged back into service.  While tasty, Buffalo Milk on the rocks is an unacceptable substitute for the real thing! The blenders springing back to life was a more than welcome sound as now party goers could partake with the real deal including sprinkled nutmeg and whipped cream on top over “crushed” ice!

The attire for the occasion was typical "Pirate chic" for the guys and “booty-licious" for the wenches. While piracy is an act that takes place on the high seas this particular group of scoundrels seemed more interested in making the most of their time while land-locked. The grog flowed, the music played and the 25th annual buccaneer day party revelers danced into the night.  As usual it was dinghy-palooza in the harbor but we saw no one forced to walk the plank.  We did notice privateers about the island with Queens guards in full presence on land.

If you’ve never experienced Buccaneer Days first hand, plan to attend number 26! Remember to bring plenty of cash and booty as while the black out occurred for approximately two hours pirate rules applied and cash was king.  

Buccaneer Days is an annual event held the first weekend in October.  I had the pleasure of experiencing VIP service compliments of Catalina Visitor Services and The Banning House.  

There are many ways over to the island, by private vessel, helicopter or the Catalina Express a 90 minute ride on a cruise liner which has a Commodore lounge with a full bar and waitress. On the ride over most of the passengers are already in costume and ready for the festivities.  The Catalina Express is known for their fabulous "Bloody Mary's”.  

Once you arrive, the visitors center is at the top of the dock where you may purchase your "weekend wristband" at $30 which allows you into the party. Under 21 guests must exit the party by 10 p.m.

Many of the yacht clubs attend having cook-outs on their yachts and mixers to gear up for the evening festivities.  


Water taxis range from $3 per person and take you around to the various yachts anchored. Random boarding for hospitality drinks are very common.  

"Cat" Harbor 2  is a more calm and quieter scene. Sleeping in a yacht on that side of island is a very pleasant experience, you don't even know you're on the water. Isthmus waters are much more rocky and I suggest bringing Dramamine or Bonine for motion sickness.  If you don't have a private dinghy you must call ahead to the harbor master for transport to board a yacht.  

There is one hotel The Banning House (prices start at $150 a night) and two private camp sights on the island for those that do not have access to a yacht.  Reservations can be made at the visitors center Santa Catalina Island Company 310-510-0303 or visit the website at TwoHarbors.  

For a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner  the Harbor Reef offers a full menu. Including a fabulous breakfast buffet for a mere $14.95 adults and $7.50 for kids.    

Non-stop entertainment is provided for the entire weekend. Thursdays events started at 6:00 p.m. with a live D.J., live band performing "Danny Maika", closing with another live DJ at 11:00 p.m.  Friday continued  beginning at 11:00 a.m. until Midnight with  live  "DJ Lady D", live bands "The Humble Hooligans" and "Xceptional Music”.  

Saturday' packed entertainment  starts with a "Black Beard Customs Booth", Live DJ, Dancing, Adult Treasure Hunt - complete with a treasure map and clues to find hidden treasure, an adult costume contest, live performance by "The Humble Hooligans", a live magician "Seth Grabel", "Xceptional Music" band and closing "DJ Lady D". If you're still rocking and rolling on Sunday morning the live band "Kurt Hunter" begins at 10:00 a.m.  
Annual Two Harbor Events:  Summer Wine Fest, Two Harbors Fireworks Show, Children's Festival, Jimmy Walker "Buffalo Chip" Toss, Microbrew Fest, Buccaneer Days, and Thanksgiving "Island Style"(Reservations are required). 
Special Thanks to Salvador Catillo, Banning House Manager,  Mellissa Gilliano Catalina Guest Services, Hands On PR,  US Coast Guard and LASD.
Photos courtesy of Gisele/Partyby5


Published on Oct 05, 2014

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