Ahoy me hearties, stay the mainbrace and other nautical terms! August means Cowes Week, when the rich, the ruthless and the chinless descend on the Isle of Wight to demonstrate their prowess with anchor, jib and rudder.


For the rest of us it’s a bit of a washout … well, there’s only one thing worse than being on a yacht crew and that’s watching a yacht race. However - it’s the perfect excuse for a pirate party! And with Talk Like A Pirate Day just around the corner in September (19th, to be precise) it’s good to get some practice in.


Start by planning your pirate fancy dress costume because as host or hostess, you need to set the tone. No pirate wench or scurvy knave for you … you should at least be a lady pirate or a gentleman buccaneer. Make sure you bling it up with plenty of costume jewellery - charity shops are great hunting places for that kind of sparkly stuff.


Light your party space with candles in old jars and serve some grog (rum, lemon or lime juice, some water and anything else you fancy chucking in there and heating up, that’s grog!) Barbecue is our favourite fare, even though it’s not exactly traditional pirate food, but as pirates ate whatever they could find (pillaging the stores of the ships they boarded) you can pretty well serve whatever you like.


Make sure you have some sea shanties to play - it’s a great idea to print out the words so that your crew can sing along - The Chieftains, The Pogues and The Dubliners are all great pirate party music. And of course, you need to organise a treasure hunt, with a map … aharrr!


A simple treasure hunt might be a bit boring, but a scavenger hunt is always a lot of fun and if you make the clues piratical, everybody can have some fun - remember to hide a skeleton somewhere in the house so that your treasure hunters can find ‘dead men’s bones’ during their search