The staff handed out party poppers and we were told to set these off if we saw any other pirate boats. On the front of our boat was a cannon, which was fired with a button triggering smoke and a loud bang but thankfully no cannon balls. This would also be fired when an enemy ship was spotted! Throughout the trip, all the children on board took turn after turn to "fire" the cannon - it was incredibly popular.
We set off along the canal, stopping at each lock as the pirates hopped on and off to work the gates. Spiderboy was very interested to see how the locks worked, and loved the rising up of the boat as we waited for them to fill.
We came across the rogue pirate boat and spent a good five minutes booing and hissing at the bad guys to a background of party poppers. One of our pirates managed to capture their treasure chest, and bought it back on board to be shared out amongst us all - biscuits, juice and golden chocolate coins. With the children happily munching away, us grown-ups were treated to a glass of sparkling elderflower cordial and some cheese straws.
Next it was time for some colouring in, or an ice-cream if you were tempted, and a sing-along led by the captain. We encountered the rogue ship again and this time managed to rescue the princess, who came back on board our boat. Spiderboy particularly loved this battle as they came almost close enough to touch on our side of the boat, and he spent a good long time shaking his fist at them while they fired their "guns" at him.
After all the excitement of the final battle, we enjoyed a seat out on the front of the boat for the return journey, and enjoyed watching the banks pass by - Doodles was enjoying it I promise, she just doesn't look like it :)
Along the way, there were lots of things to spot such as toy parrots that had been strategically placed along the banks, and an inflatable crocodile floating on the water.
Back on dry land at the Loxwood Canal Centre, and there was just enough time for a photo inside the character cut outs before it was time to head for home with two tired children.
Out of the many things we did last week, this was hands down the favourite of both my kids. I can't wait for the Halloween trip!