Is Storybrooke offering weekly tours of Captain Hook’s pirate ship? It sure seems so. Ever since Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Cora (Barbara Hershey) sailed through a portal into this sequestered town in Maine at the end of the mid-season finale, we’ve seen a parade of townsfolk visiting the ship from the kidnapped Archie (Raphael Sbarge) to the uninvited RumBelle (Robert Carlyle & Emilie de Ravin) to the kidnapped Giant (Jorge Garcia), who’ll show up when the show returns with new episodes in February.
I’ve also spotted Charming (Josh Dallas), Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Henry (Jared Gilmore), Grumpy (Lee Arenberg), Regina (Lana Parrilla) and others too spoilery to mention on board since late last year when Once Upon a Time started filming scenes on this new floating set at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Park in Steveston south of Vancouver.
The priate ship set is a truncated version of the Tall Ship Lady Washington which first appeared in Fairytale Land flashbacks of Captain Hook on his pirate ship — the Lady Washington is the exact same ship used in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie when it was known as the HMS Interceptor, the fastest ship in the Caribbean. It looked magnificent as Captain Hook’s ship sailing up Howe Sound near Britannia Beach for this season’s fourth episode, The Crocodile, so magnificent that Ginnifer Goodwin later lamented that she hadn’t been part of those scenes.
I didn’t get to see and photograph Captain Hook’s pirate ship until the Lady Washington (above) sailed into dock at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard Park one Friday afternoon after filming scenes of it out in the Strait of Georgia and then heading into the real-life village of Steveston as Storybrooke. The ship’s crew of 12 and Once Upon a Time’s crew of many more shot the scenes in five hours for the ninth episode of this season called Queen of Hearts.
The new pirate ship set is on a floating barge that doesn’t look particularly seaworthy, never venturing further than the channel opposite the dock, with rescue crew on standby. There it’s a fun attraction for locals strolling, running or walking their dogs along the boardwalk.
Once Upon a Time returns with new episodes on Sunday, February 10th.