Ahoy, landlubbers!

John Winters of Reading, England, plays a tune Wednesday to pass time aboard the tall ship Rona II, which is docked at Charleston Harbor Marina at Patriots Point.

Attention all landlubbers, scallywags and others of ill repute. Motley crews — or those who just want to talk like a pirate — will assemble in Old Charles Town and Pirate Village during Charleston Harbor Fest 2009 starting Friday and running through Sunday.

Mateys and lassies from ships of all seas, grab ye' bottle of rum but beware, for this event be not for the lily-livered.

Peg-legs and sprogs set sail toward the harbor to hear Capt. Timothy Dillinger tell tales of the pirates of yore. No son of a biscuit-eater, he has filled the boots of pirates from the gallows of Charleston to the depths of Davey Jones' locker.

Charleston Harbor once upon a time saw two of the bloodiest and fiercest pirates to work the Eastern seaboard. Out in the marsh at the end of the peninsula, the notorious Stede Bonnet hung until his corpse rotted after the one-time plantation owner traded in his wealth and reason for a life on the open sea. Bonnet joined forces with Blackbeard, the most notorious of pirates in all the history of seafaring. Blackbeard was known to strike terror into the hearts of his victims the instant they laid eyes on him.

The two sea dogs worked out a sweet trade and together they ruled the open sea for a short reign of terror. But as all scurvy dogs know, the sea was not big enough for the two captains. Blackbeard took charge of Bonnet's ship. After they parted, Bonnet was soon captured and hung in Charles Town.

X marks the spot at Old Charles Town and Pirate Village for the tales, and it's sure to be a swashbucklin' good time.

Beware that Dillinger is a real ship captain, he will be dressed to match the part, and is said to never tell the same tales twice.

Dillinger also will be signing copies of his young adult novel, "The Pick Pocket Pirate," the first in a series of sea stories about a young street swindler named Zek filled with mischief and danger.

Throughout Harbor Fest 2009, the pirate camp will be a paradise for sea dogs young and old. Be sure to catch the Children's Pirate Parade at 11 a.m. each day Friday through Sunday. Meet at the Maritime Center flagpole to join the fun. Children are encouraged to dress the part, for those who come in the best sea-faring threads could win a handsome chest of treasure.

If a pirate's life is not for you, head on down to the Kids' Zone, located near the flag pole of the Charleston Maritime Center, where kids can build a model sailboat, search for buried treasure and learn to tie knots like a monkey's fist. Other activities include a climbing wall, spider jump and a huge water slide.

Harbor Fest also will offer the Education Village, adjacent to the Kids' Zone, where organizations and groups from throughout the Lowcountry will be set up and hosting hands-on interactive activities.

Old Charles Town and Pirate Village, during Charleston Harbor Fest 2009 is located in Ansonborough Field. Dillinger's storytelling will begin every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

For more information about kid-friendly activities at Charleston Harbor Fest 2009, or the festival in general, visit the Charleston Harbor Fest web site and see a Harbor Fest schedule of events here.