The Black Pearl


Lightwater Valley
Black Pearl
Black Widows Web
Caterpillar Coaster
The Eagle's Claw
Falls of Terror
Flying Cutlass
Ladybird Coaster
Lightwater Express
Lightwater Wheel
Powder Keg
Raptor Attack
Skate Karts
Skull Rock
Sky Rider
Swan Pedal Boats
Trauma Towers
The Ultimate
Wild River Rapids

This ride may be a recent addition to Lightwater Valley, but it's still a ride with quite a lot of history, including an important place in my heart. Before coming to Lightwater Valley this ride, and most of the other rides in Skeleton Cove operated at Loudoun Castle. Even further back in the early 90's this ride was at Dreamland Margate, where it was called the Mary Rose. A ride that is a particularly important ride to me as it was the first ever thrill ride I did that went upside down. Since then it's always held some special significance as the ride I conquered the fear on.

It's origins do show in some of the decoration. From a distance it makes a good visual spectacular. Close up though the airbrush style backing and the light fittings means this ride isn't a perfect fit for the style of the Skeleton Cove area. This though is more the sort of detail you'll notice if your looking, rather than a major issue.

So what's it like after a decade since my last ride. To start with I was pleasantly surprised. I've tried other versions of the inverting ship style ride more recently and found them to be dull and forgettable affairs. This though was a much more energetic ride, making the first loop very exciting. The disappointment came after the first loop though when the ride slowed down and returned back to the station. This left half a ship of riders (there wasn't a queue for the ride) wondering is that it?

Now I realise this is in a family area of the park, so it would be inappropriate to put the ride on an extreme setting. Still, you can tell by looking at it that it goes upside down and provides some white knuckle thrills. Surely anyone for who a slightly longer ride would be too much wouldn't get on it in the first place.

It's a shame this ride doesn't live up to it's full potential. Hopefully this is something that will be rectified in the future. Even so it's still a good thrilling ride. It's not a must do, (personal sentimental memories aside) but it's worth popping on for a go when passing.