A three-masted slave ship, the Whydah started her long life as a member of England's fleet. She sailed from the Caribbean to the English Channel and back again, transporting slaves between England and Jamaica.
Sometime in the late winter or early spring of 1717, just off the coast of Cuba
, the Whydah and her crew saw the mark of trouble: a black flag with skull and crossbones
flying firmly atop a nearing mast
. Before long she was turned over to a band of pirates, most notably Black Sam Bellamy
The Whydah wasn't just a beautiful ship; she also housed enough weaponry, slaves, gold and silver to make any man of the time more than fortunate. She quickly became Bellamy's flagship, the new queen in a fleet of five under the young pirate's command. But Black Sam, it is rumored, was in love with a woman in New England and, having captured all the wealth he could ever need from the Whydah, decided to go home to her. It seems the Whydah didn't appreciate female competition.
On April 26, 1717, a storm was brewing off the coast of New England. Black Sam and his men were so close to home they could almost taste it. Historians describe her as top-heavy or ill-equipped for such gales, but the sea is a strange thing, and her vessels are not without spirit. As the maelstrom approached, the (jealous? angry? lovelorn?) Whydah turned herself over to the sea. Only 2 of the 145 men survived, and Black Sam Bellamy was buried in a watery grave with his prize beauty, the Whydah. For years they remained together in the tranquility of the cape.
The Whydah's legend grew yet again when she became the first pirate shipwreck
ever to be found. She was exhume
d in 1984 by Barry Clifford
, a man who spent years of his life and all of his money searching for her. As a child he'd heard tales of the beautiful Whydah and, enchanted by the romance and mystery of her story, dedicated his life to her rescue. Clifford and his crew have salvaged much of her treasure
; regular dives to her resting place yield dubloon
s, and pieces of her story. A museum in Cape Cod
honors the Whydah and the crew's discoveries.
Information through the help of www.nationalgeographic.com and www.discovery.com
This has been an Everything Quest submission.