Whydah Model

The Whydah

The Whydah, shown here decked out in her pirate colors after being captured by Samuel Bellamy.

Matthew Prefontaine © Arts and Exhibitions International

The Whydah, a three-masted galley ship, was launched in London, England in 1715. Captained by Lawrence Prince, the Whydah was commissioned as a heavily armed trading ship for use in the Atlantic slave trade. After two years of service, she was seized by Captain Bellamy and his pirate crew. Bellamy sailed the Whydah as a pirate ship for two months, attacking and plundering over 50 ships. With a ship full of treasure, Bellamy set a course for home, Cape Cod. Just miles from home, the Whydah met a violent storm, was driven onto a sandbar and sank with all of her riches strewn across the ocean floor by the stormy seas.

Real Pirates Exhibit

Real Pirates

On exhibit at Nauticus November 21, 2009 to April 4, 2010!

Matthew Prefontaine © Arts and Exhibitions International

The wreck of the Whydah and her fabled lost treasure had been the topic of many tales for centuries. With the recovery of "the bell" by underwater explorer Barry Clifford, fable became fact. Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship, presented by National Geographic and Arts and Exhibitions International features true stories of the golden age of piracy, vastly different than what has been portrayed by Hollywood. Guests can explore this new chapter of pirate history through 200 artifacts recovered from the Whydah shipwreck site. Every item discovered from the Whydah wreck site dispels a myth and brings to life the stories, adventure and difficulties of a period of time in American history in a way that engages the imagination of the whole family.

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