There’s mystery in her history; there’s gold within her hold…
This vivid picture book takes readers through the swashbuckling tale of the Whydah. One of the most advanced sailing ships of the early 18th-century when she first set sail from London in late 1716, this vessel brought adventure, wealth, and doom to all who sailed on her.
The Whydah was christened after the West African trading post of Ouidah. Commissioned as a slave ship, the Whydah was built with a deep cargo hold to pack in her human cargo, African captives bound for sale to Caribbean planters. The Whydah would make only one such voyage, before being captured by pirates off the Bahamas in February 1717. She fell into the hands of captain Sam Bellamy who soon replaced the English flag with the Jolly Roger.
Fate had still more in store for the Whydah. During one of the worst nor’easters ever recorded, she sank off Cape Cod on April 26, 1717. Packed with plunder, she was lashed to pieces by the storm and sank rapidly. There were few survivors.
The sea swallowed the Whydah along with her treasure, yet the fascinating saga of this storied ship was far from over. Centuries later, underwater explorer Barry Clifford, raised on legends of the sea around Cape Cod, set out to find the wreck. His quest literally led him into the history books, and he located the first authenticated pirate ship ever in 1984. Illustrated with dramatic color artwork by Greg Manchess, and awash with Ken Garrett’s dazzling photographs of the artifacts raised by Barry Clifford, this book captures the golden age of piracy in all its glory. Real Pirates will delight rambunctious pirates-at-heart and armchair treasure hunters alike.
Thanks to Barry Clifford, the multifaceted story of the ship that lay hidden in a watery grave for more than 250 years can now be told. Driven by a lively narrative and illustrated with such stunning photography, this book is pure gold.
Barry Clifford is one of the world's best-known underwater explorers. Born and raised on Cape Cod, he has been involved in underwater surveys and recovery missions for more than half of his life. After locating the wreck of the legendary Whydah in 1984, Clifford and his team successfully located the main body of the shipwreck in 1998. He has preserved the Whydah artifacts as an intact collection, establishing a museum, the Expedition Whydah Sea Lab & Learning Center, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Clifford is also an accomplished mountaineer and jungle explorer, a member of the Explorers Club, and a Discovery Quest Scholar. He is the author of Expedition Whydah, The Lost Fleet, and Return to Treasure Island.