N.C. divers to search Blackbeard's ship for artifacts
In addition to being known for his dark, twisted facial hair, Blackbeard was said to have lit fuses under his hat.
May 21st, 2011
05:19 PM ET

N.C. divers to search Blackbeard's ship for artifacts

In a bid to recover sunken artifacts – and as an excuse just to say “Aarrrgh” to each other – divers plan an expedition next week off North Carolina to the flagship of famed 18th century pirate Blackbeard.

Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort, North Carolina, in 1718. The ship was discovered by excavators in 1996, with piecemeal recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago.

Staff from the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch will enter the waters Monday for a two-week mission focused on “conducting a detailed assessment of the main mound to determine strategies for disassembly and recovery,” according to the Queen Anne’s Revenge website.

Mark Wilde-Ramsing, project director for the Queen Anne’s Revenge dive, told WUNC 91.5 the expedition hopes to score a trove of 18th century goods, which then can be used to educate the public and raise awareness of underwater preservation efforts.

He said divers could  "hopefully recover a large anchor that is on the main ballast pile. There's a lot of these rock, stones and these anchors, two of them, plus a lot of cannon underneath,” he told 91.5.

Blackbeard, known for his dark, braided facial hair, evidently used a lot of cannons.

An article published in March on the Smithsonian website said the Queen Anne’s Revenge was found to have about 225,000 pieces of lead shot and at least 25 cannons, many of them still loaded.

Romanticized in history books as a notorious ruffian, Blackbeard, born in Britain as Edward Teach, terrorized Atlantic seafarers from the shores of the American colonies to the Caribbean.

The Queen Anne dive is part of a conservation project that has been years in the making. Wilde-Ramsing said divers will try  anti-corrosion agents and devices to stop or even reverse years of saltwater decay, according to 91.5.

For more information, see the Queen Anne's Revenge website.

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Filed under: History • North Carolina • Pirates • U.S.
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. fig

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    May 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    Ok, here's my (non) contribution:

    A pirate walked into a bar, a ship's wheel protruding from the front opening of his pants.
    The bartender, noticing this, asked the pirate: "Did you know you have a wheel sticking out of your pants?
    "Aye", replied the pirate. "It's drivin me nuts!"

    May 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TR

      Somebody saw the deleted scene from The Expendables...

      May 25, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Suz

      Love that!

      May 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    Ellis is like that dumb azzz that bashes America and says communism is great. " Right-wing nuts," is all he says. @Ellis. : you like Panama so much, go back stupid, I will buy you a one way ticket there, MORON!

    May 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. stewie

    @banasy, funny.

    May 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. stewie

    @isaac, African American beard, funny, but it'd have to be African British beard seeing as how there wasn't an America(as such)back then.

    May 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ellis

    Just woke up. Gotta watch the news I'm not gay

    May 23, 2011 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Suz

    Stuff like this fascinates me! When I was a kid and saw "The Goonies" for the first time, I dreamed of finding old pirate ships loaded with artifacts and treasure. We used to pretend at it all the time. (Do kids even do that anymore?)

    Anyway – my heart still beats a bit faster when I hear of old, sunken pirate ships and the search for what could be on them. It's cool history, and I'll be anxious to see what they find.

    May 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
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