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. stewie

    Arghh, Blackbeard be havin a fifth of Jack Daniels like me!

    May 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ja370

      I wonder what Black Beard would think after tasting one of the worlds best sour mash whiskey.

      May 21, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jazzzzzz

    What language. Just stop that now trollers

    May 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike ryder

      ARRRGH we be trollin fer yer booty

      May 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chaos 1946

      We outnumber you. How bout you go away!

      May 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Not me folks I was asleep at the time

      May 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mike ryder

    Aye matey hoist the main sails we be headed for the shore

    May 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. stewie

    Want a factual pirate movie, at least somewhat factual? Mutiny on the Bounty mate. Fictional one? There was one with Walter Mathau that was pretty good can't remember the name of it though. It was made in the 80's.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. stewie

    @skytag. Because his beard was black,wouldn't do to call him Red beard besides there was a Red beard.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. popeye

    ARRRRRGH! Me booty tis' a bit sore but I'll walk the plank for a little more!

    May 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stewie

    Did ye know that some of the most violent pirates were damsel's not so much in distress. Did ye also know that the crew oft did vote on who be captain, that was one thing Pirates of the Caribbean actually got right. Of course it wasn't oft that a captain was discharged from office. Usually only happened when no profits were made.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. stewie

    Twenty five cannons was actually about common for a merchant ship which I'm guessing is what the Queen Anne's Revenge was. Now a Spanish Galleon, there was a ship with A LOT of cannons around 32 I believe.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sandyk

    @skytag You are kidding right? you couldnt possibly be serious!

    May 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. stewie

    Pirates of the Caribbean, best Disney ride ever made.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stewie

    Most pirates were actually privateers, working for various countries to undermine another. A pirates life wasn't a exciting as they make it out to be though. Often times it was just down right boring and unprofitable.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. stewie

    A sloop, which is what the Black Pearl is probable more based upon had fewer canons, around 14, but it was a much faster ship. Ahh those were the days nothing like the breeze at your back and a star to steer by. Oh and no phones.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. stewie

    Ah let me correct that, probably not probable.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. popeye

    t'was the scaliwag Cesar who became me favourite booty.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kyleNV

    besides all the interesting comments... This is pretty interesting... good find... Hope to see what follows

    May 21, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
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