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Expedition Whydah: The Story of the World's First Excavation of a Pirate Treasure Ship and the Man Who Found Her

By Barry Clifford
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Book Details
  • Author: Barry Clifford
  • Edition: 1st
It was the end for Black Sam Bellamy and his pirates...

The sailors of the Whydah didn't know that the storm was among the worst ever, but they knew they were in a bad storm, For a few hopeful moments, they thought their hard work had turned them out to sea. Then, through the howl of the storm, someone heard the waves slapping the shoreline and the cry of "Breakers! Breakers!" went up again. Frenzy and fear became the order of the day. With a deep knowledge of the sea and the will to survive the pirates began to act on their own, as they had in so many other desperate situations deeply frightened but steadfastly professional.

It was 10 P.M. on April 16, 1717, and the crew of the Whydah had only two hours to live.

...But two centuries later, it became a new beginning.

Obsessed by a boyhood dream of lost pirate treasure, Barry Clifford launched a search for the pirate ship Whydah, which supposedly wrecked on the coast of Cape Cod. Very quickly he realized that he had taken on a daunting task. Others who had tried to find the ship before him had failed. Although locals came forward with gold coins and relics that could only have come from the lost pirate ship, skeptics claimed that the ship didn't really exist or had been picked over by Cape Cod's early settlers more than two hundred years ago when it sank. Ignoring claims that he was a fool and a dreamer, Clifford pressed on, until he found the Whydah...And then the story begins.

Effortlessly weaving pirate Black Sam Bellamy's history with his own story, Clifford tells a tale of pursuit and perseverance, one that shows our inseparable link to the stories of our childhood as well as our connection to the historic past.

As a child, Clifford's uncle would spend long afternoons telling him the story of Black Sam Bellamy, a pirate from England who captured the heart of Cape Cod's lovely Maria Hallert. Bellamy and his crew sailed to the Caribbean to make their fortune, and make it they did, becoming among the most successful pirates of the early eighteenth century. On their return to Cape Cod, where Bellamy planned to reunite with his lover, a powerful storm wrecked the ship at Maria's very doorstep, killing almost all on board.

Mesmerized by the tales of the Whydah and the riches that sank with her, Clifford embarks on a lifelong quest to find the sunken pirate ship and tell the story of her mysterious crew and the age they lived in.

Expedition Whydah tells two equally enthralling stories of obsession: Bellamy's tale of hard work and crafty piracy, and Clifford's own unbelievable quest to fulfill his dream of finding the sunken ship and building a museum to house her relics. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of a long-gone era of unimaginable adventure--and brutality--and a look at two determined men, one from the past, the other from the present, who let nothing get in the way of their goals.

Spirited and colorful, filled with illustrations and photographs of the ship, its treasure, and the team that found her, Expedition Whydah is a spellbinding book that will grab your imagination, just as Clifford's imagination was forever captured as a young boy, when he heard the legend of Black Sam Bellamy for the first time.