Comments (2) (Pacific Ocean, Key West Cape) By Cammy Clark - KeysNet
Long before GPS, the coral reef tract that runs along the Florida Keys routinely sank unsuspecting ships. Storms also blew boats into the hard, shallow structures, contributing to a massive underwater graveyard.
An American schooner named Kate, the British brig Lion and the French ship Cora Nelly all met their demise on this popular marine trade route. So did the Spanish warship Arcuana and the Winchester, a British man-of-war captained by John Soule that hit a reef so hard it tore a hole in its hull in 1695.
"It's a fascinating world out there of all the shipwrecks in our own backyard," says Brenda Altmeier, a support specialist for maritime heritage resources at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Some shipwreck sites have been well known for decades. The Winchester was discovered in 1938 and was the subject of a National Geographic article. But the whereabouts of many of the sunken vessels -- or what little is likely left of them -- remain a mystery.
Key Largo-based ocean explorer Ian Koblick and his partner Craig Mullen are hoping to change that by conducting the first comprehensive survey of the Keys ocean floor.
"We're treasure hunting for cultural jewels," Mullen says.
They began by dusting off a 1988 report by researcher Judy Halas, who spent endless hours scouring 18 volumes of admiralty records, newspaper articles and other sources to document 877 ships that were lost, bilged, saved, sunk, rammed, stranded, "ashore" or torpedoed in the waters of the island chain.
Koblick and Mullen are attacking the shipwreck project with technology -- sidescan sonar, subfloor profiler, magnetometer, remote-operated vehicle -- along with their decades of expedition and underwater experience. (Queen Anne's Revenge AKA Blackbeards) Blackbeard
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
c. 1680 – 22 November 1718
Blackbeard (c. 1736 engraving used to illustrate Johnson's General History)
Place of birth (presumed) Bristol, England
Place of death Ocracoke, Province of Carolina (in present North Carolina
Years active 1716–1718
Base of operations Atlantic
Commands Queen Anne's Revenge, Adventure
Edward Teach (c. 1680 – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies. Although little is known about his early life, he was probably born in Bristol, England. He may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Caribbean island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined sometime around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. Their numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships, one of which was commanded by Stede Bonnet, but toward the end of 1717 Hornigold retired from piracy, taking two vessels with him.
Teach captured a French merchant vessel, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, and equipped her with 40 guns. He became a renowned pirate, his cognomen derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. He formed an alliance of pirates and blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina. After successfully ransoming its inhabitants, he ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina. He parted company with Bonnet, settling in Bath Town, where he accepted a royal pardon. But he was soon back at sea and attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to try to capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718. During a ferocious battle, Teach and several of his crew were killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.
A shrewd and calculating leader, Teach spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response he desired from those he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews and there is no known account of his ever having harmed or murdered those he held captive. He was romanticised after his death and became the inspiration for a number of pirate-themed works of fiction across a range of genres.
1 Early life
2 New Providence
3.1 Enlargement of Teach's fleet
3.2 Blockade of Charleston
3.3 Beaufort Inlet