The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found
The exciting true story of the captaincy, wreck, and discovery of the Whydah — the only pirate ship ever found — and the incredible mysteries it revealed.
The 1650s to the 1730s marked the golden age of piracy, when fearsome pirates like Blackbeard ruled the waves, seeking not only treasure but also large and fast ships to carry it. The Whydah was just such a ship, built to ply the Triangular Trade route, which it did until one of the greediest pirates of all, Black Sam Bellamy, commandeered it. Filling the ship to capacity with treasure, Bellamy hoped to retire with his bounty — but in 1717 the ship sank in a storm off Cape Cod. For more than two hundred years, the wreck of the Whydah (and the riches that went down with it) eluded treasure seekers, until the ship was finally found in 1984 by marine archaeologists. The artifacts brought up from the ocean floor are priceless, both in value and in the picture they reveal of life in that much-mythologized era, changing much of what we know about pirates.
The narrative is easy to follow, plain English that keeps the reader engaged with tales of pirate adventures and the harrowing attempts to retrieve the secrets of the Whydah from the ocean floor. The illustrations, maps and graphics add visual depth to the well rounded tales of the origins of the Whydah as a slave ship, its transition to a pirate ship and the ultimate wreck of the ship during a storm.
I particularly enjoyed the section on the artifacts discovered from the wreckage and what those artifacts have taught us about life during the golden age of piracy.
Reccomended for young readers who enjoy a good adventure tale with a healthy dose of real history and for school libraries as well.