Pirates & Piracy

Now here is an unusual subject for the week. We who live around the shores of Lake Michigan have no fancy tales about pirates. Just shipwrecks. What got me started on this topic was—no, not Johnny Depp, but coming across a website about contemporary pirates. That led me to all sorts of nooks and crannies around the Internet. One site speaks of a mystery that you probably have not heard of—but it has potential for a Hollywood film or at least a trip to Nova Scotia. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these websites.

Weekly Piracy Reports . These reports are real, happening today. This website is a service to the maritime industry in that it collects reports about piracy-prone areas. It covers the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, giving a daily summary. The headquarters of the piracy reporting center is in Kuala Lumpurr, Malaysia, and it proviides maps of areas hit by maritime piracy and armed robbery.

Pirates Info . Here, we jump into historical information. Pirate facts and legends, biographies, and the life (and death) of a pirate in general. And, we discover that there was nothing romantic about the life of pirates. In fact, they were very brutal, as were their deaths when they were caught. And the pirates of the Caribbean ate their share of turtle meat, since it was plentiful, and fresh.

Pirates. There is enough information here to make you an expert on the subject.

No Quarter Given . The San Diego Maritime Museum had a exhibit of artifacts several years back, and the virtual tour is still online. You can view what is purported to be Blackbeard’s skull, along with some blunderbusses, flintlocks, cutlasses, and other weapons of the day.

Pirate Legends . This is where I learned about two female pirates: Mary Read and Ann Bonny. This website is presented by the North Carolina History and Fiction Digital Library. Among its tomes is Daniel Defoe’s A General History of the Pyrates. Once you get used to the Old English script you will find this fascinating reading.

Pirate Images . Except for the print of Mary Read running a sword through an opponent, I found most of the images too small to read—including the old maps.

Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project. Blackbeard’s flagship, lost in North Carolina’s waters since 1718, has been found. More than 2,000 artifacts from the sunken ship have been recovered, and a sampling is online. Another interesting site with good background information about the infamous pirate.

Oak Island. Talk about pirates almost always leads to talk about hidden treasure. Folks in Nova Scotia have been trying for over a century to discover what lies below a spot that just keeps going downward to more mystery. Several treasure hunters have lost their lives searching for the pot of gold at the bottom of a big hole in the ground. At one level, an inscribed stone was found and translated, stating that millions of pounds of gold was buried below. Many, many attempts and digging have been foiled, but to this day, excavators are still attempting to solve the mystery. This website makes me want to head to Nova Scotia and see for myself.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on June 17, 2005.

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