Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Whydah

The Whydah was the first confirmed pirate ship found (there is still some controversy about the authenticity of the Queen Anne's Revenge which was found later anyway). Artifacts from the Whydah are currently on tour. We caught the tour in Cincinnati so I thought I should give my impression of it.

First of all, it is huge with 12 galleries. The exhibition not only includes the artifacts from the ship, it also includes a lot of information about the history of the ship (it was a newly-built slave ship) and the pirates aboard her when she wrecked off of Cape Code. There is even a full-size reproduction of the stern including the deck and captain's cabin and parts of the hold.

As for artifacts, they have everything you could ask for. The display begins with the ship's bell which is the proof that this is the Whydah. It had objects from everyday life, medical and carpenter tools. Most of the cannons are on display one way or another. A huge amount of treasure is on display with important individual pieces having their own display. Even the silk ribbon that a pirate tied to two of his pistols is displayed.

One surprise - one member of the crew was the youngest pirate on record - an 10 year old named John King. Surprisingly, his remains were the only ones found in the wreck and that only consisted of a leg bone and shoe.

Anyone who wants a peek into the life of real pirates should see this exhibition.

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