Friday, September 12, 2008

A Pirate Vacation

Last year we took a pirate vacation, visiting spots with pirate associations including Williamsburg (Blakbeard's crew was tried and executed there), the museum housing artifacts from Blackbeard's ship, and Charleston which Blackbeard held for ransom (the whole city).

This year we started further south and are working our way north.

We started at St. Augustine. This city is approaching it's 450th anniversary. It was originally founded by the French. The Spanish were afraid that the French would use the settlement as a base for piracy and sent an expedition to found their own colony. They captured a number of French and slaughtered the protestants, then founded the city.

Over the centuries, St. Augustine has been attacked by pirates, privateers, and the English numerous times. Sir Francis Drake, possibly the greatest privateer, raided the city and leveled it in 1586. Robert Searle raided it but didn't level it in 1668. The British attacked in 1702 and 1740. The Spanish eventually built a stone fort to defend the town and a smaller stone outpost a few miles downstream to warn of attackers. Both are still in existence and open to the public.

While we were there we went on a sunset sail on a sloop (two-masted boat). This one was around the size preferred by pirates in the golden age of piracy. The captain believed in doing as much sailing as possible instead of using the motor so we tacked out of the harbor. I've been on sails lke this before but this was the first one that included any tacking.

Currently we are in Savannah where Treasure Island's Captain Flint is supposed to have died. No such pirate actually existed the restaurant, The Pirate House, claims to be haunted by his ghost. The Pirate House incorporates the oldest building in Savannah plus a pirate theme.

No comments: