Shiver Me Timbers—Our Blackbeard Tour was a Big Success!

Bruce Venter

Wow! Our Blackbeard and the Pirates of the Chesapeake tour was terrific. We had excellent weather and our historian, the affable and incomparable John Quarstein excelled in his descriptions of pirate history and legend. Plus he did not limit himself to just pirate history. John brought in Civil War and Revolutionary War history at the appropriate times, even describing the little-known 19th century Oyster Wars between Maryland and Virginia.

But Edward Teach or Thatch, if you prefer, (alias Blackbeard) was the focus of our adventure. After a drive along North Carolina’s Outer Banks, we had a pleasant 45 minute ferry ride from Hatteras (near where the USS Monitor sank in a late 1862 gale) to Ocracoke Island. Lunch was at Howard’s Pub, a local favorite. After lunch, we stopped at Teach’s Hole where the nasty pirate leader sheltered his ship. Then John regaled us along the island’s inner shoreline with the story of how Lt. Robert Maynard of the British Navy attacked and overwhelmed Blackbeard and his crew in November 1718. Maynard’s stunning victory cost the bloodthirsty pirate his life as well as his head. Blackbeard’s head was cut off and legend has it that it was tied to the bowsprit of Maynard’s ship. It was displayed in the city of Hampton, Virginia as a warning to other would-be pirates. After a two hour ferry ride from Ocracoke to Cedar Island, we spent the night in Moorhead City.

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Blackbeard and the Pirates of the Chesapeake – June 1-4, 2011

Wednesday, June 1 (7:30 PM) thru Saturday, June 4 (5 PM)
Headquartered in Chesapeake, VA and Beaufort, NC
Led by John V. Quarstei
Registration Fee: $619.00 (double occupancy) – $645.00 (single occupancy)

Unquestionably, Edward Teach, better known as “Blackbeard” was one of the most notorious pirates who ever sailed the Seven Seas. Myriad legends surround the Blackbeard mystique, but the real story of this 18th century scoundrel is even more riveting. Teach and others roamed the Atlantic coast during the “Golden Age of Piracy” from 1680 to 1720. Our Blackbeard and the Pirates of the Chesapeake tour will explore the adventures of Teach and many of his other bloodthirsty comrades in crime.

Our first day will take us from the Hampton Roads area to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The ride along the Outer Banks will provide a great venue for our historian, John Quarstein to regale us with salty pirate yarns as well fill us in on the area’s little known Civil War history. He’ll also develop the background of colonial piracy from its inception near Jamestown, Virginia to the Anglo-Dutch Naval Wars of the mid-17th century and then to the 18th century swashbuckling activities of Blackbeard and his partner in crime, Major Stede Bonnet. We’ll cross on a ferry to Ocracoke Island where we’ll have lunch. While on the island we’ll visit Teach’s Hole’s, Blackbeard’s favorite anchorage where his pirates hid awaiting their water-borne prey. It was off Teach’s Hole that British Lt. Robert Maynard attacked and defeated the infamous pirate, bringing Blackbeard’s head back to Hampton. We’ll also visit Springer’s Point, also known as “Blackbeard’s Plantation” and reputed to be the pirate’s favorite haunt. [Read more…]

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