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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