Tag Archives: Golden Age of Piracy

Looking for Pirates in the Carolinas? A Guest Post by author Terrance Zepke

Look no further, you brave soul. They’re all over the Carolinas. Here are a few suggestions:

There’s a new Blackbeard exhibit at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, North Carolina. It has artifacts from the famous pirate’s shipwreck, Queen Anne’s Revenge. While the exhibit is permanent, the artifacts will change periodically. www.ncmaritimemuseums.com/beaufort.html

Check out the pirate museum inside Teach’s Hole on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. The gift shop, which opened in 1992, claims to have more than 1,000 pirate-theme items for sale, as well as a small pirate museum. www.teachshole.com

The Pirate Voyage is an extravagant dinner show that opened in June 2011 at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that includes a huge pirate battle. www.piratesvoyage.com

Pirate Invasion is a big, annual festival that takes place in Beaufort, North Carolina every August. Participants will enjoy a pirate attack, treasure hunt, face painting, music, special tours, and much more. www.beaufortpirateinvasion.com

Charleston was a big hangout for pirates during the era of Blackbeard. Take a guided tour to learn more about the Golden Age of Piracy and to see where some of them were hanged! The guide wears a pirate costume complete with a colorful macaw perched on his shoulder. www.charlestonpiratetour.com

Terrance Zepke
www.terrancezepke.com
Author of Pirates of the Carolinas and Pirates of the Carolinas for Kids

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Best Ways to Explore Charleston, South Carolina, A Guest Post by Terrance Zepke

“Charleston is one of the most historic, prettiest, and haunted cities in America. Thousands of tourists flock to this Lowcountry hamlet every year,
but what is the best way to experience all that Charleston has to offer?”

Charleston Ghost and Graveyard Tour takes participants around the historic district, including a creepy cemetery. Hear stories about ghosts, superstitions, haunted houses, and voodoo.  My recommendation: Adults only.

Charleston Pirate Tours is a great way to learn about Charleston and pirates who plundered the area.  My recommendation: Perfect for adults and kids of all ages.

Culinary Tours of Charleston is a 2.5-hour tour during which participants talk to the town’s top chefs (plus see behind-the-scenes of their restaurant’s kitchens) and sample yummy Lowcountry cuisine. My recommendation: Adults only.

Gullah Tours with Alphonso Brown will educate participants on who the Gullah are and how they influenced the Lowcountry. My recommendation: Adults and children ages 12+.

Palmetto Carriage Works is the best carriage company because the guides are very knowledgeable and funny. A carriage ride through historic Charleston is a “must” for tourists, but be sure to do it before the Lowcountry summer is in full swing. My recommendation: Adults and children.

For more on Charleston, be sure to read Coastal South Carolina: Welcome to the Lowcountry by Terrance Zepke

Visit www.terrancezepke.com for more on ghosts, pirates, coastal history, and travel.

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Piracy Today, a guest post by Terrance Zepke

During the Golden Age of Piracy, which was the heyday of colorful characters like Stede Bonnet, Mary Read, and Blackbeard, piracy was a way to survive. These folks had few options for earning a living. The same is still true today. The African coast is ripe with pirates, especially the waters around Somalia, because men can earn only $2 a day doing legitimate work. Or they can score $4-5 million per heist. Last year, Somali pirates pocketed $238 million in ransoms.

Where’s our navy when we need them?

It is impossible to patrol and protect the thousands of miles of water infested with pirates. The Somali coastline is a 1,900-mile-long stretch that is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world. Add that to the fact that pirates have gone high tech and it is an impossible situation. Nowadays, pirates in this part of the world are gangs of thugs dressed in military fatigues who use GPS systems and satellite phones to define their targets. They use super fast speedboats to carry them from their “mother ship” to the target vessel. Using sophisticated weaponry, they quickly conquer the slow-moving, unarmed ship they have targeted. Another problem is that ship owners prefer to negotiate with pirates rather than try other tactics because they need to secure their vessels quickly. They could avoid these pirate-infested waters if they sailed around the Cape of Good Hope instead. But this would add another three weeks to the journey, as well as result in higher fuel costs, so they won’t do it.

So is there anything we can do about piracy?

The International Maritime Bureau was established in the early 1990s to help control the epidemic. One of the first things they did was to create a 24/7 Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If a ship’s captain sees anything suspicious or is being pursued by pirates, he can contact PRC and get help. Not only does this help a distressed vessel, it pinpoints the most dangerous places and warns other vessels. Additionally, PRC works with various governments and law enforcement agencies through combined efforts in an attempt to thwart piracy. If you’re interested, you can follow them on Twitter: @IMB_Piracy

During the era of Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, there wasn’t much that could be done about pirates. Because pirates were willing to “fight ‘til the death,” most captains were (and still are) reluctant to battle buccaneers. They chose to surrender instead. If engaged, pirates typically used crude weapons, such as one-shot pistols, canons loaded with whatever could serve as ammunition, and homemade grenades hurled at the pirate ship.

Today, there are many defensive products and techniques already being used to keep pirates from ever boarding a ship, as well as several other exciting tools being invented to combat piracy. One of the latest was invented by Mace Personal Defense, in conjunction with Shipboard Defense Systems. Three-hundred gallon pressurized tanks with loop piping are installed around the ship at intervals of one hundred feet. When activated, pepper spray is released. This keeps pirates from being able to get on board. This spares the crew from having to be armed and facing a shoot out with pirates or being held captive during ransom negotiations.

But despite our best efforts, piracy will continue to be a problem. There’s just too much loot to resist and too many men who like the life of a pirate…

Stay tuned for more on piracy, ghosts, lighthouses, and travel.

 

 

 

 

 

Terrance Zepke, www.terrancezepke.com

Guest Blog by Terrance Zepke, author of Pirates of the Carolinas and Pirates of the Carolinas for Kids. Terrance Zepke has written several books including Best Ghost Tales of North Carolina, Best Ghost Tales of South Carolina, Coastal North Carolina, Coastal South Carolina, Ghosts and Legends of the Carolina Coasts, Ghosts of the Carolina Coasts, Lighthouses of the Carolinas, Lighthouses of the Carolinas for Kids, and Lowcountry Voodoo.

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