Tag Archives: pirates

SOMALI PIRATES CAPTURED!, a guest post by author Terrance Zepke

Six weeks ago, an Iranian fishing vessel, Al Mulahi, was seized by Somali pirates. Thanks to a quick-thinking captain and crew, the men
aided in their own rescue by dumping fuel and requesting help over the ship’s radio. The captain spoke in a language that the pirates did not understand, so they did not know that he was summoning help! Despite their suspicions of piracy, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service was not able to intervene until this week when the captain officially asked for aid. Otherwise, they might have sparked an international incident given our relations with Iran and the fact that the U.S. has been warned not to return to the region by senior Iranian defense officials. It was a coup for the international piracy task force given that fifteen Somali pirates were captured, along with their floating base and weapons cache.  The best news is that none of the thirteen hostages were harmed. The war on piracy continues…

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

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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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Blackbeard, a guest post by author Terrance Zepke

Blackbeard Lives!

Or at least his legend does. More than 12,000 visitors have flocked to the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, North Carolina during the last few days. They came to see the new exhibit that contains artifacts which have been excavated from what is believed to have been Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.

So far, roughly 300 items have been salvaged from the shipwreck. The project began in 1996 and is projected to continue for many more years. Most of the recovered items have never been displayed publicly so this is very exciting. Visitors have come from all over the U.S., as well as Canada, Britain, and the Netherlands, according to museum officials. The exhibit is on permanent display but the items will rotate when it is time for items to leave or go to the conservation lab.

Blackbeard was one of the most colorful pirates in the history of piracy. He died in 1718 during one of the bloodiest battles ever to be fought with the Royal Navy.

—Terrance Zepke
Author of Pirates of the Carolinas and Pirates of the Carolinas for Kids

Visit www.terrancezepke.com or go to my facebook page to learn more about ghosts of the Carolinas, piracy, lighthouses, and travel.

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Guest Post: The Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

One of the top vacation spots in the southeast is the sixty miles of South Carolina coastline that is nicknamed “The Grand Strand.” Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand is more grand than ever, thanks to the many new attractions that have opened in the last couple of months.

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade meanders from 2nd avenue pier to the 14th avenue pier, allowing terrific views of the Atlantic. www.myrtlebeachdowntown.com

If it’s a pirate’s life for you, check out Pirate’s Voyage. Formerly the Dixie Stampede, Dolly Parton spent $11 million renovating the theater to create the ultimate dinner show complete with a buccaneer battle and pirate feast. www.piratesvoyage.com

Kids and adults alike will find plenty to do at WonderWorks, a new indoor family attraction near Broadway at the Beach. It a four-story building designed to look like it is upside down. The amusement park has 100 exhibits, including a simulated roller coaster and a virtual swim with sharks. The only outdoor attraction offered by WonderWorks is the Soar and Explore Zipline and Ropes Course. Soar fifty feet above the water on a course that travels 1,000 feet between towers. You can also try your hand at the pirate-themed ropes course that is more than forty feet tall and spans three levels. www.wonderworksonline.com

For a view that is 200 feet above sea level, be sure to ride the SkyWheel. This is a 187-feet Ferris wheel with forty-two temperature-controlled glass-encased gondolas. It’s the same concept as the London Eye (London, England). At night, it really comes to life with one million LED lights. There are a half-dozen other amusement rides nearby, including the Slingshot. These attractions replace the old Amusement Pavilion, which was built in 1948 and torn down in 2006. www.themyrtlebeachskywheel.com

For more on South Carolina, 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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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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Piracy: Dead or Alive?, a guest post by Terrance Zepke

According to most experts, the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ was the 1650s – 1720s. This was era of the legendary Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny, ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham, Henry Morgan and many other nefarious buccaneers. The biggest reason for the piracy outbreak was the War of Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War). This was the height of piracy—perhaps until now.

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you already know that piracy is out of control. Cruise ships, freighters, yachts, and tankers are all targets these days. There are two types of pirates. Less sophisticated pirates seize a vessel and grab whatever booty is on board, just like in the good ole days. A new crop of hardcore pirates capture the ships and crews and hold them until a profitable ransom can be negotiated.

Last year, a U.S. cargo ship was captured by pirates off the Horn of Africa. Captain Richard Phillips surrendered himself to the pirates to keep his twenty-member crew safe during the ransom negotiations. The U.S. Navy soon rescued Captain Phillips and captured the pirates.

This month, a supertanker sailing from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico was hijacked while carrying $150 million worth of oil. This is the second attack on an oil tanker in two days. Negotiations are still underway, and if successful, pirates could make as much as $10 million off this prize.

The most recent piracy attack on four Americans aboard a yacht has shocked the world. Until now, pirates have not killed hostages. They use them to negotiate a ransom and then let them go. While the Navy was in talks with some of the pirates holding these two couples, other pirates fatally shot them using a rocket-propelled grenade followed by gunfire. Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle and Jean and Scott Adam were killed while sailing around the world handing out Bibles. The pirates have been captured and may face U.S. prosecution. It depends on jurisdictional issues since piracy occurs in international waters, which creates further problems when it comes to capturing and punishing the criminals.

Stay tuned for more posts from Terrance 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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