William Kidd

And... Khoob-Surat, said the pirate

By Ashleshaa Khurana - Times of India

Burned and scuttled off the Carribean in the 17th century, The Quedagh Merchant, an Armenian trade vessel that was built in Gujarat and hijacked by the notorious William Kidd — whose story inspired 'Treasure Island' — is preparing for a return to her homeland as a 'living museum'.

Shiver me shattered timbers" screamed headlines across the world, when the 310-year-old , barnacle-covered , coral-encrusted 'The Quedagh Merchant' was discovered in the pristine seas off the Dominican Republic, 70 feet off Catalina Island.

This was no ordinary vessel — it was stuff that legends are made of, on the hot list of every treasure hunter.

The Quedagh Merchant, alias Cara Merchant, belonged to the notorious Captain William Kidd — a Scottish privateer-turned-pirate who was hanged after a summary trial in London in 1701. Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Edgar Allen Poe's The Gold Bug are some among the works of pirate lore inspired by Kidd's story.

Now, three years after this find, Charles D Beeker, director of Underwater Science and Academics at Indiana University, USA, is preparing to visit the Gujarati city of Surat, where the ship was built in the 17th century, for "a presentation on a unique and significant aspect" of India's maritime lore.