Seeking booty, archaeologists dive to Blackbeard's pirate ship

An illustration of the pirate Blackbeard, the captain of the ship Queen Anne's RevengeNorth Carolina Office of Archives and History


From Fox News


Archaeologists seeking ancient pirate booty are heading back to sea off North Carolina's coast -- a continuing effort to recover artifacts from the wreck believed to be Blackbeard's flagship.

The boat, called Queen Anne's Revenge, is believed to have sank in 1718 near Beaufort, N.C. Archaeologists in the state aim to save a dozen cannons -- up to 8 feet long and as much as a ton in weight -- and the ship's 1,800-pound anchors by preventing the process that corrodes iron in saltwater.

To do so, they apply skinny aluminum rods to the boat that act as annodes, supplying an electrical charge that inhibits corrosion.

"Visibility on the bottom is about six inches with a dive light and zero without," wrote a team member on the restoration effort's Facebook page Monday afternoon. "Occasional surge shifts you back and forth a few feet. Working on repositioning the 6" suction and preparing to re-expose the grids covered over by last week's weather."

The Daily News of Jacksonville reported that last week's heavy rain and winds kept the team from investigating the wreck.

Instead, the chief archaeologist and diving supervisor for the project said he and his colleagues worked on land.

QAR archaeological field director Chris Southerly said the team knew it would lose days due to bad weather.

Ocean swells can delay diving, and Hurricanes Igor and Julia already roiled the seas.

Water temperatures earlier in October trend towards 79 degrees -- more appealing than the 10-degree-cooler temperatures of late October.



Blackbeard Beaufort Queen Anne Revenge North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Cape Fear Pirates of the Caribbean