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Now THAT's an anchor! Blackbeard's anchor to be retrieved

by Lee Mylchreest on 24 May 2011
Queen Anne’s Revenge, the anchor SW

Now THAT's an anchor! When we upgraded our main anchor to 65kg and the line to 100metres of 10mm chain we thought we'd reached the big time. Blackbeard's anchor, due to be retrieved from its watery resting place this week, weighed 1,360kg. We have an electric windlass. They retrieved theirs by hand.

Modern piracy does not have the same romantic allure as in the days of the terrifying English pirate Blackbeard, with his flowing black beard and lit fuses in his hair. Maybe this points to the fact that we love stories of blood and gore as long as they are distanced by history or recognised as fairytales.

This anchor is from Blackbeard's legendary sailing ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, a captured French slave ship. It measures about 13 feet (4 metres) long with arms that are eight feet (2.4 metres)

wide, according to one of the archeologist team who will attempt the retrieval.

The anchor has been lying in its watery grave for around 300 years, and since 1997, archaeologists have been excavating the ship.

After running aground on a sandbar in 1718 near the town of Beaufort, the ship was abandoned but likely remained intact and partly above water for as long as a year before collapsing and disintegrating, according to archaeologist David Moore of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Blackbeard’s brief career as a pirate lasted only about two years, but during that time he became one of history's most feared outlaws.

Operating in the West Indies and off the coast of colonial America, he struck terror into the hearts of commercial ships' captains and once held the entire city of Charleston, South Carolina, hostage. He was killed by members of the British Royal Navy five months after the demise of Queen Anne's Revenge.

Research teams from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College set sail last Thursday to try and pull the anchor to the surface.

It appears to be coincidental that the ship will be featured in the fourth movie of the Disney 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, which hits U.S. movie houses in the next week.

For more information on this University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College project, go to the Queen Anne's Revenge http://www.qaronline.org/!website.

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