Meet the pirates of Nassau

pirate ship
Photo courtesy of Paradise Island Beach Club

Not many places are as steeped in pirate lore as the Caribbean, especially The Bahamas. So, come aboard ye, and learn about pirate ships and their fantastical experiences on the Caribbean seas. In the 1600’s, it wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a pirate ship being illegally docked on the Bahamian shores. You can almost hear a privateer shouting his lungs out and announcing their arrival, Ahoy, matey! Avast ye!

Whether you believe the legend of the Kraken, appreciate Johnny Depp’s eyeliner and swagger from the films or get a thrill out of spooky peg-legged pirate tales, it’s always fascinating to hear legendary pirate stories firsthand. While high-seas swashbuckling is now thankfully relegated to the silver screen, you can step back in time simply by visiting the beautiful Bahamas. Visit the “Pirates of Nassau” museum to honour its history and the colourful pirate personalities that lived there. Experience The Bahamas as an actual pirate in the golden era and grow your pirate history knowledge through various riveting exhibits. You can also try out the Blackbeard’s Escape Room or grab a bite to eat at Smugglers Restaurant.

When looking at Caribbean history, you can hardly overlook pirate folklore, hidden treasure stories and shipwrecks. “Pirates” are infamous villains who have been romanticised through movies and books despite their legendary tales of mischief. “The golden age of piracy” took place in the late 1600s and early 1700s, in The Bahamas, which was considered a hotbed for pirate activities.

One of history’s most notorious pirates, Edward Teach or more commonly known as Blackbeard, based his exploits in The Bahamas. The relatively shallow water of The Bahamas and proximity to 700 islands made this location a perfect hideout spot for these pirates and their treasures. There are still rumours flying around the island regarding a hidden treasure buried on Cat Island by British pirate William Catt. The next time you are there, get inquisitive and have a blast searching for buried treasure. You never know what you might find.

Much like your average vacationer, the pirates of old had a taste for delicious Bahamian rum! During long voyages, the buccaneers learned they could prevent algae from growing by adding lemon juice and sugar to their watered-down rum. Contemporary fans of ‘“grog” can enjoy a refreshing rum cocktail at Red Turtle Tavern or take a tour of John Watling’s Distillery to learn more about the history of rum while visiting Nassau and Paradise Island.

So, the next time you visit The Islands of The Bahamas, be sure to keep a spry eye out for lost gems or visit the pirate museum to board a battered barge for a treacherous voyage to the 17th century, when rowdy scoundrels and ruthless corsairs ransacked Caribbean seaport towns.

Source:  Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

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