Untold Stories of the Pirate Ship Whydah at the Atwood
There’s a lot to learn about the life of a pirate in the 1700s. Just ask Chris Macort, an underwater field archeologist of the sunken pirate ship Whydah. He will tell of some of the secrets he’s uncovered in “Untold Stories of the Pirate Ship Whydah” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, at the Atwood House & Museum in Chatham.
Macort is a sixth-generation Cape Codder who works alongside Barry Clifford, who discovered the sunken vessel in Cape Cod waters in 1984. He is based at Clifford’s Whydah Pirate Museum, where he painstakingly separates discoveries from concretions (hard solid masses formed by the fusion of articles with sediment) in the research facility there.
And from his work, he’s discovered much about the life – especially the life of pirates – more than 300 years ago. Among the items he’s recovered are Spanish coins, cannon and pistols, West African jewelry, slave shackles, a brass wax seal and the ship’s brass nameplate. The Whydah left Africa in 1716, bearing the weight of human cargo. Reaching Caribbean waters, the ship was seized by Sam Bellamy, commander of a fleet of pirate ships. Shipwrecked in a nor’easter in 1717, the Whydah sank deep into Cape Cod waters, only to be discovered by Clifford and his team, who have worked for years recovering artifacts from the shipwreck.
After years of rigorous study and certifications, Macort now is an archaeologist, historian and educator. In addition to the Whydah, he’s explored shipwrecks from Venezuela to Madagascar.
The Atwood House and Museum / Chatham Historical Society is located at 347 Stage Harbor Road in Chatham. Admission is free to members; $10 for non-members. Visit us online at www.chathamhistoricalsociety.org.