Blackbeard’s Pirateship Anchor
May 31, 2011 by garypope
A 3,000 pound anchor has been recovered off the North Carolina coast on Friday, by Archaeologists from what they believe to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship – the Queen Anne’s Revenge! It is hoped that this might change plans regarding how to save the rest of the almost 300 year old artifacts from the central part of the pirate ship.
Divers had planned to bring up the second-biggest artifact on what is thought to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge however they discovered it was too well-attached to some of the other items in the pile of ballast, according to the project director, Mark Wilde-Ramsing. So they pulled up another anchor instead that is the third-largest artifact and was most likely the anchor for the ship.
The anchor, which is 11 feet, 4 inches long with arms that are 7 feet, 7 inches across, was covered with a mixture of shells, sand and other debris that has been attracted by the leaching wrought iron. Its estimated to weigh approximately 2,500 to 3,000 pounds.
The size of the anchor is typical for a ship the size of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, with the two other anchors probably used in the event of an emergency, like a storm.
Archaeologists were planning to remove the second-largest anchor, which is 13 feet long with arms that are 8 feet across, from where it is located on top of the ballast pile. But found it to be too well-attached, so the divers went in from the side instead retrieving the “everyday anchor”. This means that in the future other dives may require going in from the side of the shipwreck rather than the top.
Divers are continuing to work for four days next week, then they’ll decide how best to move forward. The dive team hopes to recover all the artifacts by the end of 2013.
North Carolina state officials are hoping the anchor as well as the other artifacts will attract tourists. The shipwreck was discovered in 1996, causing world wide attention. The largest exhibit of artifacts from will be on view at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort starting June 11.
The timing of the recovery of the anchor couldn’t be better for North Carolina tourism interest in the shipwreck. The Disney film “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” starring Johnny Depp was just released earlier this month featuring both Blackbeard and the Queen Anne’s Revenge.