This Cape Cod Museum Is Dedicated To The World’s Only Authentic Pirate Ship

The fifth and (possibly) final installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series sailed into theaters this summer reigniting pirate-mania in a new generation of moviegoers. If you’ve got your own little swashbuckler at home, consider a visit to the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth. It’s fun, educational, and the only museum of its kind!

TheWhydah is the world’s only confirmed Golden Age pirate shipwreck to ever be discovered and fully-authenticated. The vessel sank off the coast of Wellfleet during a storm on April 26, 1717.

Happy Independence Day!

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The fully-rigged galley ship was originally built as a passenger, cargo, and slave ship, but on the return leg of its maiden voyage it was captured by Captain Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy.

"On the Account" painting by Gregory Manchess of Sam Bellamy and his crew. #pirates #shipwrecks #museums #capecod #booty

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Bellamy made the Whydah his flagship, sailing the eastern coast of America, robbing other ships of their cargo. When the ship went down, nine survivors emerged from the sea. Of those, six were hanged, two were freed from forced-piracy, and one Indian crewman was sold into slavery. Bellamy went down with his precious Whydah.

Whydah and her treasure were the stuff of legend until 1984, more than 260 years after she met her watery demise. The wreck was discovered near Wellfleet, Massachusetts buried beneath nearly 50 feet of sand in 16 to 30 foot deep water.

More than 200,000 individual pieces have since been retrieved, including Whydah’s bell, discovered in 1985 and a small brass placard in 2013. Both are inscribed with the ship’s name and the date of her maiden voyage.

Whydah Gally ☠

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According to Chicago’s Field Museum, which also features an exhibition devoted to the Whydah, the ship carried up to five tons of silver, gold, gold dust, and jewelry, which had been divided equally into 180 50-pound sacks and stored in-between the ship’s decks at the time of its sinking.

Visitors to the Whydah Pirate Museum are invited to climb aboard and fully explore a full-scale replica of the ship, as well as check out some of the real pirate treasure retrieved from the bottom of the sea.

The museum also features real pirate cannons, pistols and additional artifacts from the slave trade.

In addition to the replica ship and historical artifacts, visitors get a real-life glimpse into the life of a pirate through the museum’s life-like characters and dioramas.

The Whydah Pirate Museum is open 7 days a week with tickets starting at $14.95 for kids from five to 17.