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Archive for October, 2011

Cannon of Blackbeard’s Legendary Queen Anne’s Revenge Finally Raised!

October 31st, 2011

"concretion" encrusted cannon

As one of the most recognizable and renowned pirates in all of sailing lore, Blackbeard (Edward Teach) sailed throughout the Caribbean and up the North American east coast for three years in the early 1700s, building his fleet, wealth, and legend in the process.  The Queen Anne’s Revenge, dreaded flagship of his fleet, came to be known as a formidable vessel; one that was sadly sunk in 1718 as Blackbeard absconded with a wealth of loot. Based on Oracoke Island, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Blackbeard ran the ship aground following a week’s long blockade of the harbor in Charleston. Now, some 300 years later, the treasures of this sunken beauty are coming to the surface, exciting the minds and imaginations of scientists and nautical enthusiasts alike. As the largest underwater archeological project in America, the Queen Anne’s Revenge site has fascinated scientists since 1997, with multiple artifacts discovered, studied, and placed on display in museums throughout the country. As some of the grandest prizes, however, the massive cannons from the ship were exceptional finds, treasure troves of great historic import. Twelve cannons have been discovered thus far, with the newest one recently making headlines as it was raised from the wreckage. At 8 feet long, covered with “concretion,” or layers of sediment that form a hard shell, the cannon is a magnificent puzzle that must be carefully unlocked over the course of the next few years.

Handcrafted Model Ship's 24" Queen Anne's Revenge model ship

HMS 24" model of Queen Anne's Revenge

Though Blackbeard had received a pardon following his initial pirate activities, after a brief respite from the sea he soon returned in search of further plunder, leading soon afterwards to his death. Following his success in blockading the port of Charleston, Blackbeard became a much sought after target, pursued by British Lieutenant Robert Maynard under charge of Virgina Governor Alexander Spotswood. In what would prove to be his final battle, Blackbeard and his remaining crew were discovered in late November, 1718, and quickly blockaded by Maynard’s fleet before coming under attack. Returning fire,  Blackbeard’s pirates leapt aboard Maynard’s seemingly empty vessel only to be surprised by sailors hidden below decks. During the brief battle the legendary pirate was struck down by blade, with Maynard taking Blackbeard’s head as a trophy; hanging it from the bow of his ship as he sailed triumphantly back to shore. Though Blackbeard’s life at sea was cut short, he left the world with his fascinating story and a legendary ship that now, 300 years later, is met not with dread, but pure fascination and wonder.

Famous Ship Models, Model Ships, Nautical Decor, Pirate Ship Models , ,

Excitement at Dana Point Tall Ship Festival!

October 5th, 2011

Early last month, September 10th and 11th, Handcrafted Model Ships was delighted to take part in the annual Dana Point Tall Ship Festival! Though a little rain started the day, sunny skies prevailed and the festival took off to great success. With most of the company on hand, including a very special appearance by Captain Dick himself, we all enjoyed the company of many new friends, a few familiar faces, and everyone involved in making this fabulous festival happen. Over two days we were able to display various ship models and discuss them in person with the ship enthusiasts who had come out for a day of sailing fun, history, and beautiful Southern California weather. As the majority of our business takes place online, these festivals are always a welcomed respite from the office, allowing us a chance to meet our customers in person, and perhaps give fans a chance to talk one on one with Captain Dick.

Aside from our booth, practically overflowing with the numerous ship models and other amazing nautical décor, yummy food booths provided perfect afternoon snacks, while tours were available aboard a few fantastic sailing vessels! It was truly amazing seeing all of the attendees in proud sailing spirit; some completely decked out in full pirate regalia! And you all thought Captain Jack Sparrow was only in the movies…anyway, a very festive mood was in the air, with people of all ages, from children to grandparents, all having a wonderful time exploring, shopping, and stopping in to visit and talk about our models.

There’s not much more one can ask for; good company, great weather, delicious food, and the serene Pacific stretching out into the distance. It was great to soak in the sun, get lost in the enchanting atmosphere, and really it’s always an incredible feeling talking with our customers in person, putting a face to a name, and truly getting to know them all. We love getting feedback, and especially seeing faces light up when we show off our new ship models, or just hanging out and talking shop, chatting about sailing. Though it was only a brief two days, we thoroughly enjoyed out time in beautiful Dana Point, had a blast touring the magnificent ships at port, snacking on the amazing food there, and of course talking about the thing we love most – Sailing!

Model Ship Displays, Model Ships, Nautical Decor, Tall Ships