Whydah Galley (1716)

The sea crashed and churned with waves as high as 30 feet smashing into the hull of Whydah, drunk and in a stupor the 146 crew were unable to control the ship. she hit a sandbar broke apart and founded. all but two of the men survived and the ship took to the bottom of the ocean a vast amount of Gold and Silver and a man that would slip into Legend and Lore for the next 300 years, the Prince of Pirates, Black Sam Bellamy.

The Whydah Galley is one of the oldest ships that I know about associated with my family history, it had a pretty short life of only two years and ran aground, capsized and then sunk in a storm of Wellfleet, Massachusetts on the 26th April 1717.

The ship passed into legend and lore for the next 300 years, for inside that ship contained the vast wealth of Pirate Black Sam Bellamy.

Whydah was built as a slave ship in 1715 and would have made many Atlantic crossings during her first year in service, however she was hijacked in Jamaica on her maiden voyage by Black Sam, the ship was 100 ft in length and weighed 300 tons, a sure prize for any pirate. For the next year the captain and his crew used Whydah to pirate other ships before sailing north to Wellfleet, Massachesetts where it’s believed that Bellamy’s lover was waiting for him.

Wyhdah never reached its destination and Bellamy’s bride to be Mariah Hallett never saw him again, as legend has it the crew were too drunk to finish out the journey and sadly the ship came afoul of a powerful Nor’easter on the night of 26th April. The gale was fierce and strong with winds as fast as 70 miles per hour, the sea churned and swelled and Atlantic waves as high as 30 feet slammed into the ship. On Wydhah’s approach of Capecod the storm worsened and the ship’s crew still too drunk and unable to keep control during its navigation of the storm, crashed violently into a sandbar and immediately broke apart. 146 men were onboard and all but two of the crew survived.

Legend has it that Bellamy’s Bride heavily pregnant at the time watched the Whydah disappear beneath the waves as she stood helpless on Wellfleet sands. As the ship sunk it took with it the wealth of 53 other vessels, according to one survivor Whydah Galley contained 180 bags of gold and silver.

Black Sam Bellamy was the wealthiest pirate to have ever lived.

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