Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pirates of the Caribbean

Calico Jack's pirate flagBesides it's sun-kissed beaches and the pretty coral reefs, the Caribbean is also known for its fierce inhabitants during the 17th century. While the Europeans were busy taking control of the New World and plundering its wealth, these lovely islands were home to pirates, privateers and buccaneers.

Much of the piracy was directed against the Spanish galleons that transported treasures from the South American territories to Spain through the Caribbean Sea. From the time Columbus discovered the Americas in the 15th century, Spain steadily increased their presence here with Cartagena, in modern Columbia, becoming their key settlement. From here the Spaniards mined silver (and gold) that were transported back periodically. As you can expect, the pirates wanted to intercept as much of these shipments as they could.

Paradise Island, Bahamas
Paradise Island, BahamasWhile I remembered some of this from history lessons, what I only now learnt was how England actively supported and nurtured the pirates because they were at war with Spain.

Blackbeard, reputed to be the fiercest of them all, actually operated from Paradise Island! With his evil looks and reputation of being the most cruel, stories of his exploits quickly filled the seafaring world. From what I found, he was the master of spin and created an image more terrifying than he really was.

Lazing around in and around the Atlantis resort, it is difficult to imagine everything that happened in these islands many years ago

Atlantis, Bahamas
Royal Towers, Atlantis, Bahamas
Atlantis, Bahamas
Splashers Pool, Atlantis, BahamasFrancis Drake, whose exploits were legendary, making him a hero to the English was but a simple pirate to the Spaniards. He ruled the waters of the Caribbean for a while terrorizing the Spaniards and capturing their treasure, sinking their ships and even burning down one of their key ports.

Paradise Island, BahamasThe other famous pirate Calico Jack is most remembered for his black flag featuring the skull and crossed cutlasses, which helped to popularize the design and associate it in popular culture with piracy. He also employed two notorious female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read - a rarity in those times (well, I guess this would be a rarity even today)! If you are interested in more, the Pirates of Nassau museum on the island takes you on a journey to the the golden age of piracy.

Related Posts: Arriving in Paradise, Cracked Conch and Bahama Mamas.


priyadarshan said...

great info.

indicaspecies said...

Interesting post, and the pictures are lovely!

Anonymous said...

@priyadarshan, indicaspecies: Thank you for visiting...

foodette said...

Wow, what amazing pictures! Shantanu, I have to tell you - I had a bunch of comments that I had to mark as spam tonight, and I accidentally hit yours as well! I feel horrible, and am working on how to fix that. But, I really wanted to make sure you knew it was a mistake. Your comments keep my blog interesting.

Anonymous said...

that looks like a stunning resort! love the theme parks and beaches!

Anonymous said...

Good…….. No I should say very well.
Blog really containing a meaningful information. Keep it up.

priyadarshan said...

Dec 01, Monday evening do not miss conjunction of Venus- Jupiter and Moon . Observe sky in North-West Direction from 6.15-30 pm to 9.30 pm.

It's the one of the wonderful event.

Anonymous said...

I love the Caribbeans... where else can you get the green sea and white sand? It's lovely!

Lakshmi said...

interesting..Ive read all this as a kid..and I always liked stories of pirates and seamen..

Anonymous said...

Great post, interesting read - especially for a Norwegian Viking :-)

Wishing you a great end to your week!

Anonymous said...

@foodette: No problem! I love your blog and will be back.

@kyh: I am sure you will love this place too.

Anonymous said...

@canada imm'g: Thanks!

@priyadarshan: Really? Nothing really seems close to 'wonderful' right now.

@zhu: The other place I've got to go is the Maldives. They have really great beaches too.

@lakshmi: Me too. Which is why I was so happy when the first Pirates of the Caribbean hit the screens.

@Renny: Thanks.