Pirates

Honest merchant seafarer, a trade voyage was h the hazards of rough weather, enemy fleets, , and navigational error. But the danger did A voyage could turn deadly with the crack of a cannon if a ship had the misfortune to meet with the skull and crossbones. __ Piracy on the high seas has long captured the popular imagination. Men like Edward Teach, .better known as Blackbeard, and women like Anne Bonny and Mary Read have become the stuff of legend. Much that has been written of the pirates of...

Life at

The life, of the common sailor was hard and short. At sea. his existence was tedious, dirty, and rife with hazards. On dry land he was out of place among most of society, and so would haunt portside ale houses with fellow seamen, one of the few places on dry land where he was comfortable. In the taVerns, the sailors would drink rum and play cards, dice, and ten bones as they exchanged stories and gossip about the latest shipping destinations, wages, and sea captains. The sailor learned quickly...

The ships

The ship builders of the trade era were not content with unadorned hulls of dull wooden planking. Between 1650 and 1750, sailing ships were richly decorated from bow to stem with elegant and complex friezes of paintings, carvings and wooden statues. In an age of ornamentation, the sailing ship became a floating work of art. The Sovereign of the Seas, a majestic English man-of-war, offers a good example of the opulence of ship design during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Built in...