October 26, 2011 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Blackbeard's cannon has been salvaged off the North Carolina coast after 300 years, as part of the Queen Anne's Revenge project.

From the East Carolina University press release:

The cannon has been resting at the bottom of Beaufort Inlet since Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge wrecked off North Carolina's coast in 1718. This week's dive is to raise the approximately one-ton cannon, encased in concretion, the solid mass of mineral deposits, which must be removed along with the soluble salts in the metal to make the object stable to be studied, handled and displayed.
posted by flyingsquirrel (13 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
That's pretty freaking cool. Thanks.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:36 PM on October 26, 2011

That's arrrrrrrrrrrsome.
posted by d1rge at 8:33 PM on October 26, 2011

This is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I live in North Carolina and I need to do my open water dives. MAYBE I'LL GO SALVAGE BLACKBEARD'S PERSONAL BELONGINGS WHILE I'M DOWN THERE!
posted by 200burritos at 8:37 PM on October 26, 2011

"..Treasure that we had come so far to seek.. How many it had cost in the amassing, what blood and sorrow, what good ships scuttled on the deep, what brave men walking the plank blindfold, what shot of cannon, what shame and lies and cruelty, perhaps no man alive could tell."

--Treasure Island
posted by stbalbach at 9:12 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm from very old North Carolina stock, and according to family lore am directly descended from Blackbeard.

I'm wondering if I could make some sort of claim on this, because then maybe I could have, you know, a really old and soggy cannon.
posted by trip and a half at 11:25 PM on October 26, 2011

The gun recovered Wednesday was the 13th cannon raised from the shipwreck.

Is this particular cannon significantly different from the previous 12 that have been raised?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:26 AM on October 27, 2011

Thorzdad -- a quick look at their blurb on the artillery inventory makes it seem like this might be A Very Big Cannon while the others raised were Very Big But Less Big Than This One Cannons. The ship carried an array, with the huge one sitting amidships and the others in the quarterdeck.

Also, yay! This is so cool! Moar underwater archaeology press releases, plz.
posted by kalimac at 6:15 AM on October 27, 2011

All I saw was reference in the stories that it was an 8-foot cannon, without context. On main QAR site, I saw reference to two other, already-raised cannon being 7.5 feet and 7-feet respectively. An 8-footer is cool, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:22 AM on October 27, 2011

Please. Everyone knows they'll be studying a replica. The original is going *straight* into Warehouse 13 the second it breaks the surface.
posted by thudthwacker at 7:57 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ugh. *Went* straight into Warehouse 13 the second it *broke* the surface. Sorry -- seems I misplaced my past tense there for a few minutes. Feh.
posted by thudthwacker at 8:01 AM on October 27, 2011

I grew up spending summers on the Outer Banks, in the 50s and 60s, and Blackbeard was used for a lot of area marketing. There were pirate contests, multiple restaurants and hotels with referential names, etc., all very fun and charming.

Years later I heard a lecture at the Mariners' Museum in Virginia discussing sea piracy. The speaker began by pointing out that piracy has been around as long as men have built ships, that it is still with us and is extremely ugly, and that the romanticization of Blackbeard and others is mostly due to popular culture, primarily Hollywood. Blackbeard and his ilk were vicious criminals, plain and simple. He then delineated the costs of piracy in recent years.

There were more than a few crestfallen faces when he finished speaking.

Robert Newton aside, I haven't seen pirates the same since.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:04 AM on October 27, 2011

Ugh. *Went* straight into Warehouse 13 the second it *broke* the surface. Sorry -- seems I misplaced my past tense there for a few minutes. Feh.

Your past tense probably got packed into a crate back in the main warehouse. Keep looking.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:56 PM on October 27, 2011

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