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The Pirates of the Caribbean

Have you heard of the Teach the Rover

And his knavery on the Main,

How of gold he was a lover,

How he loved all ill-got gain?

Arguably, the most notorious temporary resident of Grand Cayman was the notorious Edward Teach, more famously known as "Blackbeard" (1680-1718). The archetypal icon of all Caribbean pirates, he sailed his vessel, Queen Anne's Revenge, to loot and plunder.

He wore a big feathered tricorn and carried multiple pistols, knives, and swords. To intimidate his enemies, he placed lit matches into his enormous black beard. His beard was twisted into Rastafarian-style locks. He was said to have had 14 so-called wives, and he often buried his treasure. He would take a lone sailor with him on a small boat and return alone. The sailor's corpse was placed atop the chest of gold to discourage excavation.

Legend has it that Blackbeard shot and lamed Israel Hands on Grand Cayman in an attempt to show how fierce he could be if opposed. Crippled for life, Hands was immortalized as the blind Pew in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.

Blackbeard met with a bloody demise in a duel off the Carolina coast. He was said to have suffered 25 wounds, five of them by gunshot, before finally collapsing and dying. Blackbeard's ghastly head ended up dangling from the bowsprit end of the conquering ship captained by Lt. Robert Maynard.

The death of this particular pirate more or less ended piracy along the American coast.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.