Latest Queen Anne's Revenge News
Mid September, divers again visited the wreck of the presumed Queen Anne's Revenge and discovered a 5 by 10 foot piece of planking that apparently was uncovered by wave action of Hurricane Bonnie. Piece of the wood were excavated by divers for carbon dating and tree ring analysis. The measurements of the planking could be very valuable in determining the actual size of the vessel and could help confirm that it is indeed Blackbeard's ship. While hurricane Bonnie uncovered in the hull area, the storm covered the cannons with sand when they were exposed during previous diving visits. Divers also recovered a current meter that has been at the site for months recording the bottom currents affecting the site. They downloaded the data from the meter and replaced it for more readings. Meanwhile, the NC Maritime Museum has coordinated with the Fort Macon State Park which is close to the dive site and set up daily radio contact with the dive ships from the Park. Visitors are allows to talk with divers and other recovery personnel at 11am each day they are working. They are planning to update their website with the latest research information over the next few weeks.
Divers again revisited the area where Blackbeards ship (the QAR) is believed to have sunk along with its sister sloop "The Adventure". During the week of July 15th, divers focused on the area 400 feet south of the QAR where an anchor was found. Richard Lawrence, head of North Carolinas Underwater Archaelogy Unit said that the shank of the anchor was pointing toward the QAR wreck, and indicates that the anchor may have been used to try to pull the QAR off the sandbar it was stranded on. It was hoped that the anchor would have come from "The Adventure" and would have lead divers to that wreck site as well.
Divers used magnetometers and excavated around the anchor but did not locate any additional evidence of "The Adventure". They did, however remove some of the wood from the anchor stock for testing.
Already, preservationists are working with the cannons that were recovered last year. Numbers carved into the side of one of the cannons closely matches the actual weight of the cannons. This would be important for a pirate ship as the weight of all the cannons aboard the vessel would have to equally distributed on board.
Additional studies are underway by the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences to try to recreate the tidal and current actions on the Beaufort inlet over the past three centuries in order to better understand how the inlet may have existed in 1718 when the ships ran aground. Other research has begun on recently discovered French documents describing the "Le Concorde de Nantes", the original name of the ship Blackbeard rechristened "The Queen Annes Revenge" after he captured it with Capt. Hornigold.
Fort Macon State Park officials are now in discussions with Mr. Lawrence about possibly providing a telescope and viewing area in the park so people could watch the recovery efforts in September from the nearby park. Other ideas include having a radio so people viewering from the park could listen to the recovery team as they work on the wreck.
Meanwhile, the artifacts brought up from previous dives are in a traveling exhibit (schedule here) and will be back in the Beaufort NC Maritime Museum August 21 to September 15.