Expedition Whydah: The Story of the World's First Excavation of a Pirate Treasure Ship and the Man Who Found Her
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Expedition Whydah: The Story of the World's First Excavation of a Pirate Treasure Ship and the Man Who Found Her

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A Captivating Account of the Golden Age of Piracy, the Search for Sunken Treasure, and the Business of Underwater Exploration

Bored by his successful life and obsessed with a boyhood dream of lost pirate treasure, Barry Clifford began a quest for legendary pirate Black Sam Bellamy's ship Whydah, which had supposedly wrecked off the coast of Cape Cod more than two centuries...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 3rd 2000 by Harper Perennial (first published 1999)
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This book is alright. It is in the end an adventure story, which I will be honest was simply not what I was looking for. Barry Clifford seems to have written this book in part self defense, defending his actions and telling his side of the story as there have been many questions about the wisdom of having such a valuable archaeological find in the hands of a man who is a treasure hunter and admits it. Barry Clifford write a readable book however, one that follows both the rise and fall of the fo...more
Mark Woodland
This is a pretty good book if you're interested in archaeological recoveries, shipwrecks, and a good pirate ship story to go along with it. The Whydah is one of only two authenticated pirate shipwrecks ever discovered. This book was written by one of the members of the expedition to recover artifacts from the wreck and learn as much as they could about actual life aboard a pirate ship. As such, it's not terribly well written; however, the information is interesting enough to keep you involved in...more
Greg Graves
While I find stories of archaeology interesting, and by with pirates doubly-so, Clifford (and his co-author, Perry) did not do a good job of staying on the narrative of the excavation, and instead offer up too many criticisms of people who got in the way, and too many pats to their own backs. One of the groups that Clifford goes to great pains to criticize are the academic archaeologists who disagree with him, and in doing so takes a shit on the whole discipline of archaeology from too great of...more
Mark Woodland
This is a documentary book about the excavation of one of only two confirmed wrecks of pirate ships (the other being the Queen Anne). It's a bit dry and tedious at times, but it incorporates the story of the ship with which few are familiar (I'd never previously heard of the Whydah). If you find underwater archaeology of any interest, you'll probably like this book. There is some interest in a movie about the Whyday, which would lean heavily on the information in this book. It depicts piracy in...more
Fascinating from beginning to end!
This is the story of the world’s first excavation of a pirate treasure ship and the man who found her. Since childhood, Clifford had heard tales of a pirate named Sam Bellamy who was shipwrecked off the coast of Cape Cod in 1717. It was Clifford’s ambition to find this pirate ship, the Whydah, and this book tells how and when he managed to succeed. He has now built a museum of piracy in Provincetown, MA, which displays many of the artifacts that he and his men raised from the Whydah.

I got this book from an exhibit about the Whydah I visited recently, and I must say this book has thoroughly captured my imagination! Barry Clifford dreamed of finding the Whydah ever since his uncle told him the tale when he was a boy. Though this book is non-fiction, it reads like a novel.
Scott Miller
Bought this after seeing a special exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago. Interesting profile of the author and great story of his obsession with salvaging a sunken pirate ship. It is autobiographical and therefore only tells one side of the story, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.
More good pirate study - tells the story of Clifford's life-long obsession with the shipwreck Whydah, his journey to find and retrieve it, interspersed with pirate history.
Engaging story, but some of the facts need to be cross-referenced, so you would benefit from having some knowledge of the era in order to separate fact from speculation.
I was almost finished with this book and then my dog destroyed it. I'm debating whether to buy it again or just call it lost.
Cari Galeziewski
Wow, what an amazing story! I felt like I was right there the whole time. Great storytelling.
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