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|Pirates In The Bahamas ... and Briland|
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|Posted by:||Oct 25th 2009, 01:41:15 pm|
“Nassau – Pirate Haven in the Caribbean"
John Haman designed and built the pirate ships at Harbour Island in the Bahamas, and he based his designs on the sloops of the Malacca pirates, ‘fast to attack, faster to run’, which were themselves based on the Arab dhow. Shallow draughted and agile, the pirate sloops were much more suited to sailing the treacherous reefs and shallows of the Caribbean. Their fleets of small, quick sloops and schooners, all with the new bird-wing sails and longer prows, glided across the water under the lightest of breezes. Despite, or because of, their smaller size, they easily outran, out-sailed and out-fought the clumsy, square-rigged, massive Navy ships. The Dutch had provided an effective defense against Spanish invasion using small, lightly-armed fishing boats against huge Spanish galleons, and these lessons were not lost on the pirates. Thousands of them flourished in the Caribbean by 1715, in companies of hundreds of men, in fleets of fast ships.
King George also sent Captain Woodes Rogers to take Nassau back from the pirates. During Queen Anne’s War, Rogers had captured enough Spanish gold to finance England’s entire campaign against French domination. When he sailed his fleet into Nassau, Captain Vane met him with fireships, and forced him out again. Yet that night, Vane’s supporters melted away from him. Given their love of freedom, and Vane’s reputation for arrogance, they chose to live as Englishmen, in an English colony, with a Governor, rather than as the subjects of a pirate King. When the Governor sailed in again the next morning, Vane only stayed long enough to fire a volley at him, and then fled through the impossibly narrow eastern channel. Anne Bonny, masquerading as a man, sailed with him.
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