Captain Kidd’s pirate ship to become underwater museum

Captain Kidd, pirate, pirates, pirate ship
The submerged wreck of Captain Kidd’s pirate ship will become a “Living Museum of the Sea” reports Science Daily.

The Quedagh Merchant was found a couple of years ago just off the coast of the Dominican Republic. It’s only 70 feet from the shore of Catalina Island and rests in ten feet of water, so it’s a perfect destination for scuba divers or even snorkelers.

Underwater signs will guide divers around the wreck, and like in above-ground museums, there’s a strict “don’t touch the artifacts” policy. Often when shipwrecks are found the discoverers keep the location secret to protect them from looting. Hopefully this bold step of allowing visitors to swim around such an important wreck will help inform the public without any harm being done. One can only hope!

Captain Kidd is one of the most famous and most controversial of pirates. For much of his career he was a privateer, a legal pirate with permission from the King of England to loot enemy ships and hunt down other pirates. Privateers were one of the ways the big empires of the day harassed one another.

Lots of stories of his evil nature have come down to us. He was supposed to have been brutal to his crew and was even reported to have buried his Bible, as is shown in this public domain image courtesy Wikimedia Commons. He’s also supposed to have buried treasure all over the world. How much of this is true and how much is legend is still hotly debated by historians.

The Quedagh Merchant was an Armenian vessel carrying a rich treasure of gold, silver, and fine cloth that Kidd captured in 1698 off the coast of India. Although the ship was Armenian and was under the protection of the French Crown, it was captained by an Englishman. This got Kidd’s status changed from privateer to pirate and from then on he was wanted by the English authorities.

Kidd left the Quedagh Merchant in the Caribbean with a trusted crew as he sailed off on another ship to New York to clear his name, but his “trusted crew” looted the vessel and sunk it. His loss was posterity’s gain.

Kidd shouldn’t have gone to New York. He was lured to Boston by a supposed friend and then arrested and shipped to England to be put on trial for piracy. The judge found him guilty and sentenced him to hang. His body was left hanging over the River Thames in an iron cage called a gibbet as a warning to others. The museum will be dedicated on May 23, the 310th anniversary of Kidd’s execution.

[Image of Captain Kidd rotting in the gibbet courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

Sun soaked: Southern California’s secret beach spots

You’ve probably walked Venice Beach, played volleyball on Manhattan Beach and spent a lazy day in Malibu, but have you scoped out SoCal’s secret beach spots? Of the many things California is known for, its beaches are always at the top of lists. Here a few of the best kept secrets along California’s coast:

Coronado, California: Savvy sun-soakers pay to park at the Hotel Del Coronado, then dine and sunbathe on premise in between ogling the Navy SEALS jogging the beach. This flat, mica diamond-studded beach has low tides so you won’t be surfing the waves anytime soon, but you will enjoy the R&R while watching stingrays and napping in the sand. When you’re done with the beach, stop in for a boutique beer at Coronado Brewing or catch some p.m. blues and brews at McP’s.

South Mission Beach, California: This is the ultimate partyspot in San Diego, and parking is a premium. Come early, stay late and throw your bike or roller-blades and a party frock in the car for beach bar bumming when the sun goes down. You can kayak the bayside on this isthmus, or surf and body slam on the Pacific side – both within walking distance. At night, the Pennant and Beachcomber rock, especially during the summer and Over The Line in July. The old-fashioned roller coaster, video arcades and Wavehouse occupy the mini-pints and the sunset is best of show.

Del Mar, California: In addition to Torrey Pines State Park and Dog Beach, the artsy village of Del Mar serves up two beach hang-outs not to miss, Powerhouse and Seagrove Park near the Fifteenth Street surf break. Surfing can be gnarly here, and the view of the Pacific as you wind off I-5 and around the lagoon stops your heart–as do Del Mar’s coastal cuisine–Roberto’s tacos, Il Fornaio’s wood-fired pizzas and enoteca, Pacifica Del Mar’s seafood specialties and Del Mar Plaza’s whimsical terrazza shops and breakfast nooks. South of the Del Mar Racetrack, the beach south of the Brigantine on PCH1 is hard to park at, but worth walking into. Better yet, bike on over.

San Onofre, California: Real surfers know that this hangs better than Malibu and it’s the quintessential California campground where for a small fee at the gate, you can pretend you are in Hawaii. Play volleyball, loll in a grass hut with your cooler of cocktails and snacks, compare long-boards and tales of catching a South swell at the three main breaks: the Point, Old Man’s and Dogpatch. It gets crowded on weekends, so arrive early with the blenders and pick up a few of Pedro’s fish tacos in North San Clemente for the ultimate alfresco breakfast.

Catalina Island, California: Here, the sand is your boat. Moor in Avalon or sail around to beautiful Emerald Bay, offering 99 moorings and anchorage for 5-10 boats, a perfect day trip. Catalina Express runs daily boats over to Avalon from San Pedro or Long Beach, and a Key West bacchanal is the catch of the day every weekend during summer. In addition to swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling, Catalina offers kayaking, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, hiking, biking and even a Zipline. Explore the Avalon beaches by golf cart, or just sun from your boat.

The above was contributed by Nanette Wiser, a Seed.com writer.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk – Catalina Island

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 20 – Click above to watch video after the jump


This week we have an extra special episode – it’s Aaron’s birthday and we’ve decided to surprise him by going to one of Southern California’s best escapes for diving, watersports, and all things adventurous.

Located 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Catalina Island has a rich history as a private island and as a tourist destination. On the couch, we’ll talk about some of the many people who have claimed ownership to the island and why Avalon’s iconic casino isn’t the gambling type, and how Catalina is looking to boost their tourism industry once more.

Stay tuned as we take you zip-lining, scuba diving, show you Avalon’s newest hotel, and finally settle some leftover golf wagers from Orlando. Enjoy!


If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

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Links
Interested in escaping to Catalina? Book your passage on the Catalina Express from Long Beach!
Where to stay – Avalon’s recently renovated Pavilion Hotel.
What to do – take a ride on Catalina’s brand new zip line course!
Love to scuba dive? Check out Catalina Scuba Luv.




Hosts: Aaron Murphy-Crews, Stephen Greenwood

Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

35 Best U.S. beaches for Summer

Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts.

Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts.

Summer is fast approaching. Where are you going to spend your vacation? How about visiting one of our country’s many fantastic beach locations? Bring your lover or family, a bathing suit, sun lotion, a blanket and a picnic basket, and you are all set for a romantic get-away or a relaxing family get-together on one of these magnificent sandy stretches.

Delray Beach, Florida

Delray boasts a great family-friendly stretch of sand, with youngsters playing Frisbee games and teens surfing the waves. Enjoy the well-preserved dunes and the warm, snow-white sand and comforting turquoise water. After a day on the beach, take a stroll in the European-style town and dine at the sidewalk bistros.

Mexico Beach, Florida

Mexico Beach is located on Florida’s panhandle …