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In February 1717, the pirate Sam Bellamy captured the Whydah, a British ship named after a trading post on the West African Gold Coast. Built in England in 1716, the Whydah was a massive galley with three masts that weighed three hundred tons. It was used to carry slaves across the Atlantic.
At the time of its capture, the Whydah was armed with ten guns, but Bellamy and his pirate crew converted the ship into a twenty-eight gun galley. After plundering a number of ships near Virginia, the Whydah, along with Bellamy's other ships, attempted to reach Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island. However, the weather rapidly deteriorated and the ships lost contact with each other. The weather intensified near Cape Cod and the Whydah was destroyed in the storm.