Buc­ca­neer’s booty

Mu­seum dis­plays trea­sures and cu­riosi­ties from the sunken ship of the world’s rich­est pi­rate

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - KEVIN PROKOSH

THERE is an authenticity to the newly in­stalled tour­ing ex­hibit Real Pi­rates that is dis­cernible the mo­ment you walk into the Man­i­toba Mu­seum. Buc­ca­neers were thought to be a mal­odor­ous lot and Barry Clif­ford, the renowned un­der­wa­ter ex­plorer, im­me­di­ately rec­og­nizes the dis­tinct but un­de­fin­able scent.

“It’s the smell of a pi­rate ship,” says Clif­ford, who in 1984 dis­cov­ered the Why­dah, the first doc­u­mented pi­rate ship re­cov­ered from Amer­i­can wa­ters. “When I go un­der­wa­ter into a ship with an anaer­o­bic en­vi­ron­ment, you can ac­tu­ally smell — right through your face mask — hu­man waste in the bot­tom of a ship after 300 or 400 years. Th­ese ex­hibits come from that en­vi­ron­ment.” So vis­i­tors to Real Pi­rates, which runs through April 19, will be treated to not only the sights and sounds of an 18th-cen­tury sail­ing ship that high­seas raiders called home, but also the smell. The show — or­ga­nized by Na­tional Ge­o­graphic and Premier exhibitions — fea­tures 200 ar­ti­facts re­cov­ered from the wreck of the Why­dah (pro­nounced WIDD-uh), which sank in a fierce storm off the coast of Cape Cod on April 26, 1717. On dis­play is a daz­zling ar­ray of can­nons, pis­tols, knives, grenades, gambling to­kens and the ship’s bell, along with a replica of the ship’s stern that can be boarded. Then there is the bona fide trea­sure chest, which is a must-see for any­one who ever pulled on an eye patch, picked up

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