Review: The Lost Fleet

Rating: ★★★★☆
The Lost Fleet: The Discovery of a Sunken Armada from the Golden Age of Piracy
by Barry Clifford

“The Lost Fleet” has all the makings of a typical sequel – exotic locales, more shipwrecks, and even a new villain. Where Barry Clifford’s account of his discovery of the Whydah occurred domestically in the relatively uneventful waters off Cape Cod, his exploration of an entire sunken armada near Venezuela brings us the dangers of foreign governments in turmoil, ravenous barracudas, and a power-hungry dentist turned jungle explorer. It would almost seem ridiculously stereotypical if it wasn’t all true. Continue reading

Review: The Pirate Prince

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Pirate Prince: Discovering the Priceless Treasures of the Sunken Ship WHYDAH
by Barry Clifford

In his book “The Pirate Prince”, which I believe is the first of his several accounts regarding the pirate ship Whydah, Barry Clifford seems to have two primary goals – the first is to completely disillusion the reader as to any pretense of glamour associated with undersea treasure hunting. The second goal, ironically, is to completely enchant the reader with the glamour of undersea treasure hunting. Surprisingly, he manages to do both rather well.

To the first goal Clifford goes into great detail explaining the difficulties of locating a wreck, of separating fact from legend, of recreating centuries old scenarios using half-facts and hunches. But these are the difficulties we imagine when we think of treasure hunters. What we don’t generally consider is what happens once the wreck is discovered.

In a word – bureaucracy. Continue reading