Photo/Art by Erik Rank
In 1997 Jenna Sammartino, a newly minted Cape Cod resident, first started hearing stories about the Whydah, a 28-gun pirate ship that sank in 1717, just off the coast of Wellfleet. Today Jenna’s a ranger at Cape Cod National Seashore, teaching others about the ship, whose watery grave was discovered in 1984.
During a mile-long beach stroll, Jenna unspools the story like a movie, beginning with Captain Sam Bellamy’s early attempt to make an honest living on the high seas, to the final high-drama point, when the Whydah “rolled, then splintered in the waves, leaving wreckage and bodies strewn along the beach we’re walking today.” Best of all is this unique classroom — seals and surfers, high dunes and waves — a setting that’ll turn anyone into a history buff.
nps.gov/caco”>Salt Pond Visitor Center, Cape Cod National Seashore,
50 Nauset Road. (Tour leaves from Marconi Beach Bathhouse, off Route 6, Wellfleet.) 508-255-3421.