Who hasn’t dreamed of being a Goonie and spending a whole day exploring One-Eyed Willie’s ship? In 1984, Barry Clifford got to be that guy. A new exhibition at National Geographic explores Clifford’s discovery of a three-masted, 300-ton former slave ship called the Whydah. The high-capacity armed ship, built in 1715, boasted the most advanced technology of the day. In 1717, the Whydah was captured by pirate Sam Bellamy and his crew. Two months later, it sunk in a late April nor’easter. One hundred forty-four passengers drowned; only two survived. Nearly three centuries later, the short-lived pirate ship was discovered by Barry Clifford and his crew off the coast of Cape Cod. “Real Pirates” chronicles this discovery and the ship’s subsequent decades of rehabilitation. Visitors will get a chance to examine weapons and tools used during the Whydah’s heyday, as well as a little bit of booty, before swinging aboard a replica of the ship.
The exhibition is on view 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays–Sundays at the National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. $7–$11. (202) 857-7700. ngmuseum.org.