Television show “Crossbones” features El Galeón
As told to Historic City News in St Augustine
by Paco Cordero de la Villa
with translation by Marinelly Rodríguez
Spanish galleons of the 16th and 17th centuries traveling in the Bahamas were known to carry wealthy passengers; making them targets for Caribbean pirates. One of the most notorious, Blackbeard the pirate, will be featured in “Crossbones” — a10-episode summer replacement series airing Friday nights on NBC.
Actor John Malkovich, who portrays Blackbeard, may not be the only familiar face you see in the television program. In addition to the great floating museum managed by the Nao Victoria Foundation, British actor David Slade and Steve Shill are part of the cast.
“The crew of the ship participated actively as extras with endless professionals,” Rodríguez told local reporters. “The series is set on the island of New Providence, in the Bahamas, where the pirate Blackbeard rules; the filming was done in Puerto Rico.”
Cordero de la Villa described how El Galeon was refit to create an 18th century British ship where the main deck became the stage for the action drama series. The possession of the island lands was disputed by British ships in squabbles and battles that will make the British crown tremble. “There were all kinds of fights, battles, and explosions happening at the same time the ship could sail at sea under full sail,” Cordero de la Villa said.
Once again, El Galeon has returned and is docked at the St Augustine Municipal Marina. The sailing vessel is opened daily for visitors who would like to see, first-hand, the same decks that were journeyed by pirates and navigators in the television series.