Private islands are all the rage

Notorious pirate island is now $50 million Florida luxury resort.
Black’s Island. Photos: Jon Kohler & Associates

Black Sam Bellamy was one of the most notorious and wealthiest pirates in the early 19th century. His pirate island hideaway, known as Black’s Island, now a stunning resort property, has been listed for sale at $50 million.

In his short pirate career, Bellamy captured 53 ships, including the state-of-the-art English slave ship Whydah Gally, which he used as his flagship.

Born in Devon, England, he sailed with the Royal Navy before joining a crew of treasure hunters, who turned to piracy when their mission to find a Spanish shipwreck failed.

Bellamy served initially under Captain Benjamin Hornigold and his first mate, Edward Teach, later known as Blackbeard. When the crew became frustrated with Hornigold’s refusal to attack English ships, they mutinied and elected Bellamy as their captain instead.

Bellamy was generous with those he raided and loved by his crew, who called themselves “Robin Hood’s Men.”

This “Robin Hood of the Sea” or “Prince of Pirates” developed a distinctive style, favouring long black coats and forgoing the then-fashionable powdered wig for a dark ponytail tied with a black satin bow.

The pirate prince’s reign ended when a storm capsized his ships, drowning the captain and most of his crew. The wreckage was discovered in 1982, yielding over 200,000 artifacts, including a cannon loaded with gold and precious stones.

Now, the famous pirate’s island home is a stunning resort property, selling for tens of millions and featured at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.

Private islands are all the rage among celebrities and the world’s elite. Beyonce and Jay Z are said to own two in Florida, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Murphy, David Copperfield and Mel Gibson just a few of the A-listers with private islands outside the US.

Black’s Island is a seven-acre gem off the coast of the Florida Panhandle, sporting a four-star resort with 26 waterfront bungalows. Accessible only by boat, seaplane, or helicopter, the white-sand island is about 10 minutes from the mainland, offering a spectacular Caribbean adventure without leaving the US.

The fully furnished bungalows come in one- and two-story models, 1,225 and 1,425 square feet respectively.

Boasting a classic look, with blonde wood walls and grey stone floors, the bungalows were recently remodelled. A round floorplan offers 360-degree views of the gorgeous island from sunrise to sunset.

The island is in the middle of a marine estuary, offering sparkling clear water and numerous opportunities for birdwatching and duck hunting, apart from water sports.

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