In the heart of RI’s Narragansett Bay lives the quiet community of
Jamestown. While doing research on pirates in New England I
discovered that several stories connected to this placid island. The most
exciting of all concerned Capt. Kidd. Before Kidd sailed to Boston to turn
himself into the authorities, he made a stop at Jamestown to visit his
friend Capt. Thomas Paine. In order to avoid being arrested, it was said
that he rowed a boat into Pirate Cave and slinked into the Paine’s home
under the cloak of night. During his visit he had given some valuables to
Paine and just as he did on Gardner Island, buried another portion of his
treasure near the cave..
When I first read about this cave, I didn’t take it very seriously
since stories from our colonial past are often greatly embellished. Over
time, I heard mention of this a Pirate Cave and Cove in several other books
and stories. Though its name sounded like it was borne from childish
fantasies, I began to believe that it might exist. In fall of 2003, I came
across a geological survey that mentioned a Pirate Cave. Unfortunately the
cave mention was said to be located in Newport. Digging a bit more I found the
Newport Pirate Cave mentioned once again. Now I was confused. Pirates Cave,
or Pirates Cove, Jamestown, or Newport, which one was it?.......
removal of the story *********
We have taken down the rest of the
story for several reasons. The most important being that many have asked
about the cave we’ve mentioned and tried to visit it. Though we warn them
of the dangers as mentioned in the warning** we posted with the original
story, this did not stop them.
In the past year a woman trying to
visit a cove on the shores of Beavertail. She was not looking for the
pirates cave but instead a romantic spot to enjoy the natural beauty of the
bay. This reminded us of the dangers of the cliffs and surf at Beavertail.
So as not to inspire others to take the
same risks we decided to remove the story
There is good news though.
Since we posted this original story we
have found many other caves. All were equally good candidates for the cave claimed
to have been visited by Captain Kidd. While out kayaking recently, one of
our friends found a cave we’ve missed over the year. This cave stands out
from the rest as being the most likely one that was spoken of in the tales
of Captain Kidd.
We are currently working on an updated
story mentioning all the candidates and showing why the newest one found is
most likely the cave spoken about in literature and campfire stories as
being visited by Captain Kidd.
great story with new images and salty tales to come soon!
** For those still thinking of visiting the cove/cave please read
the warning below
One thing I felt I need to mention
about this adventure was what I discover the next day. On the return to my
car I passed by many local anglers dropping fishing of the cliffs of lower
Beavers Tail. I greeted each of them as I passed as I always do. I
didn't know any by name but they were always very friendly and helpful. The
waves crashing on the rocky shore were larger than usual that day. The
remaining energy from a hurricane down south provided a show for locals to
watch. I took a moment to enjoy the sites and then headed home. On the news
the following day it was reported that a man fishing off Beavertail fell
into the ocean to his death around 5pm. That was the exact time I had been
passing the fishermen. Many thoughts raced through mind. I didn't know the
man but felt like I had lost a friend. Soon my thoughts turned to my own
safety. I had gone on this adventure alone as I often do. My need to
reclaim a forgotten place once again blinded me from the great risk I was
taking. There were many moments where I too could have been visiting Davey
Jones locker. The news of the death of the fisherman made me realize the
importance of having a partner along when out on an adventure.
In 2013 a woman looking for a romantic cove along the shore of
Beavertail also plummeted to her death. The cliff can be steep and
unstable, while the surf below is treacherous. I speak from experience when
I say that just swimming off the shore of Beavertail can be extremely
risky. On several occasions while freediving I
have gotten caught in a riptides that now give me reason to avoid diving in
that area completely.