Welcome to the Reef!

* The newest version of Gentlemen of Fortune: ERAS2 2.7.0 is now ready for you to play it. Download here: LINK

* HOT NEW DEVELOPMENTS!: MK’s Announcements & Update for August 2017

* Feature of the Year: 3D SHIP MODELING CONTEST: Rules and Prizes

* GUIDE: Ships Missing: Guide on what we still need and would like modeled

* MK’s Caribbean Adventure & look at its History continues with a rich illustrated Lecture:
PART II: The Very Bloody History of Puerto Rico: Spain is at War with the World


* NEW ARTICLE: VOTIVE MODELS: What’s a Votive Model? A Journey


* SHIP OF THE MONTH: The Spanish Galleon – Scroll to the bottom of this page…


* Screenshots as of June 2017


* ARTICLE: A Most Murderous Monument

* Book Review: The Buccaneer’s Realm, by Benerson Little

* Feature of the Day: TREASURE!!!!


* HMS Tyger versus the Shackerloo – …didn’t know the war was over…


* Update on Tobago 1677

* Pictures of the Week: Tromp’s Aemilia kicks ass! …and English East Indiaman takes on Three Spanish Privateers…


* Dutch Warships in the Age of Sail, By James Bender

* THE GOLDEN AGE: Why was the Golden Age – So Golden?


* MODEL OF THE WEEK: The Dutch Pinnace


* National Geographic: GHOSTSHIP

* What I am working on… HERE

* Where can I get a copy of Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships? HERE

* Chapter 17 of Piet Heyn’s saga continues here: https://buccaneersreef.com/story-day/

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Welcome to Buccaneer’s Reef. Like Fiddler’s Green this is a place for the discarded and forgotten. A place for wretches, heroes and historians. This is a site dedicated to those who want to know the rest of the story concerning Pirates, Privateers, and the great Golden Age of Sail and Piracy that occurred previous to the to over-popular and over-glamorized 18th/19th century version of history that we are inundated with in the media and popular culture.

As such we focus on classic movies, books, and especially video games – which these days could quite possibly be described as the greatest and most realistic escape available to those that would like to transport themselves into an immersive experience in an earlier time.

This is no kiddie site but young ones that have an attention span beyond five minutes and desire to learn about REAL history are very welcome here.

Why the Golden Age you ask…. Historically speaking it is the philosophy of Buccaneer’s Reef that the 17th century was a much more historically rich period than the later 18th/19th centuries. It is the time of great change, scientific development, philosophy and thinkers like Bacon, Descarte, Pascal, Milton, Hobbes, Grotius, Spinoza, Galileo, and Isaac Newton. See this article on the Golden Age to understand where I am coming from: GOLDEN AGE

It is the time of the first venture stock companies and the first global trade struggles. Instead of only a handful of primary players on the world stage as in the 18th century, the 17th century map is full of worthy opponents no matter what faction you may prefer. The conflicts of the 17th century were much more expansive, global, and lasted much longer than the 18th century. The grand sea battles of the Golden Age often saw each side fielding over a hundred large warships as opposed to a couple dozen at the very most in the rare large sea battles of a century later.

Also the 17th century had a dash and flair that is missing a hundred years after. The weapons are much more elegant and decorative, the clothing, art, sculpture and decoration still enjoy the rich style of the high rococo and baroque. The dress is far more flamboyant and swashbuckling. The ships are more rakish, decorative and still in interesting evolutionary development at this time. Whereas the ships we find in the 18th century are far more developed, standardized, flatter, less decorative and frankly less interesting. And last we must mention that the great pirates of Dunkirk and Ostend, the Levant, the Barbary Coast, the Caribbean, Africa and Madagascar were at their Zenith from 1620-1690. This was the time when Piet Heyn seized the entire Spanish treasure fleet – the only man in history to ever do so. This is the time of England’s counter invasion of Spain and Grenville’s famous Revenge held off fifty three Spanish war galleons alone to allow the English vanguard to escape.

It is the time of some of the greatest and most innovative sailing ships ever built: Batavia, Wasa, Kronen, St. Louis, Soliel Royale, The Sovereign of the Seas, HMS Prince, Santa Anna, Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, Hollandia, Eendracht, Brederode, and Zeven Provincien.

Saint Louis X Golden Lion


This is the time of grand fleets when ships of all factions traveled in great convoys – East India fleets, Treasure Fleets, Pirate Fleets and Invasion Fleets – unlike a century later when the philosophy had changed to individual ships being less valuable targets (not to mention that the pirates were pretty much gone by then).

This is the time of the second Spanish Armada. This is the time of the global Anglo-Dutch trade wars. It is the time of Henry Morgan, Laurens DeGraff, and Henry Avery. This is the time of the great French corsairs Duguay-Troin, and Cassard.

This is a time when England far from being the great and virtually unopposed power she was a century after, was defeated utterly by both Holland and France. Holland invaded England and and burned most of the Royal Navy capital ships and dockyards – in view of London itself during the Battle of the Medway. France destroyed the English Navy in detail at the great Battle of Beachy Head. These are disasters that have been largely swept under the rug of history and we here at Buccaneer’s Reef revel in the telling and exploration of these great and neglected historical topics.

In short, if you’re into Pirates, Privateers, Corsairs, and the largest age of sail sea battles in history, then you should be into the Golden Age too. If nothing else this site will serve as a place that offers a great education on this amazing time in world history.

Just so you know….The one thing that we will talk about here more than any other thing is…..sailing ships.

One other thing I should mention is that we will focus our central modding around Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned ships(ERAs mods). This title is still widely available and easily obtainable via hardcopy and download. In addition, when/if a couple of other offerings are completed soon and are modable(Caribbean! for instance) we will focus on those as well. But for the time being our flagship game/mod is GOF ERAs Module 2. The first 5 minutes of the following video of our GOF ERAs mod gameplay, demonstrates everything I talked about on this page.




SHIP OF THE MONTH/QUARTER: The Spanish Galleon 05 August 2017

I have planned on doing a feature on Spanish Galleons for a long time, but wanted to do others first because the Galleon is a commonly known vessel. However, with the advent of Orazio’s beautiful new Spanish Galleon earlier this year, I just had to feature her on our main page.

We actually have a LOT of different Galleons in GOF ERAS2. We actually have 15 specifically different types of galleon models in the game. With three distinctive skins for each one – and in a few cases even more, that’s over 50 different galleons you can encounter and I’m not counting the really big capital ships we have that could also technically classed as galleons.

Orazio’s galleon is by far my favorite. Before it came on the scene I suppose my favorites were the Flemish Galleon, the Heavy Trading Galleon, and The Galleon Legaro, in that order. I also actually really like the Flota Galleon (Apostle Felipe by Pgargon) as well.

So just to give you a little history first on the galleon I will quote from my written explanation and description of the Spanish Galleons that are in the game. and also leave you a link to my FLICKR photo page so that you can take a look at all of the hundreds of images I’ve collected of galleons over the last decade here -> – SPANISH GALLEONS

“This early Spanish Galleon was built between 1550-1600. Her design (Landstrom Madrid Galleon) is considered the earliest existent form of the now world famous archetypal Spanish Galleon. In Landstrom’s work the proto-type model was labeled Santiago de Compostela in tribute to Saint James and Spain’s union and victory over the Moors. This ship has been copied in many different forms, but she is sleeker than many of her later bulkier sisters because of her smaller size and some of the caravel’s lines still present in her evolving architecture. Still being a galleon, she is slow but extremely sturdy and reliable. She possesses a generous hold and is well armed with 50 guns. She is fairly easy to handle with a small crew but can carry several hundred if she must. Her design was so successful that thousands were built over five decades and a few well maintained examples can still be encountered in and around Spanish colonies on Guardia Costa duty and by old merchant captains.”

She was the back-bone and work-horse of the Spanish Navy and merchant marine for centuries. And here we have some lovely images of her in all her glory:

Landstrom Santiago de Compostela Galleon circa 1550-1600

If you would like to see a selection of all my albums click HERE

To see previous Ships of the Month go HERE