Ben Cortez, AKA Don Juan Cortez, Captain Kidd, and Blackbeard, is a historical re-enactor from Santa Clara, CA. He spent 20 years in the Seattle area where he was an active member of The Seattle Seafair Pirates and served as Captain Kidd in 1999-2000, the year of their 50th Golden Anniversary.
During his 14 years with the Seafair Pirates, he sailed the western waters of Seattle and Oregon to Mazatlan Mexico, British Columbia Canada, Taiwan, and The Cayman Islands.
In 2006 Ben relocated to the waters of the Atlantic making Virginia Beach his new port of call. He was pressed into service with Blackbeard’s Crew of Hampton, VA and became a member of the Colonial Seaport Foundation. Teaching living history, during the Golden Age of Piracy 1680 – 1730, he has been ship’s carpenter, taught seamanship, and navigation, conducted Scallywag School and portrayed many characters, even BlackBeard himself!
Ben has also served as a gunner aboard The Meka II, under the sail of Captain Sinbad, of Beaufort, NC.
In 2011 Ben and his wife Susan, aka Hatchetmeg, sailed on to Carolina Beach, NC, where he is currently the tour guide for Pirates on the Cape Fear. He is also teaching Pirate School for Kids.
From Philadelphia to Charleston and all ports in between and even in New Orleans, It’s a pirates life for him!