1718, Vane set fire to one of his recent French prize sloops
and set sail and took a few shots at the entering man-of-wars
as he slipped by them. Vane and his crew were reported to
be the only pirates in New Providence that did not accept
the pardon at Woodes' arrival. Soon after, Woodes sent the
former pirate Captain Benjamin Hornigold to track down Vane,
but Vane was able to loose his pursuer.
couple of days after his flight, Vane captured a sloop which
he kept as a consort and sent Yeats aboard to command. In
late August/early September, Vane and his consort were operating
off the Carolina coast, and somewhat similar to what Blackbeard
did a few months earlier, he attacked shipping entering and
leaving Charleston. One of the several ships plundered was
a large brigantine from Africa carrying 90 blacks. Outraged
by the recent string of pirate attacks outside Charleston,
the Governor and Council of South Carolina planned to rid
the menacing pirates, in particular Vane, and commissioned
two armed sloops led by Colonel William Rhett to find him.
By this time, Vane was successful in plundering many vessels,
and Captain Yeats commanding Vane's sloop consort also felt
he was becoming a successful pirate. Vane considered his consort
and its captain as a subordinate and tender to him and his
larger brigantine and made that point clear to the consort.
A few days after the capture of the African vessel, Yeats,
wanting to finally captain by himself, set sail with "his"
sloop while the two ships were at anchor at night. With him
were an accompanying crew of about 15 and some of Vane's plunder,
including the recently captured blacks.
off Ocracoke Island, North Carolina in September 1718, Vane
met up with the fellow pirate Blackbeard and the pirate ships
saluted one another and the two pirate crews proceeded to
spend a week together in a typical pirate party. After departing
company, Vane continued his plundering successes and hoped
to meet with Yeats again, but instead plundered a few more
vessels from Charleston. Colonel Rhett soon afterwards met
up with the plundered vessels and was informed by some of
the crew that were captured while in company with the pirates
that they overheard their guardians say they were planning
to sail south. This was just a deception on Vane's part, for
he gave orders to his crew to give contrary statements for
the other crew to overhear in case such a predicament as this
came up. His plan worked, for Rhett sailed south while Vane
actually sailed north. In doing so, Rhett was unsuccessful
in locating Vane, but unexpectedly discovered and captured
another pirate, Major Stede Bonnet instead.
November 23, Vane encountered a vessel in the Windward Passage
and expected little resistance when they rose their pirate
flag. But instead, the vessel retaliated with a broadside
and it was discovered to be a French man-of-war. At this knowledge,
Vane decided to flee the scene and not pursue the fight any
longer. Most of the crew felt differently on this matter,
but at the time of battle the captain had extreme command.
However, the next day after their escape, the crew confronted
Vane and stated he was a coward. The crew elected the quarter
master, Calico Jack as the new captain of the brigantine and
Vane and his fellow supporters were set off on a small sloop.
the following months, Vane and his new crew started from scratch
again quite successfully by plundering several vessels. In
February, Vane's sloop was wrecked on an uninhabited island
in the Bay of Honduras during a fierce storm where most of
the crew drowned, but Vane managed to survive but found himself
marooned. Local turtle fishermen who came on canoes helped
him survive a day at a time. Finally, a ship arrived but unfortunately
for Vane it was commanded by an old acquaintance and former
buccaneer Captain Holford. Holford would not rescue Vane from
the island stating, "Charles, I shan't trust you aboard
my ship, unless I carry you a prisoner; for I shall have you
caballing with my men, knock me on the head and run away with
my ship a pirating." And with that, Holford sailed away
leaving Vane alone again.