Long Island's Great South Bay is one of the oldest protected harbors in North America. It is now home to the "Suburban Navy" of pleasure and fishing craft. In the early mid-17th century, European settlers arrived among the native Meroke tribes. The earliest included British families such as the Smith, Carman and Hewlett families in Merrick and an international horde of Freeport pirates, privateers, freebooters and their ilk, including the legendary Blackbeard and Captain Morgan. While Nassau County's gateway to the Atlantic is still both preyed upon, and protected by, the likes of the 4F Club, its marinas, yacht clubs and backyard piers typically enjoy the peace of prosperity. Today barbecue fires light its beaches and coves, rather than the flickering, guttering ruins of an unfortunate merchant ship put to the torch by pirates.