At sunrise on the morning of July 24, 1715, a large fleet consisting of twelve ships set sail from Havana Harbor to begin the long voyage back to Spain. The convoy was composed of five vessels of the.
Commanded by Captain-General Juan Esteban deUbilla, six ships of the squadron of. Commanded by Captain-General Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza and aFrench frigate named. Commanded by Captain Antoine dAire.
The frigate would have provided addedprotection against British warships and the many marauding pirates that roamedthe seas. Crammed within the holds ofthese heavily laden vessels were 15,000,000 pesos worth of gold, silver andjewels, the riches of the New World and Orient.
King Philip V of Spain eagerly awaited thesafe arrival of the combined fleet, as he desperately needed the treasure theships carried to help boost a faltering Spanish economy. The War of Spanish Succession had left theSpanish Government near bankruptcy, and King Philip had given the officialcommand that as much treasure as possible must be brought back from the Indieswithout regard for the cost or dangers involved.
Unfortunately for the king, the fleet wasdestined to never arrive in Spain. Upon leaving Cuban waters, the ships entered thenarrow Bahama Channel, or what today is more often called the Straits ofFlorida. This was the most dangerouspart of the voyage, for the fleet would have to tack back and forth between theBahamas and the Florida coast to catch the winds and proper currents.Once they had entered the channel, there wasno turning back and no way out until they reached the Carolinas, an averageten-day passage. All seemed well duringthe early part of the voyage as the convoy slowly made its way around CapeFlorida. However, the fleetscommanders were completely unaware that a gathering storm was building in theBahamas a few hundred miles away. Thedoomed ships continued on through the treacherous Florida Straits oblivious tothe danger that lurked just over the horizon.
On July 31, 1715, a savage hurricane sweptacross the Bahama Channel, catching in its path the ill-fated Spanish treasurefleet. He entire fleet was struck bythe full fury of the violent hurricane, roaring out of the east-northeast withwinds in excess of seventy-five miles an hour.
Torrential rain fell in cascading sheets, obscuring the other ships ofthe convoy, so that each vessel some only a few hundred feet apart was nowsailing alone. The fleet was helpless inthe midst of the hurricane.Bysunrise the next morning, eleven vessels, more than 15 million pesos inregistered treasure, and 700 lives (including that of General Ubilla) were lostin one of the worst disasters in maritime history. Of the twelve ships that had sailed fromHavana, only one had escaped. The rest ofthe fleet disintegrated on the jagged coral reefs of Florida between thepresent-day city of Fort Pierce and the Sebastian Inlet. Meanwhile, a fortune in gold, silver andprecious jewelry was left scattered over the beaches and reefs only a fewhundred yards offshore. The destruction of the1715 Fleet was a disaster of catastrophic proportions, not just for the peopledirectly involved, but the loss of the fleet had worldwide political andeconomic ramifications as well.
Thestory is fascinating by itself, but the fact that these vessels wreckeddirectly off the beach (literally a stones throw from shore) and have producedvast quantities of treasure in modern times is equally captivating. Today, over 300 years later, treasure stillcontinues to be found from these wreck sites off the Florida Coast. Equally alluring is the fact that some of theshipwrecks have never been found and are still awaiting discovery. The most intriguing tale concerning the 1715 fleet is the mystery ofthe missing Queens Jewels.
Afterthe death of Queen Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy in 1714, King Philip wasmarried by proxy to the Duchess of Parma, Isabel Farnese. According to popular legend, as part of themarriage agreement, Isabel demanded that she be given jewelry unique in allthe world. Could the Queens dowrystill lie somewhere just offshore beneath the waves and sand? These intriguing componentsof the story only add to the allure.
This book is the much anticipated sequel to the popular book Finding the Fleet: Before the Treasure Coast Became the Treasure Coast. Finding the Fleet II: More True Tales of the Treasure Coast. 1715 Treasure Fleet, La Holandesa, San Miguel de Excelsis. Spiral bound; includes a bibliography; illustrated; limited to 100 numbered copies.
First Edition, Individually Numbered to 100. Finding the Fleet II continues with more of the early tales BEFORE Kip Wagner and Mel Fisher arrived on the scene and found millions in sunken treasure from the ill-fated fleet. Stories like Donald Geddes finding a ballast pile in 1951, Art McKee recovering cannons and silver bars in 1955. It then delves into the contemporary finds including Tim Gifford and Billy Meyer recovering a cannon off Sandy Point as teens in 1962, stories from Pat Corrigan, whose parents owned a large stretch of beach front property and the "Corrigan's Wreck" is named after.
Millions of dollars in gold coins were recovered from Corrigan's during the 300th Anniversary. It also includes contributions by John Brandon, Bob Moran, Jon Wilson, Alex Kuze and others, all of whom have been fortunate enough to find amazing and valuable treasures. Full Color, many beautiful photographs of treasure and featuring the equally magnificient artwork of well-known maritime artist James A. Please note: This is the rare expanded edition that also includes an extra 45 pages of bonus material. The first 20 copies included several extra chapters.
Books 21-100 do not include this extra material as the author condensed the book prior to publication and saved that material for a future book. Beautifully ilustrated in full-color with treasure photographs, and much information. Seldom offered for sale and when it is often commands a premium. Please take advantage of this opportunity.The item "FINDING THE FLEET II 1715 Treasure Galleons, Florida Gold Silver RARE signed" is in sale since Sunday, June 9, 2019. This item is in the category "Books\Antiquarian & Collectible". The seller is "bellebrady_12" and is located in New Iberia, Louisiana.
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