Diving the 1715 Fleet on the Carib.
Recently my son Kevin Littleton and I Marc Littleton had the opportunity to dive with the crew of the Carib. Capt. Bill Black & Capt. Kym Farrell they took us out to a secret location south of the Sabastian inlet and north of Fort Peirce for a day of treasure hunting on the famous 1715 fleet. This is the location where it all started with Kip Wagner. Kip started treasure hunting back in the 1950’s after a hurricane with a $15.00 Army surplus metal detector. In July of 1715 there were twelve Galleons laden with jewels, gold, silver and other treasures leaving Havana Cuba harbor heading to Spain to support the war efforts back home. This cargo was desperately need as was the promised Queens Jewels. More than 250 years later, Kip Wagner teamed up with Mel Fisher, put together a salvage crew and began to work on these wrecks. They successfully located at least two of these wrecks and Mel’s team continued to work them through 1970. Mel brought part of his team back to the 1715 Fleet area and renewed salvage efforts, making a 20% "donation" to the State of Florida each year for its museums. Recoveries have continually been made, however, the elusive Queen’s jewels as well as over a million pesos of registered cargo, and surely a large amount of unregistered contraband have continued to elude us. For 302 years this year people have been salvaging treasure from the wrecked 1715 fleet along Florida’s coast, with no end in sight. The ships wrecked near modern day Vero Beach, Florida. Starting near Sebastian Inlet and going south to Fort Pierce, Florida they are called the:
The Cabin Wreck (believe to be the Nuestra de la Regala)
Corrigan’s Wreck (believed to be the Santo Cristode San Roman)
Rio Mar Wreck (believed to be the Nuestra Senora del Carmen)
La Holandesa Wreck (believed to be the Nuestra Senora de La Popa)
Sandy Point Wreck (believed to be the Nuestra Senora del Rosario)
Wedge Wreck (this is the Urca De Lima or Santisima Trinidad)
Colored Beach Wreck, Gold Wreck, or Douglas Beach Wreck (believed to be the Nuestra Senora de las Nieves, which is south of Fort Pierce Inlet)
The missing ships of the 1715 fleet are: the Maria Galante, El Senor San Miguel, El Cievro (Also known as La Galleria) and the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion. So, out of twelve Spanish Galleons in the 1715 fleet seven have been found and there are four still waiting to be found and one made it back to spain.
As Kevin & I went diving in the shallow water with 2-4 foot visibility with a metal detector in hand and I have to say it's hard not to think about the term that we hear on the Carib “Today is our day!” While today we did not find the Queens Jewels today we found another type of treasure that will last us a lifetime of friendship and camaraderie with the captains and crew of the Carib and two friendly manatee that would not tell us where the elusive treasure was located. We look forward to diving with them again this season so that “Today is our day!”
You can join us at one of our Sunken Treasure Workshops with the world famous Capt. Carl Fismer & Capt. Bradley Williamson. www.scubawize.com