Sunken Treasure Workshop June 2021
Wow 2020 sure threw everyone a curve ball and because of Covid we were shut down for the year. Well when we published that we were going to have a June 2021 workshop it sold out fast. Our goal is to keep our Sunken Treasure Workshops small with not many more then 8 students this way our students can get the most out of our classes and get the attention they need. I was very concerned the workshop with 15 students would be too much. Wow, was I wrong. We had the best bunch of people from all over the country join us and they had the best time ever!
Capt. Slates Dive Adventures was our host for our Afternoon Dives on two 1733 Spanish Galleons.
El Infante: The armed galleon Nuestra Señora de Balvaneda, called El Infante (the infant), was built in Genoa in 1724 and was purchased by King Philip V of Spain. With an estimated capacity of 400 tons, Infante was one of the largest ships in the 1733 fleet and carried up to 60 cannons. Reinforced with sacrificial planking to forestall voracious ship worms that attacked all wooden ships in the tropics, she sometimes is referred to as the refuerzo in documents. Don Domingo de Lanz was her captain for the voyage. At Vera Cruz Infante loaded brazilwood, cochineal, Guadelajara ware, Chinese porcelain, leather hides, indigo, vanilla, and citrus, as well as 186 boxes of silver coins for the King.
San José: The New England-built 326-ton ship named Saint Joseph was constructed in 1728, but shortly afterward was purchased by Joseph del Duque, who renamed her San José y Las Animas and put her into service in the Spanish plate fleet joining Rodrigo de Torres's flota at the Bay of Cádiz in August 1732. Captained by Cristóbal Fernandez Franco, she was given the nicknames San José and El Duque. Carrying a cargo of porcelain, silver coins, and other goods, the ship sailed from Havana in the vanguard of the fleet near Capitana. When the hurricane drove the ships shoreward, San José cleared the reefs only to run aground off Cayo Tavanos (Tavernier Key) in the sand flats that stretch toward Hawk Channel. Her hull quickly flooded to the poopdeck, where crew, soldiers, and passengers sought refuge from the storm.
Capt. Fizz, Capt. Brad and Divemaster Marc all had a great time sharing the history of treasure hunting and how we do it today on the boat they own the Pandion. After the morning session learning all about the in and outs of treasure hunting, asking questions and getting excited for the afternoon dive we headed to Capt. Slates to meet up on the "Lost Continent" (one of Capt. Slate's many boats)
This was a dream come true for most of our students. There are not many people in this world that can say they had the chance to visit a 1733 Sunken Spanish Galleon. Here are some of the photos we took in class and on the boat at our classroom on the sea. Just look how happy everyone is, but I will tell you everyone went home very tired at the end of our workshop.
Special Thanks to all of our Students you did a outstanding job! What a fun day we had!
SCUBA WIZE was honored that Matthew P. completed his 100th dive with us here in the Keys!