Monday, April 21, 2014

4/21/14 Report - Beach Conditions This Afternoon, Two Found Rings, Identifying a Spanish Shipwreck and Spanish Colonial Shards

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach Just After High Tide.
The surf increased some today and the wind was coming out of the North.  As a result I wanted to get out and take a look at what was going on the beach before I finished this post. 

I did take a look just after high tide this afternoon, and despite the wind direction and increase in surf, the swells were not coming in at much of an angle, and most importantly, it was not removing any sand.  In fact, as you can see from the photos, there was a lot of seaweed on the beach - usually a bad sign.

I took a look at four different beaches and they all looked pretty much alike.  There might be some slight erosion out there somewhere, but I didn't find it this afternoon.

Everything I saw looked poor.   Not even any shell piles to look through.

Here is a quick video showing the beach and wave action.  It was just after high tide.

Most of what follows was posted earlier today before I got out to the beach.

The local Channel 5 News gave a news story about a ring that was lost at the beach and then found and returned two years after it was lost.  Instead of this ring being found and returned by a detectorist, this ring was eye-balled by a lady at the beach.  I think the unusual engraving inside the band is one thing that helped this ring get returned after it was posted on facebook.

Here is the link.

An Easter miracle story of a wedding band lost and found one year later.


It can be difficult to find the identity of a shipwreck, especially a wreck that is hundreds of years old.  We know the names of the Margarita and Atocha.  Those are two very famous wrecks from the 1622 Tierra Firma Fleet, but there were other smaller ships in that fleet that were not as valuable and not carrying the Crown's property and so weren't as well documented.   It could be especially confusing because a ship was often referred to by different names or referred to by the name of the owner or captain.   Multiple vessels also carried the same name.   All of that can make it very confusing and can make it very difficult to identify a particular wreck.

Below is a link to an article found on the Odyssey Marine web site which shows how they attempted to identify the wreck of a small navio from the Tierra Firme fleet that was lost off the Florida Keys on the 5th of September in 1622.  This paper has a lot of good reading for anyone interested in the shipwrecks of the Keys.  Many shipwrecks are discussed.   Here is one little sample from the paper.

The Rosario was subsequently located by a salvage operation on 24 September 1622 “grounded on one of the keys”.  All the crew and passengers were saved and the wooden structure above the waterline burned to expose the treasure within the hull, resulting in the recovery of all the silver and 20 pieces of artillery (AGI Santo Domingo 132; Lyon, 1989). Following the salvage of equipment valued at more than 6,000 or 7,000 ducats, another report confirmed that Vargas “began the operation of salvaging the silver, first setting fire to the galleon, to burn it down to water-level.  In this way he recovered all the treasure, artillery, and copper which she carried and brought it all back... 

Here is the link.

Not long ago we had some good samples of beach shards.   Here is a good article on Spanish colonial shipwreck pottery and ceramics.

The surf on the Treasure Coast should be a touch higher this evening and still coming out of the North.  At least that is what the surfing web sites are predicting.

I've been doing some study on some other stuff that I might have ready for you tomorrow or some other day.

That's all for today.

Happy hunting,