Tuesday, January 12, 2016

1/12/16 Report - Great Resource for Shipwreck Research. Not 1715 Fleet Treasure Coast Shipwrecks.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Recovered Artifact Shown in Borgens Thesis
See link below.
If you know anything about the Treasure Coast, you probably know something about the 1715 Fleet. Most of our treasure wrecks came from that fleet, but there are other important wrecks along the Treasure Coast that you should know about.   Some are older than the 1715 Fleet and some are more recent.

Among the more recent is the Spring of Whitby, which probably sank near Wabasso in 1824.  The Spring of Whitby is not as well known as the 1715 Fleet, partly because it has not been as thoroughly researched.  It was identified in 1965 when a bronze bell bearing the date 1801 and the name Spring of Whitby was recovered.  The Spring of Whitby maintains a shroud of mystery.  The evidence and research concerning her does not fit neatly together.

One of the older Treasure Coast wrecks is the Power Plant wreck, which is believed to have sunk in the late 1500s.  Relatively little is known about that wreck.

Another older wreck is the wreck of the San Miguel Archangel, which sank in 1660 near the Jupiter Inlet.  Spanish cobs were routinely found by detectorists along the beach near the wreck site for years before the main pile was found by a lifeguard on his morning swim.  On that fateful morning he noticed a recently exposed cannon.

I often encountered a detectorist named Dave, who filled jars with cobs that seemed to wash out of the dunes near the Jupiter Inlet.  That was back in the eighties before the cannon was found and salvage efforts began on that wreck site.  I don't know what happened to Dave.

There are other wrecks than the 1715 Fleet along the Treasure Coast and some have not been identified.  Some are older and some more recent.  Of course not all of them are treasure ships, but they can still produce some interesting artifacts.

It can be difficult to tell how old an artifact might be and what type of wreck produced it.  There are times when artifacts from different wrecks intermingle, and that can make it more difficult.  There are sometimes subtle signs to help you tell one from the other, but you have to do your homework.

Below is a link to a very useful paper entitled, Analysis of the Pass Cavallo Shipwreck Assemblage, Matagorda Bay, Texas.  It is a master's thesis by Amy Borgens.

You will find a lot of good information and drawings of artifacts, including a lot on armaments. There is also a great bibliography at the end that will give you much more research material.

Here is the link.


It is 294 pages.  Here are the first two paragraphs from the abstract tp give you the idea.

A survey conducted in February of 1998 located an anomaly originally believed to be the remains of L’Aimable. L’Aimable was one of four ships utilized by ReneRobert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, for his voyage to colonize the Gulf Coast in 1684. The anomaly, a wrecked vessel with a heavy iron signature, was located outside the entrance to the historic pass into Matagorda Bay, Texas. Artifacts were extracted from the wreck site to aid in the identification of the vessel, which was subsequently determined to be more recent in origin. 

A preliminary examination of the artifacts indicates that the shipwreck dates to the first half of the 19th century. The survey recovered over two hundred artifacts. The assemblage of artifacts includes over 80 lead shot, over 40 examples of brass firearm furniture, over 15 firearm fragments, several pieces of copper sheathing, and iron bar stock. Almost two-thirds of the material is associated with small arms. The majority of the identifiable firearms are military arms of three patterns: the British Short Land Pattern, the British India Pattern, and the Model 1757 Spanish musket. 

Good reading.


Today we'll have a 4 - 6 foot surf on the Treasure Coast and north winds.  After today the surf is supposed to decrease for several days.

Happy hunting,