Monday, December 19, 2016

12/19/16 Report - First Hand Reports on Wrecking of the 1715 Fleet. History of Metal Detectors.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of the

Talking of the wreck of the 1715 Fleet, here is what the Escribania de Camara said in a letter sent to Seville about the wreck (translated, of course).

We all grounded upon the coast from midnight of the 30th at 10AM of the 31st of July. Most of the ships were divided into sections upon grounding. Mine was the only exception and it remained intact throughout the storm. It was only after 30 days after grounding that the hull was destroyed by fire in order to try and take advantage of salvaging what lay below the decks in the main hold.”

Could you imagine wrecking and scrambling for your life on a deserted beach in the middle of the night.  I don't know if you've ever been on one of the beaches like Douglas Beach at night, but it can be very dark.  I imagine there were clouds so if there was a moon, it might not provide much of any light.  You might not be able to see the wreckage scattered about, but you could hear the waves crashing.  And if you've ever been on the beach during a strong storm, you know how the palm trees and other flotsam can be a real danger as it trashes about in the waves.  I imagine that people died from that.

Supplies for survival would have been the first priority after getting safely to shore.  Fortunately, some of that would have been salvagable, being light or in containers that could float.

Decks that survived would have been an obstacle to recovering treasure underneath.  It seems to me that very little treasure would have been salvaged without sinking first.  Perhaps a few pockets or bags of personal property, but I think even little of that.

De Camara goes on to say, “All of the main ships were broken in pieces and wrecked at a distance from one another of 15 or 16 leagues. The only one which remained intact was the Refuerzo of Lima, under the command of Rafael de Eliza, on which I was sailing, although later it gradually filled with water so that the greater part of its cargo in the hold was lost and we set fire to the hull…”

About a month after the wrecking, Don Miguel de Lima y Melo wrote, “… All of the ships, with the exception of mine, broke to pieces. My ship stayed intact for 30 days after this disaster until we recovered part of the cargo and then burned the ship... 

All of the cargos of the other ships were all lost, less a few leather bags off my ship, but this was little because by the day following the disaster the hold of my ship was completely full of water with over a codo and a half (27 inches) over the main hatchway. This was caused because we were unable to cut the rigging on the leeward side of the ship to dislodge the foremast. By the movements of the sea, caused by the mast still being erect, the bottom part of the ship opened and if this hadn’t happened I would have been able to recover all of the cargo on my ship."

You can read more about that along with the draft manifests by using the following link.


Darrel S. sent in the following brief history of metal detectors.

Electromagnetism by Joseph Henry USA and Michael Faraday ENGLAND in 1833.

1877 Alexander Graham Bell passed a coin across 2 coils on telephone noticed silence broke.

July 2 1881 Pres. Garfield shot. Bell attempted to find the bullet with his newly found discovery. Garfield died Sept. 19, 1881. Later Bell noticed the springs in the mattress interfered with the 2 coils.

Supposedly, detectors were used in WW1, but the first actual metal detector was invented by Gerhard Fisher in 1929 known as the M-Scope or Metallascope. It weighed 22 lbs and cost $200.

Thanks Darrel.


I watched football and did Christmas things yesterday.    Christmas will be here soon.

The surf this week will be in the 2 - 4 foot range until the weekend when it is supposed to bump up to 4 - 6 feet.

Happy hunting,