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Lars Hemel
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PADI 471740
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Diving at several Spanish Galleons that wrecked in 1733 by a hurricane

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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In the year 1733 Spain decided to send a large fleet of Spanish Galleons to collect treasures and other cargo goods from Havana. On their way back to Spain a hurricane caused more than 20 ships to be wrecked on the Florida Keys losing all its cargo of timber, ballast stones and silver pesos. Almost the entire fleet named the Silver Plate Fleet or Treasure Fleet sank on July 15, 1733. Spanish explorers and pirates soon tried to get hold on the treasures. In the 50s professional American treasure hunters found many treasures and even today, especially after a huge storm, it is not uncommon to find silver pesos, pottery and other small artefacts. Some of the better known ships are El Capitan, San Jose, Tres Puentes and El Infante, but because of its age and the fact that most of it was wood not much resembles anymore to those once impressive ships. They are all located just south of Little Conch Reef and north of Davis Reef and Crocker Reef.

Several dive shops are specialized in these wrecks and offer tours to them in which you are familiarized with underwater geology, archaeology and history. Students come here to study the art of investigating remains of extremely old vessels. Dive boats encourage divers to investigate the ocean floor for coins, so bring some kind of rigid board to do it well.

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