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First Trip of 2017!

Following the New Year celebrations, MRR took advantage of a good weather window and the Sea Reaper headed for the site of the Santa Margarita. This time of year, there are occasional short breaks in the weather between cold fronts. This happened last week and within four hours of notice, the team was on the way to the site. Dan Porter and the dedicated crew of the Sea Reaper began executing the 2017 Santa Margarita Operational Plan to search for the missing section of the Margarita. MRR enjoys the opportunity to work under contract for Motivation, Inc., the permit holder of the Santa Margarita.

Rob Hill and Levin Shavers recover pottery, a sword blade fragment and an encrusted object that will be identified at the Motivation, Inc. laboratory.

Based on archival research, it is clear that early Spanish salvors found a second section of the Margarita to the west of the main pile. The western area was in deep sand which made it difficult for the early salvors to reach. MRR’s primary focus in 2017 will be attempting to locate this area, and the team is already putting in long hours and hard work. While conducting over 100 excavations to the west of the known wreck scatter on this trip, very few artifacts were recovered. Sometimes this is what it takes to locate new areas of material—the data of where there is not material is also an important clue on the chart.

On the last day of the trip, the crew set up excavations close to the main scatter of the known site and continued working until the last possible minute as the next cold front rolled in and the Sea Reaper had to leave the site. Total recoveries for this trip include 31 pieces of pottery, 3 encrusted objects to be identified at the Motivation, Inc. lab, 2 sword blade fragments, and 6 pieces of lead sheathing from the hull of the Margarita. The crew are all anxiously awaiting the next break in the weather so we can continue the search.

Crew kept a close watch on the approaching front and continued to work until the last possible minute. The Sea Reaper left site when the front arrived.

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