It’s hard to call the recovery of a single silver coin a significant find unless the location of the recovery ties back to the archival information that leads to the missing portion of the Santa Margarita. That is what we believe has happened this week, and all of us at MRR are very excited about it.
Diver Rob Hill discovers a valuable clue in MRR's hunt for the missing section of the Santa Margarita.
The crew of the Sea Reaper had been conducting excavations in an effort to locate a scatter of shipwreck material that would lead to the second area, which the early Spanish salvors discovered and wrote about in letters from 1622 to 1642. While conducting these excavations, Rob Hill and Josh Fisher Abt were surveying the bottom with underwater metal detectors. Josh located a large ballast stone, while Rob got a strong signal on his unit and began hand fanning. As the silver coin uncovered, the excitement began to build. When Rob and Josh surfaced and showed the recovered silver coin to Dan Porter and the rest of the crew, the excitement went through the roof. A piece of treasure had been found a relevant distance from the Main Pile area of the Santa Margarita, and better yet it was found to the West North West—the same direction in which the Spanish stated the second area was located in the early 1600s.
Captain Dan Porter examines the silver coin just after its recovery.
To be clear, what we have done on this trip is add another important plot to our AutoCAD chart. Combined with over 6,000 other existing plots and site data on the chart, the location of this silver coin allows for new site assessments that could lead closer to our 2017 objective of finding the missing section of the Santa Margarita. The MRR crew will be on-site continuing the search as soon as the weather permits.