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Sea Reaper Returns to the Santa Margarita

After returning from a successful summer season on the 1715 sites on Florida’s Treasure Coast, the Sea Reaper has resumed work on the wreck site of the Santa Margarita under contract with Motivation, Inc. The Sea Reaper has just completed an eleven-day trip to the Margarita site that produced 213 excavations and 40 recovered artifacts.

MRR crew and divers on the dive ladder.

Captain Josh Fisher and crew focused on the northern section of the wreck, working between three known galleon anchors that were found in the past, along with an anchor ring and shank. Divers recovered encrusted objects in the area, two of which appear to be fragments of a barrel hoop, and one that could possibly be ships rigging. Finding new material to the north could expand the collective knowledge of the site and the events surrounding the wreckage. Motivation, Inc.’s conservator, John Corcoran, will identify the artifacts and find out what clues they may hold.

Margarita artifacts being checked into the conservation facility.

Another recovery made was half of a ceramic bowl. When divers brought the artifact to the surface, Josh recognized it as possibly the missing half to a ceramic bowl sherd found last year. After conducting research in MRR’s artifact database, documentation photos of the prior recovery were located and compared to the new recovery, showing that the two pieces appear to be a close match.

Two similar artifacts are compared. The ceramic bowl sherd in the top photo was recovered last year, while the second piece in the bottom photo

was recovered this month from the Santa Margarita site.

This is the reason MRR has built a working artifact recovery database on all shipwrecks worked by our teams. Although this is not a definitive example for the reason that ceramic artifacts are lightweight and can be influenced by the dynamic environment of shallow water sites such as the Margarita, the locational data of the two recoveries still suggest an approximate line of scatter that may have taken place during the chaotic sinking.

The Sea Reaper is fueled up and standing by for the next weather window to head back out to the Margarita site. Stay tuned as the work continues.

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