View Full Version : Armada Wrecks

Allan Carr
20-03-2014, 10:11 AM
On the BBC Website


I dived with Colin Martin when we found HMS Dartmouth back in 1973. He was the archaeologist who was supervising the excavation of the wreck which was only the second to be scheduled under The 1973 Protection of Wrecks Act.

Apart from being very knowledgeable about Armada wrecks, Colin is a real character. When they were excavating the wreck of La Trinidad Valencera in Derry back back in the early 70's (at the height of 'The Troubles'), Colin and his sidekick, Tony, were stopped by an army patrol. When asked what they had in the back of their van, he relied 'ammunition'. There was any immediate jump to alert by the army patrol and then Colin pulled back the tarpaulin to reveal - cannonballs! It just so happened that the patrol was from the Royal Artillery and one one the soldiers was really familiar with cannon and was able to point out which ones were for a culverin, saker and demi-saker (different types of cannon for those unfamiliar with artillery of that age).

doggy's doodah
20-03-2014, 01:25 PM
Allan, you might want to carry out some research on our village, where another Spanish Armada was lost during a huge storm.

This monument is a tribute to one of Spain’s greatest naval tragedies; to the sailors that lost their lives in this very bay. It was a tragic shipwreck that the Spanish Armada suffered the 19th of October 1562. It took place during the reign of Felipe II when the aim was to stop Turkish expansion along the Mediterranean and specifically the Spanish coast. The story goes, that on the 18th of October, under the command of Don Juan de Mendoza, 28 galleys (ships) set sail along the coast of Spain. The ships departed from the port of Malaga full of supplies and with the wives and families of the soldiers on board.

A strong storm took the fleet by surprise so they decided to hide out in La Herradura Bay for cover. In the morning the storm returned again unexpectedly, keeping the fleet trapped within the bay. The ships crashed into each other wildly which ended with the sinking of 25 of the 28 galleys. Five thousand (5000) people lost their lives that day.

The remains of the shipwreck lie somewhere beneath the waters nearby, still waiting to be found.

I live nearby, still dive, have accomodation and can make a decent bacon butty........

Allan Carr
20-03-2014, 06:27 PM
It's really fascinating researching really old wrecks. Most people don't realise just how much information there is available. In the Case of HMS Dartmouth, which sank on October 9th 1690, the letters from the captain (Edwin Pottinger) to the Admiralty are still available in the Admiralty archives and were key to unravelling the story of how she came to sink. One really interesting document came from King's College Library in Cambridge. This was called 'Ye Victualling of Ye Majesty's Ships of Warre'. This used the Dartmouth as an example of a fifth rate frigate and was the complete manifest of everything that she carried, including nine tuns of ale (a tun is the origin of the weight of a ton). She had a crew of 130 and the allowance was eight pints per man per day!

I've loads more information on the wreck if anyone is interested.