On the Thirteenth of July 1733, a Friday, the New Spain Fleet left Havana, Cuba, on its return voyage to Spain. Sensing a change in the winds as the flota approached the Florida Keys, Lieutenant-General Rodrigo de Torres instructed the envoy to turn back towards Havana, seeking refuge from an oncoming storm by sailing as close to the winds as possible. The New Spain Fleet (Nueva Espana) was comprised of sixteen merchant naos (Portuguese small ships), three armed navios, and two smaller ships carrying supplies to El Presidio de St. Augustine. By nightfall on the Fifteenth of July, most of the ships were caught in the dangerous winds and driven Westward. They were sunk and scattered along 80 miles of reef lining the Florida Keys. Only four ships made the voyage safely back to the Port of Havana.
Fun Fact: The late and great Art McKee was an intrepid explorer of the Matecumbe Keys, having recovered millions of dollars of salvaged treasure, including the 1733 La Capitana shipwreck in the late 1930’s. He was also appointed Florida state’s first acting underwater archaeologist.
Denomination: 8 Reales Reign: Philip V Mint: Mexico Date: Fully dated 1733 Assayer: "F" Felipe Rivas de Angulo, 1731-1733 (Assayer...View full product details