The Treasure Seekers
Forty years have passed since diving began on the legendary 1715 fleet, which sank off our shores three centuries ago. Yet divers believe there is enough treasure down there to keep them busy for another 50 years.
In 1715, King Philip V of Spain found himself confronted by an extraordinary and delicate dilemma. His new bride, the beautiful Elizabeth, Duchess of Palma, had made it clear she had no intention of consummating their marriage until she received the magnificent chest of gold and jewelry the king had promised her as a wedding gift.
Philip's problem was that the chest was still aboard a galleon in Havana harbor, 3,000 miles away. Normally to spanish treasure fleets made the precarious trip from the New World to the Old each year. But a war between Spain and England had made it too dangerous for the cumbersome galleons to venture into the Atlantic, and Philip also needed the vast treasure trove to pay off the enormous cost of his war against England.
Read the entire article in the September 2001 issue