Reijgersdaal 1747

In order to reach Indonesia, the Reijgersdaal had to round southern Africa. After several months at sea, she reached Dassen Island on the west coast of Africa in October 1747. She lost 125 men to scurvy en route. Unable to anchor because of bad weather, a boat was lowered so that fresh food could be retrieved from the island. The Reijgersdaal was finally able to anchor on the north side of Robben Island in Table Bay, and remained there until the next day because much of the surviving crew had scurvy. A strong wind prevented the ship from reaching anchorage in Table Bay, so it was decided to weigh anchor and try to return to Dassen Island, but the ship struck a reef during the attempt. About 15 men climbed into a boat to try to take a line ashore, but the ship was destroyed before they reached the shore. The entire crew that remained on board perished in the wreck. 

The Hollandia 1743

On 3 July 1743, the Hollandia set off on her maiden voyage from Texel in the Netherlands. She sank on 13 July 1743. It is known from correspondence that she was blown off course and ended up northwest of the Isles of Scilly near England. A statement in the “Survey of the Ancient and Present State of the Scilly Isles” (Sherbourne 1794) says she struck upon Gunner Rock and sank in about 22 fathoms (approximately 130 feet) depth of water. Guns were fired as a distress signal and many bodies were later found floating or on the shores of St. Mary’s and other islands. There were no survivors.


Mel King, President of Big Blue Wreck Salvage, is a maritime historian and one of the country's leading experts in Spanish Colonial numismatics. Our special thanks go to Agustin Garcia-Barneche for his brilliant research, which we consulted during the preparation of this episode. His book is called THE "TUMBAGA" SAGA: Treasure of The Conquistadors.

Shark Encounter

A friend of ours in the Bahamas had a close brush with a large reef shark recently. As you can see from the photos, the shark was not too pleased with his vessel.

He came upon some divers who were being monitored pretty closely by a shark, so he decided to try and drive it away. He circled around the area, expecting that the noise of his engine would encourage the shark to move out of the area.