The Armada de Barlovento
The Armada de Barlovento (Windward Fleet) was created in 1635, although the need to establish a permanent fleet for the surveillance of the Caribbean Sea with headquarters in the port of Veracruz had been evident since the middle of the previous century. Over the years, this Armada was also based in other ports, such as Cartagena de Indias, Santo Domingo, Havana or San Juan de Puerto Rico.
The Windward Fleet was an irregular naval force: at times it consisted of only two ships and at other times it had as many as a dozen ships.
Due to the increase in piracy and privateering, this small navy became insufficient to protect such a large territory, a task they had to combine with the transportation of riches, the transfer of troops and prisoners, and the escort of the New Spain Fleet.