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Ship type



A storm


Juan Menéndez de Avilés

Port of departure

Havana (CUB)



In June 1563, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés ordered his son to go to Veracruz to gather the ships of the Nueva España Fleet and bring them to Spain.

This ship was heavily laden, for in a letter written in Seville on August 9, 1565, the merchants complained that they had lost more than a million pesos.

In 1592, Pedro de Arana, Treasury accountant of the island of Cuba, sent a letter to the Council of the Indies that reads as follows:

Sir, Pedro de Arana, the king’s accountant (…) has made a request to the Council, in which he says he has news of a certain treasure of great value in an island near Hispaniola, and he offers to go find it and take control over it, and having tasked Doctor Pedro Gutierrez with the mission of understanding the essence of this business and its arrangements (…) some forty years ago, when two ships which came back from the Indies were hit by a storm in the Bahamas Channel and the islands to the north of the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba and lost their way and arrived in some islands where the people went ashore, where they built a frigate from what they could salvage from the lost ships. And they recovered the money, which was put inside a circle made with stones and divided in two halves, each half containing what was saved from each ship. Then everyone that could fit in the frigate boarded the vessel, which was lost in the search for the island of Cuba, everyone drowned except for a sailor and a black woman, who gave us notice, giving some people the opportunity to go in search of the treasure, but because the island was very small, we were unable to find it. Said accountant says that he has got someone who can take him to the island (…).

Madrid, May 7, 1594