​​Amelia Research & Recovery, LLC


The wreck site of the Margarita has a similar pattern or dispersal as the Atocha, but is different in an important fundamental aspect.  Whereas the Atocha broke apart as the result of a second hurricane, which struck the area 2 1/2 weeks after the initial storm, the Margarita​'s destruction appears to be the result of the first storm. 

During a 1982 magnetometer survey in the Hawks Channel, close to where the primary cultural deposit of the Atocha was subsequently found in 1985, three galleon anchors were located.  These anchors were set in the sand, and had full wooden stocks.  The location of these anchors indicated they were part of the Atoc's wreckage.  We know today that this is not the case.  The 11 degree bearing of the three anchors as they were set in 1622, in the failed attempt to keep the Margarita from the shallows, leads directly to the section of the Margarita​ found by Mel Fisher's team more than a mile north of the location of the three anchors.

the water decreases abruptly from 40+ feet to less than 20 feet, and quickly thereafter to 15 feet.  The sharp rises in the bottom contour are of great interest in the ongoing investigation of the Margarita​ wreck site.

when compared to the Atocha's scatter.  The bathymetry in both areas is very similar.  While the Atocha struck the reef and sank in Hawks Channel, the Margarita's crew attempted to deploy anchors in the Channel to keep from going north into the shallows.  After the anchor lines parted, and the Margarita headed toward the shallows, the depth of 

It is believed the 11 degree line represents the initial or primary scatter of the Margarita wreck site.  The secondary scatter of the Margarita wreckage appears to run to the northwest on much the same track as the Atocha's secondary scatter, from her primary cultural deposit into the Quicksand's area.  Much can be interpreted from the known areas of the Margarita​ scatter

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santa margarita wreck site research and exploration


The Margarita, like her sister ship in the fleet, the Atocha, carried a homogenous collection of the 17th century Spanish colonial material.  Mel Fisher companies have conducted historical and archival research, and on-site exploration, since the Margarita wreck site was first discovered in 1980, and the Atocha wreck site was first discovered in 1985.  Working with various contractors through the years, the research and exploration  has been overseen, analyzed and recorded by the Mel Fisher companies, and the archaeologists working with them.

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