EIGHT SHORT STORIES. Galleón tells relates loss of a Spanish ship off Panama in 1715 and its re-discovery in 2017. Escape describes how to illegally free jailed prisoners. Hideaway tells of an eye-witness to a crime. The Miracle is the tale of a seminarian who meets Saint James. Lottery explains how a young offender wins the Lottery. The Old Man describes how a retired revolutionary carry’s out a favor. Triple Cross takes the reader through the excitement of robbing a jewel courier. In Confession, a Priest hears the confession of a legend of the old West.
THE SPANISH TREASURE FLEET 1715
‘The sun vanished and I swear before Almighty God that the wind
blew as I have never seen it blow in my forty years at sea. Day was as
night. No moon or stars illuminated the turbulent waters. We were swept
into a shallow bay and our sails shredded and our masts ripped from the
decks. Santa Victoria and two others of the fleet were blown onto
Turneffe Atol offshore from the Belize Barrier Reef. Doña Eliza
and Señora de Arcadia were broken to pieces. The Santa Victoria,
my own ship, was severely damaged, and the only one to survive.’1
This extract, from the source described below, describes a violent storm
off the eastern coast of Honduras that ravaged three Spanish treasure
ships as they attempted to make a rendezvous in Havana for the journey
home to Spain. From the middle of the 16th until the middle of the 18th
century, fleets such as these, sailed the waters between Spain and South
America carrying fortunes in gold and gems. Because of their ability to
do this, Spain built a strong empire and became the most influential
nation in in the world. The voyages were fraught with danger from rival
powers and pirates but the biggest threat was not from armed aggressors
but from the weather.
The treasure fleets were struck by hurricanes in 1715 and again in 1733.
Some valuables were recovered, but much was lost on the ocean floor. The
Spanish salvaged part of the valuable cargos but more remained below the
waves. Ships lay undisturbed for two hundred years until the 20th
century treasure hunters found a few. The Santa Carolina however, lost
in 1715, had never been seen or heard of since. That was until 2017,
when by accident, the wreck was discovered. The story of this strange
occurrence is told in these pages.
1 Raul de Mantos, Captain of the Santa Victoria As quoted in David
León and Maria Matos report “The Santa Victoria.” The
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2001,
Section 12, page 4.
Excerpted from "Galleón and Seven Other Tales" by Michael J. Merry. Copyright © 2017 by Michael J. Merry. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Michael J. Merry
Michael J. Merry was educated at the Royal Liberty School, England. Transferred to Panama in 1959, he worked as a Telecommunications Instructor. When the Panama National Guard staged their coup in 1968, he drove the escape vehicle carrying the President, Dr. Arnulfo Arias and several Ministers, through the military blockade to safety in the Panama Canal Zone. In 1987 he became Division Vice President of a major U.S. news operation in Latin America. He was in Argentina when the Army revolted later that year and Venezuela during the attempted coup by Lt. Colonel (later President) Hugo Chávez in 1992. In 1995 he became the writer of two nationally televised financial programs and was named Editor of a popular financial report. He has published four previous books. The Golden Altar (2002 - Also available in Spanish). The Reluctant Colonel (2008) and "The Education of Santiago O'Grady" in 2014 and "Guten Tag!, Mr. Churchill", published 2016. Mr. Merry and his wife reside in Miami Shores, Florida.
View full Profile of Michael J. Merry