Wreck Dives: Chaves

Chaves Wreck Islamorada

In the Spanish ship records, this vessel is refereed to as Carmen. However, today its most common name is Chaves.

It is located just off Snake Creek at Windley Key submerged in 10 to 20 feet of water. This is a smaller ship that lies in a sand pocket in a grass bed. It sunk in 1733 along with 21 other ships that were bringing silver pesos from Havana.

Although these ships were advised to change course, they were unable to avoid a hurricane, which forced the fleet on to the Florida Keys.

Although not a particularly heavily used site, patient divers will be able to relics within the ballast wreck. (via divespots)

Chaves Islamorada Wiki

Off Islamorada, where Snake Creek flows into Hawk Channel, lies the wrecksite of the 220 3/8 -ton, Genoese-built freighter, Nuestra Señora del Carmen, San Antonio de Padua y las Animas, called Chaves after her owner, Don Antonio de Chaves.

Chaves Wreck Islamorada

Chaves Wreck Islamorada

As one of the smaller vessels in the 1733 fleet, Chaves carried no registered treasure when she ran aground in shallow water during the hurricane.

Fortunately her hull remained watertight. Crew and passengers were saved, and most of the cargo and supplies were taken to the salvage camp of Capitana on Upper Matecumbe Key.

Although the ship’s hull was intact and masts and rigging serviceable, the vessel could not be refloated because of the shallow depth of water where she grounded.

Instead, after being salvaged and stripped Chaves was burned to the waterline. (Source: Flheritage)

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