- The Flor de la Mar
Meaning ‘Flower of the Sea’, this Portuguese ship was built in 1502 and was instrumental in the capture of the island of Malacca for the nation. The reason that this ship is so sought after is the rumour that it was carrying a huge cargo of gold, rare artefacts and gems. The treasure was headed for Queen Dona Maria and King Manuel I of Portugal, but it never arrived.
The tale goes that after loading the ship with as much plundered treasure as would fit, a violent storm hit the ship in 1511 when it was on its way from Malacca to Lisbon. It shipwrecked somewhere just off the coast of Sumatra, having been split in two by the force of the storm. The precious cargo was lost to the sea as the ship completely sank. Many divers have searched but the whereabouts of the lost Flora de la Mar and its priceless cargo remain a mystery. If tales of the ocean inspire you, why not consider a sea-themed décor with Oars & Nautical accessories from https://www.couronnedeco.com/product-category/wall-decor/oars-nautical
- HMS Endeavour
This was the first European ship to sail to the east coast of Australia and around New Zealand under the captainship of James Cook. Years later, it was sold privately and renamed The Lord Sandwich. The Royal Navy chartered the ship to take troops to New England during the American Revolution. During one fateful night in 1778, while it was moored in Newport Harbour, Rhode Island, it was sunk on purpose with 13 other ships by an incoming French fleet. Despite the ruins of the ship having been located, the Endeavour is proving tricky to retrieve and remains elusive even to this day.
- The Santa Maria
What ship could be more legendary than the very one used to sail Christopher Columbus to the New World? He took 3 ships on his voyage – the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
They all made it to the New World but only 2 returned to Spain. It is said that on Christmas Eve 1492, the sailor steering the Santa Maria told an inexperienced cabin boy to do it for him. Sadly, the cabin boy ran into a coral reef almost straight away near Haiti and seriously damaged the ship.
The crew managed to salvage the cargo, with the help of island natives but the ship sank the following day. It is thought the ship sank into silt long ago on the sea bed.
In 2014, excited news was released that the wreckage may have been found but closer examination revealed it to be the wreckage of a much later ship from the 17th or 18th centuries. Nobody knows where the Santa Maria lies.