The Lost Treasures of the Santa Margarita


Inconveniently for mere mortals, serendipity is not concerned with time, so twists of fate often pass unknown, witnessed only by the sun, wind, and ripples on the sea. For W. Keith Webb and the team of the shipwreck search and discovery company Blue Water Ventures of Key West, the quest for the famed treasure galleon Santa Margarita has been as much about discovering her mysteries as in uncovering her treasures. The saga of the Santa Margarita begins in 1622. Namesake of the patron saint of homeless people, midwives and reformed prostitutes, Santa Margarita was a Spanish galleon of 600 tons, armed with twenty-five cannon.

HMS Victory Case Settled

John Balchin

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., pursuant to an agreement reached with the UK Government, filed a motion to dismiss and vacate the warrant for the arrest which was filed in the US District Court on Admiral Balchin’s HMS Victory, a 100 gun ship of the line lost in 1744 in the English Channel. The UK Government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award of 80 percent as compensation for the artifacts which have been recovered from the site and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. A valuation of approximately $200,000 has been agreed for the two cannon recovered from the site, providing for a salvage award of approximately $160,000.

New Additions to Crystal Coast Diving


A wide variety of marine life awaits divers on the wrecks out of Beaufort Inlet. In addition to the World War II vessels, there are also several artificial reefs that provide structure for fish to thrive and flourish. The last few months have seen more structures added to Artificial Site 330, the location of the USS Indra. The USS Indra was a 328-foot Landing Craft Repair Ship that was sunk as an artificial reef in 1992. The ship is sitting upright in 70 feet of water; the highest part of the wreck is at 45 feet, while the main deck lies at 50 feet. The shallow depths make this the ideal location for new divers to get their first introduction to wreck diving.

Wreck Diving 101

Wreck Diving

Whether you are a new or more experienced diver, the need to explore this new weight-less world can become overwhelming. Visiting the underwater world can be a sensory overload of things to see and explore. We first start out observing fish, plant life, invertebrates, rocks, reefs or corals. The next step is exploring structures and wrecks. Wreck diving occurs when anyone sees or bumps into man made objects underwater which are fragmented, dismantled, damaged, dilapidated, ruined or otherwise wrecked. My first formal “check out” dives, as they were called in back in the early 60’s, were in a quarry.

Diving Off Nags Head North Carolina

Nags Head

There we were, about nine nautical miles out of Oregon Inlet aboard the dive boat. It was a beautiful day with calm seas, a giant sea turtle off our starboard side, and dolphins that had escorted us out still jumping like circus acrobats in and out of the water about 100 yards off the port side. I had almost finished suiting up and checking my gear when the divemaster returned to the surface with his report of “just wait till you see it!” I jumped in, started swimming down the anchor line and realized what he meant.

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