Highbourne Cay Shipwreck

Archaeologist Nicholas Budsberg

St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeologist Nicholas Budsberg will speak on Thursday, January 16 from 11 AM to 12 PM at The Players Community Senior Center, 175 Landrum Lane, in Ponte Vedra Beach.

This talk will be about the earliest Spanish explorers in the New World and the 1513 voyage of Ponce de Leon.

“The focus of the talk is the shipwreck I have been working on in the Bahamas, the Highbourne Cay Shipwreck, which may be the earliest surviving vessel in the Americas and possibly related to Ponce’s first voyage to Florida,” explained Budsberg.

Archaeologists know little about the ships the Spanish used to first cross the Atlantic Ocean, explore the Americas, and first circumnavigate the globe.  Despite their accomplishments, these ships were built by eye by master shipwrights without drawings or plans and were relatively short-lived; appearing in the late 15th century and dramatically changing by the mid-16th century, less than a century later.  The remains of what is believed to be one of these ships was located in the Bahamas in the 1960’s and since has been a site of interest for maritime archaeologists.  From 2012 to the present, Nicholas Budsberg has been further investigating the site in an effort to better understand, preserve and share this unique find with the local and international community.