BERMUDA SHIPWRECKS  Virginia Merchant Wreck
The complete scuba divers guide to shipwrecks around the Island of Bermuda




   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   

    VIRGINIA MERCHANT cannon and anchor recovered from shipwreck Bermuda        

By Capt. Dan Berg

Photo: cannon salvaged from the Virginia Merchant wreck area. Photo by Daniel Berg

The Virginia Merchant was an English vessel owned by the Virginia Company and bound from Plymouth, England, to Jamestown, Virginia, carrying 179 passengers and a general cargo. On March 26, 1661, under the command of Captain Robert Burke, the Virginia Merchant left Castle Harbor. Captain Burke soon found his vessel being ripped apart on a shallow reef only 250 yards from shore. Only ten of the passengers and crew managed to survive the ordeal.

The Virginia Merchant was discovered by treasure hunter, Teddy Tucker. Tucker's find was of great archaeological interest because he found a sheathing of animal hair attached to the exterior of the Virginia Merchant's hull. This was done in earlier time in an attempt to protect the wood from wood eating worms (teredos). To date there are only one or two other known examples of animal hair sheathing ever found on a shipwreck. One example was found on the unidentified ballast pile in Florida known as the Wedge Wreck.

Today, the wreck sits in 12 to 45 feet of water. Part of her wreckage lie outside and part inside the breakers off Sonesta Beach. All that divers will see at this site are her anchor, small ballast pile and some wood debris. A cannon that was salvaged from the area of the Virginia Merchant wreck is mounted with a plaque by the beach at Sonesta Beach Hotel.


The information listed above was taken with permission from the Book:
A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks,
by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9 softcover,73 pages.
Retail $14.95




Now also Available as an instant download printable PDF eBook

A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks

Buy Now  only $9.95
4.5 MB instant download, printable  PDF file

by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9, 73 page downloadable ebook. From the first quarter of the 16th century, Bermuda became a landmark for Spanish ships sailing back to Spain from the New World. The desire to sight Bermuda to confirm their position often ended their voyage as they wrecked on Bermuda's outer reefs. To this day Bermuda's treacherous reefs have taken their toll on shipping. The reefs have claimed vessels ranging from ocean lines to small fishing boats. Bermuda Shipwrecks is the most comprehensive, accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and stories ever written about the legendary wrecks around Bermuda. Bermuda Shipwrecks includes over 100 illustrations comprised of 61 sensational color photos, 17 rare b&w historical images, 19 stamps, 4 sketches plus one map. Bermuda Shipwrecks contains a wealth of enlightening information that gives the readers a nostalgic glimpse into the history and present condition of over 55 of Bermuda's most popular Shipwrecks. 

Check out Capt. Dan's other shipwreck and Diving eBooks


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Copyright Capt. Dan Berg / Aqua Explorers Inc

2745 Cheshire Dr
Baldwin NY 11510


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