As most of us are aware, Tropical Storm Ernesto is headed for the Floriday Keys. Of course we are all hoping for the best. At least the winds are not severe.
In mid-August of 1750 another storm, more formidable than Ernesto, assaulted a Spanish Treasure fleet off the Outer Banks. According to Paul Mosher, in Pieces of Eight, in early September of that year the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, "with a million pieces of eight limped into Ocracoke as the result of storm damage."
A portion of the gold was subsequently spirited away by a shadowy captain and his crew, never to be heard from again. The remainer was transported by a British armed ship across the seas to Spain. Eventually some of Spain's gold came back to Ocracoke in the form of coins. As a child, Paul actually found a 1776 Spanish coin in Ocracoke waters.
Maybe, when we stroll the shorelines here, we should be keeping our eyes open for Spanish gold as much as for pirate treasure!
You can read our latest newsletter here. It's a history of Ocracoke's historic Howard Street.