Antiquity Charters of St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands, Can Now Take You to “Treasure Island”
PRLog (Press Release) – Dec 08, 2011 – Captain Dave DeCuir of the sailing yacht, Antiquity, has been cruising the Virgin Islands and Caribbean for thirty-one years. He had an unexpected surprise in January of 2000 from what appeared to be routine charter guests. While anchored in Man of War Bay, Norman Island, in the British Virgin Islands, Dave related a tale of the legendary treasure that was buried on Norman Island in 1750. His guest, John Amrhein, Jr., of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, confided in him that he was about to begin a book on that very subject. Both Captain Decuir and the author would have to wait a long eleven years for publication day and for good reason. Amrhein hired a team of international researchers to compliment his own research related to a story that he knew was the genesis for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island . During this time, the author returned five more times with his family to sail Antiquity and live the adventure.
In 1750, treasure had been stolen the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe , a disabled Spanish galleon at Ocracoke, North Carolina. The Guadalupe had departed Havana, Cuba, on August 18th with six other ships carrying treasure and other valuable cargo intended for Spain. Destiny’s hand swept the fleet into an approaching hurricane off of north Florida where the ships were heavily damaged and became trapped in the north-bound current of the Gulf Stream and the hurricane. The fleet was scattered and most of the ships were lost. The Guadalupe was spared by Mother Nature only to be ravaged by two merchant captains from Hampton Roads, Virginia, named Owen and John Lloyd. Owen and his peg-legged brother, John, who had been diverted to Ocracoke by their sinking sloop, weren’t pirates in the Hollywood sense. They had been victims of Spanish hostilities in the recent war and saw the opportunity for revenge and retribution against a huge treasure cargo and a bumbling Spanish captain. After the treasure was offloaded on two English sloops for safe keeping, Owen and John sailed away with a fortune in silver pieces of eight. It was, to be sure, an act of piracy. It even far exceeded anything Blackbeard had done who was killed at Ocracoke thirty-two years before. Unfortunately, John Lloyd was captured after running aground in the treacherous inlet but Owen made it clear. He was headed to St. Kitts to rejoin his wife but stopped at Norman Island to divide up the loot where most of it was buried. The treasure was soon recovered by officials from nearby Tortola.
Lloyd was soon captured and sentenced to hang at St. Eustatius. But he and his crew didn’t remain long as they bribed their Dutch captors and made their escape. The government of England, Spain, Denmark, and The Netherlands were at odds with each other as each colonial governor in the Caribbean dipped their hands into the recovered treasure. Amrhein documents in his just published book, Treasure Island: The Untold Story , that the “treasure”
Captain Dave Decuir is a well known sailor in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. His distinctive 41 ft ketch, a Morgan Out Island trimmed in burgundy, is easily recognized as it plies the blue and turquoise waters of the surrounding tropical islands. Antiquity , as her name suggests, conveys her captain’s interest in the history of Virgin Islands. Captain Decuir is an avid diver who not only has explored much of the ocean bottom of the neighboring islands but is familiar with many ruins of centuries old habitations on land as well. Adding to that, he is a gourmet cook and with his wife, Claudia, they will cater to your every need while you experience the thrill of sailing the beautiful and historic Virgin Islands.
Antiquity’s home port is American Yacht harbor at Red Hook on the east end of St. Thomas. She is anchored just off shore of Molly Molone’s. Charter guests can customize their adventure with stops in any of the British or U. S. Virgin Islands. Norman Island is a must see as Dave can point out many things ashore of historical interest not to mention a memorable evening at Pirate’s Bight Bar & Restaurant. Other must-see destinations are the Baths at Virgin Gorda, the white sand beaches at Jost van Dyke, an ocean sail to Anegada to enjoy their legendary lobster dinners, or a stopover in Cane Garden Bay on the north shore of Tortola.
Captain Dave is now well versed in the history of Norman Island and its role as the inspiration of Stevenson’s Treasure Island . There you will see the caves at Treasure Point where treasure was reported to have been recovered in the late 19th century. Today, these flooded chambers are a haven for snorkelers and tropical fish waiting to be hand fed. The intriguing Money Bay on the south side of Norman Island most likely got its name from the 1750 buried treasure episode. On the north side of Norman is Soldier Bay. The author believes it got its name from the Dutch soldiers who were sent to Norman with Owen Lloyd to recover the buried loot after he was captured. Captain Dave can show you holes where either treasure was buried or were dug looking for it. The tallest hill on Norman has been dubbed “Spyglass Hill” from which you may take spectacular views of the surrounding islands including St. Croix forty miles to the south.