02 February 2009
The wreck of the HMS Victory has been found
This is not the HMS Victory that was Lord Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar; that one is in dry dock in England as a floating museum.
This HMS Victory was that one's predecessor - a 100-gun ship-of-the-line. In 1744 while traversing the English Channel on a return voyage, she encountered stormy weather and was damaged on the Casquets, but did not sink immediately, having now been found over 50 miles away. At least 900 men went down with her when she sank, including some of the cream of the British navy.
The images above are from a photo gallery at Der Spiegel. The top one shows 12-pound and 42-pound cannon - brass, mind you, and not iron - and therefore virtually pristine and uncorroded. The second image shows an unsuccessful attempt to insert a floppy disk into the cannon barrel. The final image shows the emblem of King George I emblazoned on the cannon, identifying the time period of the wreck.
Oh, one other point of interest. When she went down, she was carrying 4 tons of gold coins. Four TONS of gold coins. 100,000 gold Portugese coins...