/ Captain’s Chronicles

Unraveling the Enigma of the Capitana El Rubi Galleon

Author: James Papagno

The Ill-Fated Voyage of the Capitana El Rubi: A Tragic Tale of Superstition & Hidden Treasures

This blog delves into the haunting history of the Capitana El Rubi, a flagship vessel that was part of the ill-fated Nueve España fleet in 1733. The fleet, commanded by Lieutenant-General Rodrigo de Torres, set sail from Havana Harbor on a Friday the 13th, a date infamous for maritime superstitions. As the winds shifted and a hurricane approached, Torres ordered the ships to turn back, but it was too late.

The storm ravaged the fleet, sinking or grounding the vessels along the upper Keys of Florida. The blog explores the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th and its impact on maritime traditions. It also includes excerpts from a letter written by Spain's Naval Commissioner, describing the harrowing experience aboard the Capitana El Rubi. The tragic fate of the ship serves as a reminder of the perils faced by sailors and the enduring superstitions that surround maritime journeys.

The Capitana El Rubi, along with the rest of the Nueve España fleet, was sunk or ran aground along an eighty-mile stretch of the upper Keys in Florida. The Keys are a chain of islands located off the southern tip of Florida, extending into the Gulf of Mexico.

In this specific area, the upper Keys, the waters are shallow and dotted with numerous coral reefs, making navigation challenging. The exact location of the grounding of the Capitana El Rubi is described in a letter by Spain's Naval Commissioner as Cayo Largo, which is situated about two and a half leagues (approximately 8.8 miles) from the shore.

The area is known for its beautiful and diverse marine life, as well as its vibrant coral reefs, making it a popular destination for divers and snorkelers today. The fateful tale of the Capitana Galleon, El Rubi, has captured the imagination of rum enthusiasts worldwide. Lost to the depths of the Atlantic of the Florida Keys centuries ago, this legendary ship and its cargo of precious spices and rum remained a mystery until recently.

This dedication is a testament to Bombarda's commitment to preserving history and celebrating the artistry of rum-making. With every sip of this exquisite rum, rum enthusiasts are transported back in time, paying homage to the resilience of El Rubi and the spirit of adventure that still lives on in every bottle of Bombarda Rum.  To read more about the El Rubi Capitana galleon and the fate of the 1733 Fleet, voyage here: http://info.flheritage.com/galleon-trail/fleetOf1733.cfm