This afternoon as he took one of my regular naps, accompanied by Radio 1 RNE, I began to hear a story of a shipwreck that gradually I was hooking.
It was the "Valbanera", passenger boat with steel hull, left the shipyard C.Connell&Co. of Glasgow in the year 1906. It had a length of 122 meters, a sleeve of 14,6 meters 6,5 Stall.
At dawn from my nap, curiosity leads me to dig a little deeper into this mysterious history of navigation, leading me to berie documents and stories by authors such as John C.. Lorenzo Diaz, Fernando García Echegoyen, etc.
He threw the name "Virgin Valvanera"; but it seems like an oversight, Swivel up on the old "Valbanera" .... those things in the environment are important and sailors frequently raise superstition.
Barc passage, belonging to the Shipping Pinillos (founded in Cadiz 1840), It was one of many at this time made the voyage to Cuba, laden Spanish emigrants attempting a turn of luck in their lives.
In what was his last trip; the Valbanera, Sali bound for America from a Barcelona 10 August 1919 scales provided, including ports, Cadiz, Canary Islands, San Juan, Havana, New Orleans. Commanding Captain Ramon Martin Lamb 34 years, experienced a marine vessels of the Company.
Developed a top speed of 12 knots and could accommodate more than 1200 passengers and crew in four classes: 1ª, 2ª, 3Half and migrant; in fact when he sailed from the Canary Islands, llevaba on board 1142 Passengers and 88 Crew; the vast majority Spaniards to Cuba.
Captain, before sailing, do any grace a number of small details like that, several of his officers were rookies or unknown characteristics Valbanera; wineries would overcrowded goods "to the flag" and the passage to the limit of capacity.
In transit to the Canary Islands, before setting sail for the islands, various anecdotes from the passage that lead him to think that something bad will happen to the ship in his Atlantic crossing arise.
To top off their bad omens, in the Port of Sta. Cruz de la Palma, Long ropes and try to pick up the anchor, joiner fails leaving the anchor buried in the mud (this, is what today we would say that gives us "very bad feeling"), bodes ill crew seizes. Nonetheless, Valbanera moves over the island and sets out to cross the Atlantic.
The mystery of Valbanera, begins after his stop in San Juan de Puerto Rico and enter the day 5 September in Santiago de Cuba, where half the passengers disembark despite having ticket to Havana; is part of the mystery about the anticipated landing 742 passengers evidently in view of what happened later, saved their lives.
That same day sails to Havana with the rest of the passage, some 488 people, Captain probably unaware that a hurricane was forming (we think that the predictive means of such weather events of the day had no reliability today).
Before sailing from Santiago de Cuba, Captain is aware of the possibility that a tropical cyclone formation in the Gulf; but observing the barometer, considered, still has a margin of three or four days to get to Havana.
The Valbanera goes around the island, sailing eastward and off Punta Maisi, changes course to enter in Havana, is in this situation when it is his last recorded sighting by a British ship.
On the night of 9 September of 1919 hurricane winds is already wreaking havoc on the Capital, but that does not stop hearing the insistent and desperate sound of a siren and the projector "morse", Practical asking to enter port .... Watchmen the Morro Castle; will respond that given the state of the sea, is not possible to output Practical.
The boat, supposedly Valbanera, he has no alternative but to endure the temporary offshore. The hurricane hits the coast during these three days, until day 12 Care Station Key West, detects a message from a ship with the distinctive JTHC ..., the Valbanera has appeared!.
When a few minutes trying to answer the call, Silence is the answer, the idea of sinking is installed on everyone's mind. It is launching a search operation along the coast Valbanera, by Cuban gunboats and U.S. Coast Guard ships and stationed in Key West.
The 19 September, Navy submarine chasers of the USS C203, a week later they had captured the last telegraph ship calls and about to finish and work search Valbanera, one of the crew, detects that the bow out something about water; approach and see a post sticking out of the quicksand, well as a large dark mass submerged.
With a tender approach and a wetsuit are arranged to inspect what looks like the prow of a great ship, advancing a lettering thereon distinguish polished brass, They are none other than "Valbanera".
Was not found to any person, or survivors or missing; the remains of the ship went slowly burying in quicksand Lower Crescent to 12 meters deep, to a 5 miles east of Rebecca Shoal Lighthouse and to 45 miles west of Key West.