Monterrey Shipwreck B is different than Monterrey A and C. It contains a great deal of organic material and the hull is not copper sheathed like the other two. Monterrey B likely represents a merchant vessel dating to the early 19th century and carried a cargo of animal hides and large white blocks. The composition of these blocks is unknown, but they may be tallow rendered from animal fat. This photo shows several rolls of hides and a white block in the far left foreground. Several unopened wooden crates remain intact and the ship's stove is in the background. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition. Download image (jpg, 80 KB).
Okeanos Explorer EX1402L3
Dive 07: Monterrey Shipwreck B. Video courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Download (mp4, 29.6 MB)
Dive 07, our second archaeology dive, explored Monterrey Shipwreck B, a small wooden vessel from the early 19th century in roughly 1,300 meters of water. Though the smallest of the three Monterrey shipwrecks, Monterrey B may prove to be one of the most interesting and important archaeological and archaeo-biological discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico. The dive began with a slow transit starting at the stern, moving along the starboard side to the bow, and then back to the stern along the port side. All visible artifacts were carefully inspected and recorded and the associated colonizing organisms identified or described. Artifacts and features of particular interest include: an iron gudgeon and pintle; a cast iron ship’s stove; two cántaros (water storage jars from Yucatán); large glass bottles; ceramic tableware; navigational instruments; bales and stacks of hides; large white blocks (hypothesized to potentially be tallow, copal, or rubber); and intact wooden boxes, which may still contain their original contents. Biological observations on and near Monterrey B include: sea cucumbers, crustaceans (including shrimp, squat lobsters, and crabs), corals, tubeworms, isopods, polychaetes, anemones, ship worms, clams, eels, sea spiders, bivalves, brittle stars, spoon worms, limpets, and bacterial mats.