The remains of the pirate ship “Cara Merchant”, belonging to the famous Captain William Kidd and which dates back to 1699, were recently turned into “Captain Kidd’s Underwater Live Museum.” The underwater museum is situated near Catalina Island, in shallow water and only 70 feet from the coast. The museum features the remains of this particular ship, which dates back to the golden age of pirates in the Caribbean. Several anchors and dozens of cannon balls are part of the underwater wreckage. Catalina Island is situated just minutes from the La Romana-Bayahibe tourism region, situated in the Dominican Republic’s southeast region.
Also situated near the tourism village of Bayahibe – situated some 20 minutes east of the city of La Romana – are the underwater “live museums.” The reserves of the “Guadalupe” and the “Canoa”, which recreate XVIII sunken galleons, have been recreated to give the visitor an exact idea of what these XVIII shipwrecks looked like. Cannons which once belonged to “Our Virgin of Guadalupe” (1724), as well as other archaeological treasures found in different points throughout the island.
The “Cara Merchant” is the only pirate shipwreck found in the Caribbean, and only one of three in all of the Americas. This reserve will also be used to study underwater archaeology, marine biology, ecology and geology. All exhibits are identified with plaques in order to guide the divers accordingly. Also clearly identified are the surrounding corals and sunken objects. The shipwreck was found and identified in 2008 by Professor Charles Beeker, researcher and archaeologist from the University of Indiana.
This project is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, the University of Indiana and the Viva Wyndham Resorts chain of hotels, which operates two hotels in Bayahibe. For more information, please visit: www.explorelaromana.com.
Captain Kidd in London and Indianapolis
At the same time that a special bronze plaque was unveiled in the Dominican Republic to mark the spot where Captain Kidd’s pirate ship went down in 1699, two special exhibits recreating the same theme opened in the British Museum of Docklands in London, and in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in the US. The date chosen to open the underwater exhibit, as well as the other two exhibits in London and Indianapolis was May 23, which marked the 310th anniversary of the death of Captain Kidd in London.