Underwater Museums in Dominican Republic
UNDERWATER LIVING MUSEUM CAPITAN KIDD, La Romana. This museum is located next to Catalina Island. The remains of the pirate ship Cara Merchant, which dates from 1699 and belonged to the famous Captain William Kidd, has been converted into the Museo Vivo del Mar del Capitan Kidd. On May 23, 2011, coinciding with the 310th anniversary of the death of the pirate Kidd in London, this underwater museum was inaugurated. It is less than 3 m under water, and only 21 m from the shore. It features the remains of the boat which represents the golden age of pirates in the Caribbean, with several anchors and dozens of guns, as well as fragments of pottery and wood. The Cara Merchant is the only pirate ship wreck to have been found in the Caribbean, and one of only three in the whole of the Americas. The various exhibits that make up this museum have signs to guide divers and identify the ancient remains and rare species of coral. For centuries, the Cara Merchant was sought, but no one was successful until 2007 when a diver accidentally discovered several guns which helped in the identification of the wreck. At the same time that the museum was baptized in the Dominican Republic, the Capitan Kidd Exhibition was opened in the British Museum in the Docklands, London, and for the first time a gun that belonged to the vessel was shown at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis in the U.S. Among the sponsors of this underwater museum and the Underwater Living Museum Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, are: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the Indiana University Project AWARE Foundation; and the Association of La Romana–Bayahibe Hotels (AHRB).
UNDERWATER LIVING MUSEUM NUESTRA SEÑORA DE GUADALUPE, Bayahibe. The Museo Vivo del Mar Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is located on the Dominicus Beach Reef, off the coast of the Bayahibe resort area. The museum has created a perfect reconstruction of the galleon that sank during the eighteenth century in the Bay of Samaná. It’s about eight feet under water, bears the same name, and is in the same position as the original was found. In the process, several cannons from the wreck, an anchor from a ship recovered years ago in the waters of Isla Saona, cannonballs and various archaeological remains recovered from several shipwrecks close to the Dominican coast, were used. The ship Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe left the Spanish port of Cadiz, on July 13 1724. On August 24 of that year the ship passed the Cape of San Rafael in the early evening amid strong winds and was grounded in the Bay of Samaná. Among the sponsors of this underwater museum and the Underwater Living Museum Capitan Kidd, are: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the Indiana University Project AWARE Foundation; and the Association of La Romana–Bayahibe Hotels (AHRB).