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STORMS

In February of 1686, the La Belle ran aground in Madagorda Bay due to a storm. While working on its excavation in 1996 and 1997, on sunny and beautiful days, storms would suddenly appear. Evidence of such sudden storms are shown above and below, taken from the excavation site at the Cofferdam. These storms shut down the excavation and led to the evacuation of the Cofferdam.

The water in Madagorda Bay was basically calm and quiet prior to the arrival of the storms and the photographs above show this. However, the good weather would change quickly and the water would turn very rough. Such weather and waters forced the evacuation of the Cofferdam and once evacuation was experienced by Lisa Moore LaRoe, a member of the National Geographic Editorial Staff who wrote La Salle’s Last Voyage for the May of 997 issue.

Upon leaving the Cofferdam with the archaeologists in the boat known as the Anomaly, the rough waters stirred up the sediments in the bottom of the boat’s fuel tank and that resulted in the continuous clogging of the fuel filter. The engine repeatedly stopped and the boat was left to the mercy of the rough waters until the fuel filer could be cleared and the engine restarted.

To see the impact such storms had on the Cofferdam, and the excavation, click on the link below.

STORMS AND THE COFFERDAM

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