In 1786 a Spanish galleon, San Pedro de Alcantara, departed from Peru loaded with a fortune in silver and gold and a precious botanical collection of tropical specimens. The galleon also carried a famous passenger: Fernando Tupac Amaru, an inca whose father had started the most successful uprising against Spanish rule in Peru.
The ship’s captain used a French map that omitted the position of the Berlenga islands. This error had tragic consequences: on the night of February 2, 1786 San Pedro de Alcantara shipwrecked near Papoa, a small peninsula on the coast of Peniche. Almost everybody died but Tupac Amaru managed to swim ashore.
The Spaniards hired divers from all over Europe to come to Peniche help salvage the galleon’s treasures. They also succeeded in recapturing Tupac Amaru.
Today, Peniche’s perfect tubular waves attracts surfers from all over the world. How many of them know that beneath those waves once lied a fortune in silver and gold?