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On the night of 22 September, the Madema do Brasil, piloted by the Spaniards, and their loot struck the reefs, probably on southwest Gorda Cay. Though seven men drowned, Somovilla and about 100 of the remainder swam and crawled their way to shelter. They were to remain for months, unarmed and underfed.

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Eric Wiberg – The 1657 shipwreck of the Madema do Brasil near Gorda Cay, Abaco

GORDA Cay was named because of its round shape – in Spanish it means simply ‘fat’ – the only village, occupied by itinerant farmers from nearby Sandy Point, Abaco, was named Pumpkin Harbour. J


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