Slave Ship Trouvadore – The Expedition

Looking For Trouvadore
After all the archival research the next important step was to look for any remains of Trouvadore – to find tangible links to the intangible.The expedition looking for the remains of Trouvadore first went to sea from August 28 until September 11, 2004. The second season is due to be at sea from July 10th to July 21st 2006.

Both projects have been based on the Turks and Caicos Explorer (see picture below)

What would be left of Trouvadore?

Extensive salvage was undertaken in 1841, hardly surprising as the locals had grown up as “wreckers”. Salvaged items, including sails, rigging and chain cables, were sold for £71.3.5.

This tells us that the ship must have been in shallow water. Wooden vessels rot away over time and therefore only timber buried and protected by the sand will survive. What we expect to find though are items that identify this as a slave ship. The British Navy set up “the Equipment Clause” that allowed them to confiscate ships with certain equipment on even if they weren’t carrying slaves. This included metal grilled hatchways to the holds to allow air to the slaves, large numbers of cooking pots, excessive amounts of chains and shackles. It is these items that we are looking for.

This archaeological search and hopeful recovery of any remains will provide a tangible asset which will make it easier to tell the story in a museum display (it is planned that Trouvadore story becomes the pivotal exhibition in a new Museum on Providenciales) and easier to prepare a travelling exhibition to go to all the countries that have assisted the research process or are linked to Trouvadore.