2008 Expedition

Slaveships and US Navy Ships - A Cat and Mouse Game

On July 5, 2008 the Turks & Caicos National Museum in partnership with Ships of Discovery returns to the field to continue the search for the slave ship Trouvadore. The science team will again be joined by the documentary film makers Windward Media.

Since 1993 the Turks and Caicos National Museum and Ships of Discovery have carried out extensive research in archives in 8 countries on three continents to uncover the story of this slave ship, Trouvadore.In 2004 a survey was carried out and a wooden shipwreck was discovered. The team returned in 2006 to test excavate the wooden shipwreck and conduct a magnetometer survey of the lagoon and fringing reef.

Under the direction of Dr. Donald H. Keith, the mission has been deepened to include extensive excavation of the shipwreck thought to be Trouvadore and broadened to include the search for two US Navy ships wrecked on Providenciales in 1816 and 1848 while engaged in the cat-and-mouse game of piracy suppression and slave ship interdiction. Taken together, the three ships represent both the “cat” and the “mouse” and illustrate the risks taken by illegal slave traders and the US Navy’s commitment to eradicating the practice.

For periodic updates from various team members, be sure to visit our 2008 Expedition Diary…the link is on the left of this page.

The 2008 Expedition has received funding from:
NOAA Ocean Exploration Program, Turks and Caicos Islands Conservation Fund, the Lima Foundation, the Dayton Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Frey Family Fund, and Friends of the Turks and Caicos National Museum