Fig. 24. This wrought-iron anchor was discovered buried near the ship’s bow.
A broken wrought-iron anchor (ancla) was found buried fluke-down on the shoreward side of the wreckage, just to starboard of the vessel’s axis. The overall length of the anchor’s shank (asta) is 3.14 m, from crown to the broken end, which appears to have been twisted under heavy stress. The missing portion of the shank would have included stock lugs, around which a two-piece wooden stock (cepo) would have been fastened, and an iron anchor ring. The shank is square in cross section, tapering from 10 cm, where it joins the crown, to 5 cm at the broken end. Despite the break, dimensions and proportions of the remainder of the anchor are of diagnostic importance. The lengths of the arms, from crown to fluke tips, measure exactly 1 m.; and the distance from fluke tip to fluke tip, measured across the shank one meter above the crown, is 90 cm—forming an approximate equilateral triangle from tip to crown to tip. Similarly, the flukes’ palms are shaped in equilateral triangles, measuring 35 cm in length and 35 cm in width. The palms are welded to the upper surfaces of the arms, occupying roughly one-third of their extremity, but are set back 8 cm from their pointed tips. The thicknesses of the arms from crown to tips decreases gradually from 10 cm to 8 cm.
By the 15th and 16th centuries, anchors had assumed rough proportions that had been developed through trial and error. Tomé Cano (1611) claimed that the shank of an anchor should be three times the length of one of its arms, or even longer, if the anchor was to be effective. In addition, the anchor stock should be the same length as the shank. To ascertain whether a given anchor had the proper proportions, he recommended using a rod to gauge three critical distances: from the point where the arm joined the shank (crown) to the tip of the fluke; from the tip of the fluke perpendicularly to the shank; and from that point on the shank down to where the arm joined the shank. If all three distances were equal (forming an equilateral triangle), he considered it to be “an anchor of good measurement” (Cano 1611: fol. 30r).
Cano complained about the “softness” of anchors made in Italy and Spain, which required their shanks to be longer to provide better holding power. He also advised against using Flemish anchors made of “sour” iron, which tended to break under stress (Cano 1611: fol. 29v). Spanish anchors were noted for their structural weakness; “as meager as a Spanish anchor” is said to have been a Dutch expression of the times (van Nouhuys 1951: 44). Of ten anchors found in association with the remains of the 1554 Spanish fleet wrecked on Padre Island, Texas, three were found to have been broken at the shank, similar to the Emanuel Point Ship anchor, and the shanks of several others had been bent at least twice under stress of use (Arnold and Weddle 1978:224-227). The dimensions and proportions of these anchors are quite similar to the Emanuel Point anchor; another close parallel is the sheet (largest of a ship’s) anchor found on an early 16th-century Spanish shipwreck at Molasses Reef, in the Turks and Caicos Islands (Keith 1987:162-164). In addition, both anchors have a chip broken from one of their flukes—another example of the brittleness of the iron used by blacksmiths of the time to forge ship anchors.
The anchor’s location on the site suggests that it may have been a starboard bower anchor, catted to the forward gunwale. Although its situation on the bottom—one fluke dug into the sandbar—would be the normal position for an anchor which had been intentionally deployed from the ship, its proximity to the vessel’s remains suggests otherwise, since a longer scope of anchor cable would be required, even in shallow water. In addition, the anchor’s shank appears to have been broken at some time in antiquity below the wooden stock, and thereafter could not have been a functional device to secure the ship. And, had the anchor been deployed without its wooden stock, the arms would have lain flat on the bottom, instead of digging into it. Perhaps the anchor was fast in the sandbar and broke just before the ship came to wreck and settle near it. Alternately, the anchor may have been deployed and broken in an attempt to kedge the vessel off the sandbar after it wrecked; however, its position close to the starboard bow, rather than offshore in deeper water, does not support this conclusion. The presence of the remains of a cant frame in association with the anchor further confounds the question. Perhaps future discovery of the missing anchor segment, with its ring and stock remains, can help to reconstruct the role of the anchor in the ship’s demise.
Pairs of wrought-iron pintles and gudgeons were bolted to the rudder and sternpost to act as attachment points and hinges for the rudder’s movement from side to side. These assemblages were called by the Portuguese machefemeas due to their male-female relationship (Smith 1993:91). The female gudgeons (hembras del timón) were long iron straps embracing the sternpost, each with an eye to receive a male pintle (macho del timón), which had a vertical pin attached to the leading edge of the rudder. The rudder was fashioned with its several pintles to be hung into corresponding sternpost gudgeons, but was left unsecured so that it could be unshipped for repairs by hoisting it upward.
Four pairs of rudder pintles and gudgeons were found during excavation of the stern. Three concreted pintles were discovered fastened to the surviving portion of the rudder, although the strap of the uppermost pintle has deteriorated, those of the lower two are still extant. The ends of the straps appear to have been designed to extend completely around the after edge of the rudder, where they were joined together; although, strap ends of the two complete pintles have since become slightly separated (see inset B, Fig. 20). Pintles are spaced, (center to center) top pintle to middle pintle 95 cm, and middle to bottom 70 cm. The bottom pintle, which is the most intact, has a strap length of 97 cm along the starboard side of the rudder. The strap varies in width from 13 cm at its forward edge, to 12 cm at its midsection, and widening to 16 cm at its after end. The shaft of the pintle has been slightly wrenched forward, and measures 13 cm in length and between 8 cm and 12 cm in diameter. The middle pintle exhibits signs of having been severely distorted; its pin is contorted upwards with the lower portion broken off. The top pintle, with its starboard strap missing, consists of the forward shaft area measuring 35 cm in overall length and 9 cm in thickness.
An example of the fastening pattern of the pintle straps was observed on the top pintle, due to the absence of the starboard strap: a series of four or five square-shanked fasteners, 2 cm square, were used to fasten the strap to the rudder. The fasteners are not in line with each other, but alternate up and down, and are spaced between 13 cm to 18 cm apart. Due to the eroded nature of the wood at this area, one or more of the these fasteners may represent a port side fastener protruding through the rudder.
Fig. 25. This encrusted pintle, once attached to the rudder, formed the male component of the rudder hinge.
A fourth pintle (00,920) was found abaft the sternpost on the port side of the ship. This pintle appears to be smaller and different in construction than those on the rudder, and most likely is an uppermost pintle on the ship. It has a smaller length (50 cm, not including the pin) and pin diameter (11 -12 cm), and its straps are not joined as were the others. The pintle’s arms are 20 cm apart at their extremities, and 13 cm apart close to the pin. Arm widths are 12 cm near the pin, and 8 cm at their ends.
Four rudder gudgeons were found in association with the sternpost, although only one remains attached to the ship’s hull. Two others appear to have fallen downwards onto each other as the sternpost deteriorated after the wrecking event. A fourth gudgeon may have become disarticulated from the sternpost along wth the rudder, since it was found broken in two behind the hull.
The lower most gudgeon remains fastened to the hull, with four round-headed, square-shanked fasteners that were driven through both planking and frames. Gudgeon arms slope diagonally downward toward the ring. The forward extremities of the arms appear to have been hammered to a round flat shape to provide larger attachment surfaces at their ends.
A second gudgeon (unrecovered) was situated just above the lower articulated one, but free of the sternpost, from which it appears to have fallen. Since the angle of its arms is much wider than that of the lowermost gudgeon (and wider than a third gudgeon found on top of it), this second gudgeon may have been the third from the bottom fitting on the sternpost. It was left in-situ, concreted to the sterpost assembly.
Fig. 26. Once fastened to the sternpost of the ship, this gudgeon formed the female component of the rudder hinge.
The third gudgeon (00,321) from the bottom actually was the first to be discovered; it was located only 10 cm below the sand during preliminary metal detector surveys of the site. Remnants of lead and cloth were discovered on the starboard arm, which was broken, and stress cracks were noted on the arms on either side of the gudgeon ring.
The gudgeon has been partially conserved and restored. Its overall length, measured along the port arm, is 1.4 m; the length of the surviving starboard arm is 35 cm. Outer diameter of the gudgeon ring is 14 cm; inner diameter is 11 cm. The thickness of the iron used to make the ring and straps is 1.5 cm; strap widths are 8 cm. Two fastener holes, 9.5 cm (center-to-center) apart were noted on the port arm; the aftermost hole is quite close to the ring, whereas a corrsponding fasterner hole in the starboard arm is farther forward of the ring. The estimated width of the ship’s hull between the ends of the gudgeon‘s arms is approximately 78 cm; at the ring it is 20 cm Due to the narrow angle of its arms, and the fitting’s close proximity to the sternpost, this gudgeon may originally have been the second from the bottom.
A fourth gudgeon (01,171) was found to port abaft the stern post asssembly. The angle of its arms cannot be determined, since the arms are broken and missing their ring. The longest arm is 1.18 m in length; the other is 1.08 m. Both arms are concreted with corrosion products and the remains of lead sheathing. This fitting could have been the third or fourth gudgeon from the bottom of the sternpost.
No gudgeons that would have fit on a flat stern transom were found; the arms of the gudgeons do not angle away to fit flush against a flat surface, rather they appear to have been fastened to a narrow and rounded stern. In comparison, gudgeon shapes from the 1554 Padre Island, Texas, shipwrecks (Arnold and Weddle 1978:221, 236, 311; Olds 1976:44), and the Molasses Reef Wreck (Oertling 1989b:238), indicate that those ships had a square tuck, flat transom. The Basque galleon, San Juan, which had five sets of rudder fittings, also had a flat transom (Grenier 1985:68); however, the uppermost gudgeon is an eyebolt fastened to the sternpost. This raises the question of whether the four pairs of rudder pintles and gudgeons found on the Emanuel Point Ship represent a complete set for the vessel, or only those that were located at and below the waterline, where the ship narrowed towards the rudder.
Fig. 27. Gudgeon and pintle profiles. Gudgeon 00,321 shown partially conserved; gudgeon 01,171 and unrecovered gudgeon (lower left) shown concreted. Pintle 00,920 (lower right) shown concreted.