voyage with cargo and passengers between Cadiz and Havana. The ship
was well-manned and armed, but the pirates made a surprise attack and
before the valiant captain could rally his men, the ship was disabled and
The crew was given the usual choice of piracy or death, and both
vessels were sailed back to Gasparilla Island. The new vessel was made
the master ship, since it was more modern in build and equipment than
the other Gasparilla I, and the latter was held in reserve. The captured
vessel was renamed the Gasparilla II.
Not long after this, Gasparilla's first lieutenant, Roderigo, came to him
saying he was deeply homesick, and asked to be allowed to take the Gasparilla
I, a crew of men, and return home. After much thought Gasparilla gave his
consent. Roderigo planned to sail the bark into an English port and from there
make his way home. He hoped in this manner to escape detention and arrest
as a deserter. He would say he had been saved from the wreck of the Florida
Blanca and had been wondering for years in an effort to reach home.
When Roderigo sailed away, it was the last Gasparilla saw of him for more
than eight years. Then one day, when the pirates had climbed aboard a captured
ship, and the captain and men had been lined up for inspection to be given their
choice of a life of piracy or a grave in the sea, Gasparilla saw his old lieutenant
standing next in line to the captain. The two friends were overjoyed at seeing each
other once more and Roderigo again swore allegiance to his old comrade.