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The twenty Dutch and French shipwrecks that lie covered by mud and sand in Scarborough Harbor
are the time witnesses to a story of epic proportions. These artifacts represent an incredible cultural treasure
not only for the people of Trinidad & Tobago but also to the world and by documenting and subsequently researching
this unique cultural heritage site we allow these ships
“to continue their journey and to deliver their cargo of knowledge to us all”.

“I’m not aware of any other Dutch 17th Century warship being properly,
archeologically excavated, so this is the fundamental importance of the site, it
is unique. I don’t believe there is any other site around the world that can
yield us so many examples”.
Dr. Kroum Batchvarov
Assistant Professor of Maritime Archaeology, University of Connecticut
Affiliated Scholar of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, USA





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TOBAGO 1677 - Slideshow

Oceans Discovery’s Filming Expedition

TOBAGO 1677 has been filmed topside and underwater in Quad-HD using 3 of the revolutionary RED EPIC cameras and 2 Cineflex Helicopter cameras. A high-tech steady-cam has been on set as well as a 30-foot crane and a special underwater camera housing for the RED EPIC. This way “TOBAGO 1677” can be presented in cinema quality at the international film festivals and broadcast markets.


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Tobago 1677 Film Book (96 pages) & BluRay/DVD (available soon)

The “Tobago 1677” film and book are commemorating the 336th anniversary of the “Sea Battles of Tobago”. This 96-minute docudrama and the accompanying book explore the historical facets of one of the most brutal sea battles ever fought – its background and historical development, the scientific and cultural importance of this unique archaeological site, the technological aspects of the quest, the team who spent more than six years to bring this project to fruition and last but not least pay homage to all the local people, organizations, government departments and private companies that have participated and helped to unearth this unique historical event.

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Dutch Officer Captain Van Dongen, played by John Allenden

In the film, Captain Van Dongen’s voice is represented by Patrick O’Connor, better known for his role as “Gandalf”
“The Hunt For Gollum”, the prequel to the “Lord Of The Rings” films, produced by Independent Online Cinema.

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In the captivating film and book, the Oceans Discovery team takes you again on an exhilarating quest – a quest to explore and document the dramatic events surrounding the Sea Battles of Tobago in 1677. In the film, Captain Van Dongen, a real time witness and a survivor of the explosion that killed Vice-Admiral Benckes and his officers, is telling the story. With the “Tobago 1677” film production, Oceans Discovery has been trying to effectively present the visual aspects of history, but films, no matter how persuasive and complex the production might be, will fall short of showing the whole of history but an accompanying book could do just that and fill this void.

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OD’s International Expert Team

A panel of top international experts has joined
the Oceans Discovery team on their quest to unearth
this unique and dramatic part of our common maritime history.

Dr. Kroum Batchvarov

Assistant Professor of Maritime Archaeology, University of Connecticut
Affiliated Scholar of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, USA

Isabelle Delumeau
Professeur d’histoire a I’Ecole Navale, French Naval Academy, France

Ab Hoving
Author & Researcher of Dutch Classical Shipbuilding, Holland

Professor Andrew Lambert
Kings College London, UK

Dr. James Pritchard
Professor Emeritus of History, Canada

Filmed at Original Locations in Tobago


Production Info

At certain times there were more than 130 people involved in the production of which nearly 80 have been re-enactors, the balance being the film team, hands and security staff. In addition, over 40 local companies and many individuals have provided their services for the duration of this film shoot. The National Security Helicopter teams, the crews of the TT Coast Guard vessels and their dive team and two OTSL science vessels added another 80 people to the production pool.


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RED Epic Camera in special underwater housing & 1677 Anchor on the bottom of Scarborough Harbor