We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Two hundred fifty years before the Titanic proved Molly Brown unsinkable, there was Padre Diego Rivadeneira. In 1654, while attempting to sail from Peru to Spain, Padre Diego witnessed the sinking of his armada’s capitana. The next year, still trying to get home, his own ship was rammed and sank off the coast of Florida. The padre—who couldn’t swim—and 44 others were the only survivors among the 600 on board. In 1656, now within spitting distance of Cadiz, Spain, Padre Diego’s ship was attacked by the British and he was taken prisoner. Dave Horner uses Padre Diego’s diaries as the foundation of Shipwreck: A Saga of Sea Tragedy and Sunken Treasure. He recounts not only the padre’s misadventures, but also the plunder-driven economy of Spain and 350 years’ worth of efforts—including Horner’s own—to salvage the lost capitana. Horner reads from and signs copies of his book at 7 p.m. at Borders, 8311 Leesburg Pike, Vienna. Free. (703) 556-7766. (Janet Hopf)