The narratives of the early explorers and the Spanish archives of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are replete with references concerning shipwrecks in the Bahama channel. This passage which gave to Florida its strategic importance, offered a course with more favoring winds and a safer route for the homeward-bound treasure fleets from Mexico, but was in itself distinctly hazardous. Ships and even whole fleets were too often wrecked all along the “Banda del Sur”, or South Coast, from St. Augustine to the lower keys. The majority of these disasters occurred along that bight of the shore, south of Cape Canaveral, where, (as Bishop Calderon wrote in 1675) the reefs extend six leagues out to sea.
Higgs, Charles D.
"Spanish Colonial Contacts with the Ais (Indian River) Country,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 21
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol21/iss1/4