Riddled with cannonball holes from their stunning defeat by the English Navy after trying to invade Queen Elizabeth's Protestant realm in 1588 to restore Catholicism, the Spanish Armada sailed north around the Orkneys and Hebrides in their attempt to return home. The worst storms in fifty years, however, drove 24 Spanish ships relentlessly onto the rocky Irish coast, tearing them apart.
Thousands of sailors and soldiers drowned; hundreds of unarmed Spaniards were slaughtered on the beaches. Those who fled across Ireland to reach Scotland faced daily peril for months.
The story of those few who didn't die was told only once, by Captain Francisco de Cuellar. This true saga of survival against all odds, based upon Cuellar's manuscript which lay hidden for 300 years, is vividly described in remarkable detail by historical novelists Paul Altrocchi and Julia Cooley Altrocchi, placing Captain Cuellar among the great heroes and legendary wanderers of history alongside Jason, seeker of the Golden Fleece; Sigurd, ancient Norse hero; and Homer's Odysseus.
"Fraught With Hazard describes one of history's most dramatic and least-known tales-the fate of Spanish Armada survivors in Ireland after the English navy and stormy weather caused many of their warships to wreck on the treacherous Irish coast.
"Based on the sole witness-account of Captain Francisco de Cuellar, who endured seemingly endless death-defying crises before making it back to Spain, this enthralling epic is grippingly told by Paul and Julia Altrocchi. They breathe dazzling new life into a memorable 400 year-old saga of Homeric proportions."
- Hank Whittemore, author of the compelling non-fiction books So That Others May Live and The Monument.
"It is hard to believe that the perilous adventures of Francisco de Cuellar are true but they are, and the Altrocchis' breathtaking account of his daredevil escapades on the high-seas and on hostile shores is more vivid than the best that Hollywood has ever been able to offer. This is historical writing at its brightest, liveliest and very best."
- English writer Alexander Waugh, author of the best-selling The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War, and Fathers and Sons: The Autobiography of a Family.