The Bayonnaise was a spectacular corvette with a wooden hull lined in copper that had three masts. It had a displacement of 310 tons and was built in 1794 by Bastiat, Dufourc et fils, in the French town of Bayonne. It had 24 eight pound guns on board, which were supplemented with four deck cannons and two 32-pound carronades. The ship was on the Havana to Ferrol route when it was chased by the British ship the HMS Ardent, with 64 guns. The Bayonnaise was run aground by its own crew which abandoned it after having set fire to it. The ship exploded at midnight.
This French corvette played an important role in a famous military feat. On the 14th December 1798, under the command of Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste-Edmond Richer, it rammed and captured the English war frigate HMS Ambuscade, much more powerful than the French corvette, which was equipped with forty-two 24 and 18 pounds guns. The Bayonnaise wreck was located by the Archeonauta team, the underwater archaeology group of Miguel San Claudio Santa Cruz during the archaeological survey carried out during the Finisterre Project