Friday, February 12, 2010

Visiting the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum

Well, since the snows continue to pile up in my prime treasure-hunting grounds, I needed a way to stay motivated. What better place to keep my treasure fire stoked than at Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum in Sebastian, Florida?  Mel Fisher made some amazing discoveries right off the beach not far from here, where the 1715 Plate Fleet went down in a storm.  The 1715 Plate Fleet wrecks continue to produce treasure since being discovered over 40 years ago.

Mel Fisher, as you know, is most famous for recovering the treasure of the Atocha near the Marquesas Islands off the Florida Keys. The Atocha and it's sister ship, the Santa Margarita, also continue to give up their treasures to Mel Fisher's treasure hunters.

The Treasure Museum in Sebastian gives a great history of Mel's treasure hunting exploits in Florida. He sold his dive shop in California to spend a year salvaging the 1715 Plate Fleet without promise of pay. His year paid off handsomely as he at one point found "a carpet of gold coins" in a small ravine on the ocean floor. He moved on to hunting for the 1622 fleet which included the Atocha.

The museum has a short film, then you can tour the fantastic finds that Fisher and his treasure hunting team have found from both fleets, which are pictured here.  There is a gift shop with authentic gold and silver treasure items for sale.  You can also get replica coins and jewelry molded from the originals. 

The Mel Fisher Treasure Museum is a great stop if you are in the Sebastian area.  You can see some of the most amazing treasure ever found, and just drool at divers on the film bringing up fistfuls of gold escudos and buckets of Spanish silver coins. 

Mel Fisher also has a treasure musem in Key West, Florida where you can see similar Spanish treasure. Also check for further info.  Oh, I don't have the detector with me on this trip but I did find a penny washed up in the wet sands while walking on a beach just up the road. The treasure beaches continue to produce. 

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