Friday, February 11, 2011

Key West – Big change of weather

A solid gold spoon
We\never saw the sun today, lots of wind with our max gust registering 26 kts and with temperatures in the 60’s. Everybody was all bundled up although it wasn’t all that cold.

Solid gold ingots, wow!
It was a good day to do something inside so we decided to explore the Mel Fisher museum. Mel had a dream of finding Spanish gold from galleons that were sunk by a hurricane before they could make their way to Spain back in 1622 near Key West. For 16 long years he searched with the support of “investors” with a similar dream to find the motherlode. On July 20, 1985 he finally did find the treasure he had looked for so long! A $450 million treasure cache. He was in a position to reward all his many investors, mostly private citizens with small stakes, for their loyalty through the years. Except that now the state of Florida claimed it all belonged to them, 100% of it!! He was to get nothing from his 16 years of sweat and blood. Mel Fisher withstood over 100 lawsuits and finally wound up in the Supreme Court where he won his case and the treasure was his and his investors.

Price tag on this sold gold bowl was $1,000,000!!
The museum in Key West displays the story of his long search and eventual success. Solid gold bars are on display along with many items made of solid gold, quite staggering to see in person. Also on display are many silver ingots and items. There is a store associated with the museum that has on sale objects from the treasure find. As you might expect, the prices are out of sight but you can buy replicas made from the metal (gold or silver) found from salvaging the Spanish galleon. In that spirit, I bought Ann a Spanish coin made with silver from one of the recovered galleon treasures. She owns a piece of history, neat.