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Old 27-04-2008, 00:06   #1
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lannen's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Gulfport Fl
Boat: Endeavour CC 40' AbbyGale
Posts: 177
Images: 9
Who wants to dive for treasure?

Iím an amateur treasure hunter. That means I dream more about it than actually going out and finding it. Iíve got my underwater metal detectors, and do a little poking about here and there off the west coast of Florida. The east coast is overpopulated populated with treasure hunters, and all of the good hunting areas are under contractual leases already.

Well, there were galleons on the west coast of Florida too. Captiva Island was the home to a few pirates, along with Tampa, Charlotte Harbor, and a few other great spots.

Iíve done a little research in the area and am having a great time Ďhuntingí the lost booty. So far the finds have been few. No gold or silver, but Iíve found some bottles, ship pieces and parts, and a few other odds and ends. One day, it will be where Iím looking, or so I hope.

I just thought I would pass on this information if you want to dive some sites with the Fishers in Key West. Itís a fun opportunity for some young folks looking for a new adventure.

Happy hunting and fair winds!

Information about becoming a crew member for Mel Fisherís Dive Team

on the Atocha & Margarita Wreck Sites

What are we looking for today:
We are currently still working the Atocha and Margarita wreck sites searching for the remaining treasure and other cargo. This would include 100ís of silver bars, 100,000 silver coins, at least (8) 4,000 lb bronze cannons, and approximately 60 lbs of smuggled Columbian Emeralds as well as many of the rich passengers personal belongings and cargo. The search has continued for so long because the wreck sites are spread out over 8 miles of ocean bottom and we continue to extend the current trails.
About the job:
Our crew members are all subcontractors and have their own corporation and we ask for at least a one-year commitment to the job. If you donít have a corporation, we can assist you in establishing one. You must pass a drug test in order to start work. We run drug & alcohol free vessels with a zero tolerance policy. Starting pay for a crewmember is $400 per week. You will also receive one half of one percent of the treasure found while you are working on the boat as long as you complete the one-year period. There are also cash bonuses paid for treasure found.
We do all no-decompression dives on SCUBA following the PADI dive tables. You will be diving in water from 20-60 feet most of the time. While at sea we work from sunup to sundown. Food is provided while at sea but not in port. All crew members take turns cooking dinner each night during the trip. The boats are at sea from 5-10 days on average per trip but may on occasion be at sea for up to 14 days if the weather is extremely good. Upon returning to port, the crew takes a day or two off then gets the boat ready for the next trip. During the summer months we will be at sea most of the time. In the winter months, when we are in port for extended periods of time, the crew will work on the boats 5-6 days a week, 6-10 hours each day depending on the maintenance required. All of the ships maintenance is performed by the boat crews and would include but is not limited to the following: grinding, chipping and painting, changing oil & filters and any other type of mechanical work that is needed. In most cases, if you donít know how to do it, we will train you but be prepared for hard work.
If hired, this is what you would need to bring with you to start:
You will need to bring all your own SCUBA equipment, EXCEPT dive tanks. This would include: BC, regulator w/octopus, mask, fins, snorkel, weight belt, wetsuit, boots & hood for cold weather, knee pads, knife, compass, pressure gauge, dive computer or dive timer. Crewmembers are allowed to live onboard while in port and I suggest bringing a minimum of items with you due to the limited storage space. Each crewmember has a bunk and a small storage area. It is helpful if you have a vehicle because our boats are docked on Stock Island, which is located a few miles from downtown Key West. You are required to have reliable personal transportation to get you to and from the boats. Applicants that are being considered for these positions will have background checks done prior to being hired and by submitting this application you agree to allow us to do such a check for security purposes.
If you are interested in becoming a crew member, please fill out the diver application form and email a resume to DIVERS@MELFISHER.COM:
S/V AbbyGale
lannen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2008, 04:33   #2

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
I did this for a while (6 mos?) and got pretty discouraged. Seems any wreck that is yielding is usually already claimed and trespassing is illegal. Finding new wrecks takes years and years and years as well as millions of dollars.

Most successful treasure hunters are backed by investors to the tune of millions of $$ to pay for all the expenses.

I, too, spent some time using my underwater detector and found tons of nails, old ship part, bottle caps and other trash... ha ha

It was kind of fun, until I realized it was just another expensive hobby (and I had enough of those already).

BUT... it does provide a good form of recreation, thinking and fun if you are into it. My problem was that I was more into finding valuables than the act of poking around with a metal detector.
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote

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