Hunting Treasure Off The Coast Of Florida

What this resort lacks in landscaping and architecture it makes up for in convenience for space-age enthusiasts. Interiors are plain but roomy, clean and in good taste. The outdoor pool was OK in February, but wildlife was more alluring. Our main reason for chooseing this resort was because it was near the treasure coast

Vacation Villas

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mary Dickinson on April 27, 2003

Best Things Nearby:
This is definitely space country. Everything you need to know about space in our country is right here. We enjoyed the space center with our kids many years ago and it's truly worth the trouble to take the kids there. I will never forget seeing what happens to the wings of a plane when the wind current hits it. Such a view is possible in the wind tunnel at the space center.

My interest in Titusville on this visit was the treasure coast about 30 miles south on Route 1. This was as close as we could get to it.

Best Things About the Resort:
There is a lot of room inside and it is clean and comfortable and in good condition. The outside is not as attractive, but don't let that discourage you. There are sliding glass doors in the rear that overlook a wildlife area and big cranes swoop down and blend right into the habitat. You can sit outside in the linai and enjoy watching them. There is an outside pool and even though it was winter people were enjoying it on the warmer days. We had a nice, new, clean kitchen with more room than most timeshares and a window opening to the dining area to make serving easier. A glass top table gave it that sparkle I like in Florida timeshares. I also liked the white tiled floors in the living/dining room and kitchen because it has a tropical appeal. If you had more than four people staying here the fifth and sixth persons would be okay sleeping on the pullout couch because there is a TV in the two bedrooms and a bathroom opening up to the living room. The laundry was right outside our unit and seem to be available most of the time, however it was coin operated.

Resort Experience:
We wanted to get close to the treasure coast and Titusville was as near as we could get in timeshare accommodations that time of the year. I had made a study of the treasure coast the year before when we were in Florida and was anxious to be in the area. We had to drive 30 miles south on Route 1 to get into the vacinity.

I was particularly interested in Sebastian. There are museums in that area explaining all about the sunken Spanish gallions. If you want to hunt for treasure that's where the beaches are, but I can gaurantee you they are well-picked over, but it's so much fun to look right where the treasure went down. The treasure coast continues from Sebastian to Ft. Pierce.

Vacation Villas Resort
3795 Vacation Villas Lane
Titusville, FL, 32780
(321) 268-2413

McCarty Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mary Dickinson on May 8, 2003

Sebastian is a great place to go treasure hunting. The McCarty Museum on Rt.A1A in that town is built on the site where survivors from the Spanish galleons came ashore after they were shipwrecked in 1715. Their ships were laddened with gold dabloons and pieces of eight and it all dumped into the deep blue sea that will be in front of you as you look out from the ramp behind the museum. In this century salvagers have become famous hunting for the treasure from those ships.

I know I'm not likely to find any but its so fun to go through the museum and see all the salvage and understand what it was and where it came from. Gold doesn't break down so any that is found is as good as the day it fell into the water but silver is a diferent story. The closest I have come to actually owning a cob (coins produced like these were) is from a coin dealer in Ft. Lauderdale but if I'm likely to find any on my own it would be here.

A real good time to treasure hunt is right after a hurricane because it sturs up the water and forces something that's been in the sand out at sea to change its location and come into shore. Lots of people already know that so expect crowds.

Its best to go to the museum and buy some of the paperbacks written by salvagers such as Kip Wagner. Relax on the shore with a nice cooler full of coke and read them and dream. You may even see salvagers at work. We noticed a large barge sifting something in Sebastian Inlet when we were there.

Don't go out and buy equipment until you have read most of the paperbacks because it's not easy and it is dangerous. The treasure is out in the reefs that are so sharp they caused the ships to sink in the first place and there are sharks in those reefs also. And worse of all the state wants their fair share. You need a permit to hunt treasure in the water and it costs. Treasure hunting on the beach is free.

If you really want to get into it go to the Mel Fisher Museum also in Sebastian. They will sell you a permit but everything related to that museum is very expensive. Its another great place to find out about the treasure though.

McCarty Museum
Route A1A

Mel Fisher Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mary Dickinson on May 8, 2003

Before you go to the museum look for tourist booklets about this area and you might find a discount coupon that will save you a lot on admission.

One of a kind the Mel Fisher Museum shows the collections of one family and their team of workeres and the results of their work in marine salvaging. I found out about it when daytripping to Key West on a tour. (See my Key West journal)

The museum features a 25 minute movie about their work and explains the museum itself. When you walk through, the workroom is right there and you can see from the experts how to preserve metal or anything that has been in the ocean for hundreds of years.

China cups were dredged up from the ocean floor by a special method, invented by Mel Fisher, of blowing the sand off salvaged articles instead of suction, that avoids damage to the articles. They're on display here. They look as good as the day they were produced in China. They're priceless. They were packed in mud to avoid breaking and were still in the mud when they were found in the ocean hundreds of years later.

Jewels intended for a royal queen were located from the wrecks of a fleet of Spanish galleons that went down off the coast of Sebastian in 1715 were found and are on display here.

Mel Fisher hired experts to research shipwrecked galleons off the coast of Florida. They worked with the national archives in Seville in Spain. Because of that research Mel was able to find the long lost Atocha that went down in 1622 off Key West. He lost a son serching for it. Articles from that wreck are on display.

The gift shop has alot of good books about salvaging. Buying a real salvaged coin here is authentic but very expensive. I was able to purchase a cob (coin produced the way these were) from a reputable dealer in Ft. Lauderdale for a lot less. It had papers and was salvaged from the Atocha by Mel Fisher. Once the salvaged articles are on the market the price goes down.

Watch out for flea market dealers and salvagers someone happens to know. I saw a great reproduced cob bracelet at a flea market in Sebastian, FL for $35.00 and it was really well done. The artist was selling it as a reproduction. Its not hard to reproduce one of these coins so beware. This museum sells reproductions but tells you that's what they are. They sell great inexpensive metal reproductions for the kids. See also Mel Fisher

Mel Fisher Museum
1322 US Highway One
Key West, 33040
(305) 294-2633

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