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Exploring Florida’s Treasure Coast

1715 Hurricane Strikes the Spanish Plate Fleet

In the 1500, 1600 and 1700’s Spain mined vast quantities of silver and smaller amounts of gold out of the mountains of Mexico and South America. Smelted into ingots and coins the silver and gold crossed the Atlantic in wooden sailing vessels. Departing from Cuba the ships would make the perilous journey to Europe traveling northwest along Florida’s east coast. In 1715 a hurricane sunk the Spanish Plate Fleet  off the shoals between Sebastian and Fort Pierce sinking 11 treasure ships and killing nearly 1,000 souls. Some 1500 survivors struggled to shore while the gleaming treasure lay on the floor of the ocean. The treasure has been hunted for hundreds of years with numerous successful discoveries.

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Sebastian Inlet Connecting the Indian River and Atlantic Ocean


 

McLarty Treasure Museum, Vero Beach

 Located just south of the Sebastian Inlet the museum commemorates the history of the lost Spanish fleet.  Channel your inner pirate and discover why the area surrounding Brevard County and South towards Key West is known as the “Treasure Coast”.

The museum features the rich history of the 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet housing an extensive collection of  artifacts, treasure coins, jewelry, authentic 1715 Atocha coins, survivors’ artifacts, porcelains and ceramics. McLarty Museum is a Historic Monument marking the location of the survivors’ and salvagers’ camp.

While visiting the park take time to have lunch at the Marina Grill on the north side of the inlet. The fish sandwich comes highly recommend, but the burger is pretty tasty too. Take a seat in a  favored spot on the upper deck over looking the inlet and surrounding park. The Sebastian area has a storied past and your sure to bump into a local with their own treasure story or two. 

 

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The Spanish Plate Fleet Route Map

Six Ships Identified Five Yet To Be Discovered

Up for a treasure hunt? On the 300th anniversary of the shipwreck, treasure hunters found 350 coins worth 4.5 million, the most valuable find from the 1715 shipwreck site in recent decades. Today’s high tech treasure hunters follow a scientific formula for locating, isolating and salvaging artifacts. The waters surrounding Sebastian Inlet hold a trove of treasure and the tranquil sands are rich with history.  So if you see something shinny in the surf- it just might be a piece of “8”.

“”Finders Keepers”

 

 

Snorkeling gear

Snorkeling Essentials : Mask Fins and Snorkel

Grab your Mask and Snorkel

If you think you might want to dive in and do some exploring while your visiting Paradise Found we recommend stopping by Hatts Diving Headquarters. Hatt’s located in Melbourne just across the 192 causeway is a one stop shop for all your diving and snorkeling needs.

Why Hatts : All services provided by certified and experienced technicians. Air and Nitrox fills using dependable certified quality air turned around quickly. If you need a PADI refresher course classroom and pool sessions  available on site. Quality gear fitting provided by knowledgeable sales staff and you can take a test swim in the onsite pool.

Free diving and snorkeling are a great way to explore the areas around Sebastian Inlet. The jetty rock formations attract lots of sea life and fish. The tide pool offers a safe place for the younger folks and novices to test their skill and maybe even check out a manatee or two.

Contact us if your interested in additional information about visiting Paradise Found Florida, ocean front beach cottage in Melbourne Beach, Florida.