Friday, September 11, 2015

9/10/15 Report - 1813 Shipwreck Site Studied. Treasure Tracking. El Nino. Adventures of Sir Francis Drake.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Archaeologists are trying to locate the salvage camp and figure out how the survivors survived an 1813 shipwreck near Sitka.

...The nature of the artifacts seems to strongly indicate that survivors of the shipwreck were active in ensuring their own survival. They modified wreckage in desperation, but with ingenuity.

"Collectively, the artifacts reflect improvisation in a survival situation, and do not include ceramics, glass and other materials that would be associated with a settlement," McMahan said...

Here is the link for the story and which is also the source of the picture at the top of the post.

I've been talking a bit about how things come to be distributed after a shipwreck.  Part of that involves steps taken by the survivors to survive.  Some of the first items salvaged will be those most necessary for survival.  Some of those items will be modified and repurposed.

As you know, we have a few salvage camp areas along the Treasure Coast.  Some were used for quite a while.


One of the early tourists to visit Florida was Sir Francis Drake.  He also visited Virginia and took tobacco home to England.

Here is an account of his quest for treasure at Nombre de Dios and Cartegena.  It is supposed to be an eye-witness account approved by Sir Francis himself.


I often liken metal detecting to hunting wild game.  There are similarities, most especially when you are hunting older items.  To hunt old items most successfully, you have to know the signs, and how treasure travels and where it is most likely to be found.  Tracing its path and course is very much like stalking wild game.  That is something I enjoy.

I like hunting things.  It isn't any fun to go out and buy it at the store.  I don't really like spending.

I always think it is odd to see people clap when a bidder wins something at an auction.  The winner simply paid more than anyone else was willing to pay.  That might be an odd perspective, but paying more than anybody else just doesn't seem like a win to me.

I don't want to pay more for something than anybody else is willing to pay.  I'd prefer to find bargains.  I guess I just don't feel smart enough to find bargains at auctions attended by really serious collectors who know a lot more about the items than I do.  To do very well economically, and I know it isn't all about the economics, you'd have to be able to spot items that aren't fully appreciated by other bidders.  Of course if you love an item and just have to have to own it, I can see why you'd be perfectly content to pay more for it than anyone else.  And I suppose that if you do your homework, you just might spot a real bargain that no one else sees and end up doing very well.

If I was going to start a collection, I would try to find something that is fairly rare.  Maybe something like Panama cobs.  There aren't many of them.  They aren't so expensive that you have to be a millionaire to buy one.  And if you put together a small but good collection, study them and publicize them, you really have something that would appreciate in price.

One thing I don't like about some items, is that there might be a very limited number of them now, but some new discovery could make them much less rare.  I'd hate to have the only X, Y or Z, and then learn that ten more were discovered.  That could hurt, or it could possibly help if they were unique examples and all of a sudden became popular.  I'd prefer to know that if there is a limited number, a big new supply wouldn't likely come onto the market all of a sudden.

For the auction business it is fortunate that not everybody is like me. And I wouldn't even have said this if I thought I'd influence all the people who like paying for the things they collect.  I'm sure I won't change anybody's feelings or auction behavior, so no problem.

I could imagine building a collection to study, but probably won't at this point in my life.  Of the collectibles I have, most I've either found or they have some family history.

I find a lot of things that I use.  Most of my hats were found on a beach or somewhere.  You can find all kinds of hats in the wild.  I prefer to find things.

I was out walking down the river one day recently and came across a pair of ruined waders that some fisherman probably discarded.  I cut the boots off and now use the boots all the time.  I like to recycle like that.  I don't like waste.  You might say I'm cheap.  It is environmentally friendly.

I love auctions despite what I said above.  I like to study the collections.  Auctions provide an opportunity to look at things you might never see elsewhere.  And auctions tell you something about how other people value things.  If I fall in love with some item, I might even bid on it, but in the mean time, I'll mostly watch and study.

I'll continue to enjoy tracking my wild game. even if will look at it from time to time in the zoo.


They are saying that El Nino is this year the strongest ever and will continue into 2016.  Whatever pattern we've been having it certainly has kept our beaches building near continually for at least two years now.

The next two or three days on the Treasure Coast, the winds will be continually shifting about every two or so hours. That is all to little effect though.  We'll have something like a two foot surf.  The tides are not as high now either.

Henri is still out there but will not affect us much.  The National Hurricane Center isn't showing any other tropical weather in the Atlantic except for one disturbance barely off the coast of Africa.

Happy hunting,