Friday, April 14, 2017

4/14/17 Report - Locals Hit Treasure Coast Beaches On Good Friday. Gold Shipments Sunk. Brass Monkey. Unfortunate Loss.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Jensen Beach This Afternoon.

It is a beautiful Good Friday on the Treasure Coast and many locals along with a few remaining snow birds hit the beaches.

North of Jensen Beach Friday Afternoon.

There were a lot of people at Jensen Beach - as many as I've seen on a Treasure Coast beach for a good while.  There should be a few coins and modern items to find.

The Treasure Beaches weren't as busy.  They weren't eroding either.

John Brooks Friday Afternoon.

John Brooks beach had filled some since I showed it last.  It had more sand.  The cuts were at least a foot less than the last time I was there.  Also, there was more seaweed.


Michael Gannon died at 89.  He was personally known to some of this blog's readers and was a leading promoter of  St. Augustine’s history. 


Here is an excerpt from a good article.

After 25 years of research, a group of marine experts has produced a comprehensive and closely-guarded database of secret gold movements from Britain to the U.S. and elsewhere in World Wars I and II.

The gold was being sent by both the government and private institutions to pay their wartime bills. But a substantial amount ended up on the seabed, courtesy of the German U-boats which made every trans-Atlantic voyage a game of Russian roulette.

Now some of it may be heading for the surface as the most ambitious treasure hunt of modern times gets underway.

After painstakingly cross-referring classified Bank of England and government records with new archive material in Britain and overseas, the researchers believe they have pinpointed a series of Atlantic wrecks containing gold with a combined value of at least £4.5 billion. That is just a conservative estimate...

Here is the link for the rest of that article.

There is a lot to read in that one article, and there are other related articles to check out.

I haven't looked into this story much yet, but might have more on it in the future.


Brass Monkey and Cannon Balls.

If it was very cold today I might use an old expression and say, "It is cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey."  That sounds crude - certainly not appropriate discussion for Good Friday.  The statement might not be as obscene as it sounds though.  If the article I just read is true, the expression has nothing to do with primates or any part of their anatomy.  The article says that the expression comes from the time of sailing ships and the balls referred to are cannon balls.  The "monkey" was a brass plate on which the cannon balls were stacked.

Here is what the article says.

The master wanted to store the cannon-balls such that they could be of instant use when needed, yet not roll around the gun deck. The solution was to stack them up in a square based

pyramid next to the cannon. The top level of the stack had one ball, the next level down had four, the next had nine, the next had sixteen, and so on. Four levels would provide a stack of 30 cannonballs. The only real problem was how to keep the bottom level from sliding out from under the weight of the higher levels. To do this, they devised a small brass plate (“brass monkey”) with one rounded indentation for each cannonball in the bottom layer. Brass was used because the cannonballs wouldn’t rust to the “brass monkey”, but would rust to an iron one.

When temperature falls, brass contracts in size faster than iron. As it got cold on the gun decks, the indentations in the brass monkey would get smaller than the iron cannonballs they were holding. If the temperature got cold enough, the bottom layer would pop out of the indentations spilling the entire pyramid over the deck. Thus it was, quite literally, “cold enough to freeze the balls off a “brass monkey.” (Source:

That is the story anyhow, and I assume they are sticking with it.

I'm a little skeptical and suspect that there is some truth to it, but I've also read that the physics don't work out.  At least one person said that no amount of cold would have such an effect to freeze the balls off of the brass monkey.  That sounds right to me.  I wouldn't be surprised if this was one more of those things that has some truth to it, but also some myth.


Happy hunting,