When a beach is your front yard, you get pretty familiar with the comings and goings of the boats in your neighborhood. In recent weeks, a new boat has been showing up about 100 meters out from the beach and about a 7 minute walk from my house. The boat says “Research Vessel” on it. Yesterday I found out why:
This boat has discovered a 200 year-old shipwreck which it is preparing to explore. This island is notorious for stupid political tangles, and when it comes to things like approving someone’s petition to explore an old wreck, things can get tied up for a bit since everyone wants a piece of the potential loot. Especially when it’s a known fact that this was a merchant ship which came here by way of Brazil. Back then, one of Brazil’s biggest industries and exports was its melting and casting of iron and metals, including silver and gold. Another treasure this shipwreck is rumored to possibly have is antique porcelain, which in addition to being very valuable is also extraordinarily beautiful.
So while the research vessel continues to vie for government approval to start the exploration of the shipwreck, a few of us beach dwellers are already plotting how we might take advantage of this unique situation. The fact that we know exactly where the wreck is admittedly presents a few temptations. One of the neighbors, who lives on the cliff above the location of the shipwreck, has already posted a sentry with binoculars so that he can track exactly when excavations begin, at which point he fully intends to go on an exploratory dive of his own under cover of night, to see what he can find.
As for the rest of us, there will most likely be a significant increase in foot traffic on the beach. I predict that most of us will increase our daily exercise regimen with the addition of several daily casual strolls along the beach, in hopes that we might stub our toe on a gold or silver bar just happened to have washed up from the excavation. I also plan on increasing my snorkeling activities dramatically. After all, one can hope and dream, and people who live on beaches in the Caribbean are already, for the most part, hopeless romantics (the rest are just good old-fashioned pirates).
I did a quick online search on buried treasure and found a link on “12 Real Life Buried Treasures”. Some of these treasures go back to the 1500’s and are worth many billions of dollars! So it can happen, folks. If it happens to me, I probably won’t tell you though.