It's a Spanish silver dollar, known as a piece of eight, that was Pope's first treasure find in 20 years of scouring the ocean. Taffi Fisher-Abt caught the fever from her father. She recalled her father's first valuable find in near Fort Pierce, a discovery that gave credence to the area's name - the Treasure Coast. That's just the way it goes," Bounds said. A shiny piece of hope dangles from ship captain Doug Pope's neck. As salvage season begins - roughly from May to August when the seas are calmer - a select few carry on Fisher's work up and down Florida's coasts, hoping to hit the mother lode. Back on the Polly-L, Pope's Amelia Research and Recovery crew scoured the ocean floor just a few hundred yards from shore.
The Spanish government eventually agreed to have the items displayed at a Virginia museum. Along with her brothers, she now runs many of the Fisher family operations, including Pope's. While Spanish manifests detail cargo, there's no way to tell exactly how much treasure each vessel carried since many valuables were left off records to avoid taxes, said Ryan Wheeler, Florida's state archaeologist. She recalled her father's first valuable find in near Fort Pierce, a discovery that gave credence to the area's name - the Treasure Coast. The fever is contagious. He was subcontracted to work the site. Records indicate they carried hundreds of millions of dollars worth of treasure and artifacts, but the ocean has kept much of the booty a mystery for decades. All the hard work could also pay off with a big court dispute over ownership. Most known wrecks in Florida waters were worked out in the courts years ago, thanks to Fisher, but Spain could still attempt to claim ownership at any time, said James Goold, a Washington attorney who represents the country in such cases. Taffi Fisher-Abt caught the fever from her father. Keith Webb's Blue Water Ventures found more than 16, pearls in a lead box, gold bars and other artifacts from one of the Spanish ships in the Keys. Odyssey claims the wreck was discovered in international waters, and that all the proper paperwork was filed to salvage the site. Gold fever, that is. We wake up every morning and repeat that. This spot, right here," Pope said. A shiny piece of hope dangles from ship captain Doug Pope's neck. The ships would then head north, using the Gulf Stream to propel them back toward Europe. That's just the way it goes," Bounds said. Spain successfully fought salvagers who discovered two of its ships off Virginia's coast, where a federal appeals court in ordered that coins and other artifacts be returned. It's a Spanish silver dollar, known as a piece of eight, that was Pope's first treasure find in 20 years of scouring the ocean. Still, Madrid argues the entire treasure belongs to Spain because it came from a sunken naval ship, and under the often confusing law of the sea, the country never abandoned it. Florida is said to have more treasure-laden shipwrecks than any other state, largely because it is near the Gulf Stream. But discovering treasure is no easy task. He and his crew were searching the waters off Fort Pierce for remnants of a ship believed to have been part of the fleet. When it settles, divers jump in with metal detectors and sweep the freshly cleared area, hoping for a sparkling gold reminder of why they do this. The treasures could be anywhere.
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