Friday, May 25, 2007

Shipwreck and Spanish Gold!

Friday's posts have recently turned to stories about pirating. Well, I'm always in the search for booty! (Image below: AP)

NPR and Associated Press report this week described one gigantic haul:
Deep-sea explorers who found what could be the richest-ever shipwreck treasure said Monday that the reaction to their discovery has overwhelmed them. Meanwhile, claims on the loot started coming in even as they were exploring new waters — television and movie deals.

Odyssey Marine Exploration on Friday announced the recovery of more than 500,000 Colonial-era silver and gold coins possibly worth $500 million. The exploration company from Tampa has withheld details about the shipwreck, where it was found or even what kind of coins they had hauled back.

The piece reports that the Odyssey's co-founder was in Los Angeles meeting with Disney execs to sell the movie rights. I thought that was odd, since if you suddenly found yourself 500 mil richer, would you bother with the movie rights?

It turns out, the Odyssey and her crew might not be able to keep the riches. National Geographic reports that Spain is suing for ownership of the shipwreck's contents based on the Law of the Sea Convention, "enacted by the United Nations in 1982 and applies to shipwrecks found on the high seas, which are outside the jurisdiction of any government. The Convention, supported by 150 nations, recognize countries ownership of their sunken vessels."

If I were the Odyssey and her crew, I'd find an island somewhere to get lost, and then I'd send Spain a letter saying, "Come and find us with your navy, if you still have one. Best regards, Blackbeard"

Lest you think I forgot to mention a travel item (that being the thing I do on Fridays), SFist, one of the fine blogs from the Gothamist city blog collection, recently posted a story about a shipwreck that's so near the coast, that once in a while, tide and surf expose the remains of the ship.
Shipwreck'd At Ocean Beach: "The King Philip is usually underneath the sand, but was revealed once before in the 1980 El Nino. It's still visible as of the running of the story, but may get buried under the tide any moment now. So go check it out!
There are over 100 shipwrecks in the waters off the San Francisco Bay Area coast, including the Tennessee, a Gold Rush steamboat that sank in 1853 near Marin City, the Reporter, a schooner that sank in 1876 and whose remains are intermingled under 5 feet of sand with the King Philip on Ocean Beach, and the City of Rio de Janiero, which sank in 1901 off Point Diablo."
Happy Memorial Day and Happy Treasure Hunting!

1 comment:

Josephine Cameron said...

wanna spend the summer treasure hunting?