Whenever I get into a conversation with
someone I've never met and they learn that I am a
treasure hunter by profession, they seem to be
awestruck. "Do you do the actual diving?" they will ask.
I smile and nod and then they come up with dozens of
When they find out that we are still working on and
recovering items from the Atocha, they can't believe it.
The Atocha has been a very large part of my entire
career. Now, though, I devote myself to the 1715 Fleet.
My parents started working on the 1715 Fleet when I was
2 years old. The 1715 Fleet had at least ten ships and
is in an area of Florida where actual recovery time is
limited to about 100 days per year due to weather
conditions. So, although we started salvaging this fleet
in 1963 and have worked it fairly continuously over the
years, our overall salvage time is less than on the
Atocha. Of course, the Atocha is a legend, but it was
the 1715 Fleet that romanced my parents to Florida and
introduced them to success in the salvage business.