Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pirates of the Caribbean- Keys Version

Well shiver me timbers, sip some rum, and call me Johnny Adept (you have to know the Pirate's of the Caribbean series to get this one); there be treasure on the beaches of the Florida Keys, matey! By the same token, I now understand WHY the treasure is so dad-blooned hard to find! Yesterday we went treasure hunting. Took the Tesoro Metal Detector and headed off to the wind swept beaches of Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key at MM 39 not too far from our current campsite. The usual thinking is that the pirates hide their booty in a cave or under a big rock that couldn't be moved or under a tree that stood there forever.....not so. Apparently the pirates hide the treasure under hoards of dead rotting fish. In all my years of walking beaches and combing them for one thing or another, I have never ever run into a fish kill the size and magnitude of this. I can only, and I say this in reverence and sorrow, imagine what it must be like in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. This was really bad. But we've been trying to avoid the shut out caused by the weather here so we're plowing into whatever we can to make this be the time in the Keys we intended it to be. The cold air and wind have created cold water, and fish are dying everywhere. Never have I seen the tough and almost unkillable moray eels laying rotting all along the stretch of beach we worked with our detector. It was really bad. We did our calculated best to stay up wind of the kill line as it lay festering on the beach- with only limited success. Fish by the thousands going to waste, but fascinating none the less.

The coastal keys are pummeled with shipwrecks just off shore. On any given day, a body has the chance to find an ancient coin or two. Gold doubloons. Pieces of Eight. How did we do? More like eight pieces of aluminum- but one never knows, so one always looks to see what one will see. And in addition to the pieces of junk- coins from today, be they old(er) or be they new(er). The grand booty for this day: 94 cents.

The thing about treasure is that it is more of a mental thing. Seldom does it pay for the cost of discovery. Think I can buy eight new AA batteries for the detector with my lousy 94 cents? No way Jose (that would be Jose the Pirate). But it just doesn't matter. I stayed out of trouble the entire time we searched for treasure. I held my nose from the rotten fish thing, but I laughed nearly the whole time. We decided NOT to have fish for dinner when we got home, but we cooked up some shrimp and scallops no matter what, so no trauma that lasted. And I had the chance...... The chance that the next time we stuck the trowel in the sand and pulled up whatever treasure lay below- that it would be something of value in one way or another, something of substance, something of history, something of interest, something of past tragedy, something of delight.

Who seek treasure are not in search of treasure in any way, shape or form. They are seeking adventure. And that is the way life is worth living. Aye, dat be the 'ting!

Fairness in Advertising Statement for this post: a few of these "more interesting"coins were found on a different day than the one I wrote about- like you care....


Kevin and Ruth said...

Very cool blog. Just came across it.

Always wanted to get one of those "metal detectors". I think I could keep myself busy for many hours on a Mexican beach!


Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it