Inside the Reef
Dis yere’s a true, true tale, not a once-upon-a-time-ven-der–monkey-chew-terbacca-an’-spit-white-lime cuncocshun ter tantilize tourists …
Like the Bahamian Beach Dialect?
It’s background, scenery ambience for the remainder of the article:
Please allow an old fashioned scorn for the Thomas Bowdler type word blog.
First of all, before the nitty-gritty details of treasure hunting arrive on the scene, there are some left-handed verifications for conclusions about to be made:
One: Pirates were too busy spending their plunder in places like Port Royal, Jamaica, the Island of Tortuga and Charles Town (Nassau), Bahamas than wasting valuable high-living time burying gold and jewellery and making maps to retrieve the plunder again. Robert Louis Stevenson seems to be responsible for the map mystique through his fictional book: Treasure Island.
At this point, a deliberately sceptical person may wish to resurrect an account of Captain William Kidd’s fabulous unfound treasure.
A small cache of the alleged pirate’s assorted spoils on Gardiners Island, Long Island was seized by the Governor of New York, and sent to London as evidence in Kidd’s Trial. This find gave rise to treasure seeking expeditions at many of Kidd’s ports of call during his pirate or perhaps privateering career:
Gardiners Island, Long Island; Charles Island, Connecticut; The Island of Grand Manan, Bay of Fundy; Takarjima (Treasure Island), Japan; Phu Quoc, Vietnam; etc. Optimists are still searching – as recently as 1984 two Gentlemen Adventurers spent two years in a Vietnamese and were fined $10,000 a piece for their aborted efforts.
Two: On the whole, humans like to be bamboozled:
The Piltdown Skull – archaeologists went crazy over that discovery in a British quarry. It took almost fifty years for scientists to work out that the unearthed object was a made-up thing using the jaw of a chimpanzee.
The Man in the Iron Mask – was he the twin brother of Louis XIV? There is no factual evidence to support the legend; only Alexandre Dumas’ fictional novel perpetuates the intriguing mystery.
Creatures of Myth – These fascinating denizens of the human imagination (?) are still around:
There are grey or green beings, who fly around the world in saucer-shaped space ships. Some authors make a good living by writing about them and their antics. Hollywood is predominantly fond of such science-fiction fodder.
Hanging from the trees are green, three-toed, sloth-like inhabitants of Andros Island, Bahamas. These are supposed to be particularly dangerous – any observer of their frolics has his head turned back to front.
Big Foot stalks the pine forests of North America. There are plaster casts of his/her feet; some hazy photography and wild stories – nothing more.
The Yeti, a.k.a. the Abominable Snowman/woman, wanders around the Himalayas. There is the same kind of evidence as for Big Foot, only in his/her case the foot-prints are in the snow.
The Loch Ness Monster lives in Scotland and has been viewed by many people, the majority of whom had probably imbibed too much of the local moon-shine, known as whisky.
There are, of course, many other examples of the credulous human psyche; but those cited provide sufficient grist to grind the corn of this pirate/ wishful human imagination expose.
For many years, two cast-iron cannon guarded the entrance to the Anglican Rectory in Rock Sound, Eleuthera. Bahamas. They had been recovered from an Atlantic shore area on the eastern side of the island by members of a Boys Brigade Troop led by Canon Frederick Guild, the Anglican Priest. After his death, the cannon were dumped back into the sea to make a breakwater.
My Family and Father Guild were very close, both socially and spiritually. On August Bank Holidays we all went to the eastern beach for our annual Family Picnic; and it was on one of these occasions that Father Freddy showed us the location of his cannon-find, some 100 feet off-shore – it was no big secret.
My three sons and I went spear-fishing not too far away from Picnic Beach. It was during the calm after Hurricane David. Just inside the reef, the sand on the floor of the lagoon had shifted and three more cannon were exposed – we didn’t have the man-power or equipment to move them, and we decided to let them lie, keep our mouths shut and wait for a later date.
The later date never came; but this August we did discuss the Lucaya Treasure found just off a hotel beach on Grand Bahama, the proceeds of which, it is alleged, disappeared into the Bahamian Treasury. We also made our own mouths water by a survey of The Atocha Treasure found in the waters of Key West, USA – millions of dollars in gold, silver and emeralds already recovered; and millions still to come.
We glanced at our own personal may be; but the boys had wives to satisfy and other fish to fry, whilst I was too old for any more serious adventuring; although I managed to check out Google Earth on my PC.
Now, I have a real Treasure Map. It is of the shallow inshore waters on the eastern side of Eleuthera; and in a favoured spot, I believe that I can discern the shadowy outline of what could be a ship’s hull.
Some treasure can still be found in the ground:
Schliemann and his wife Sophie read Homer; followed his directions and found The Treasure of Troy.
Carter and Lord Caernarvon searched the Valley of the Kings in Egypt and found The Treasure of Tutankhamen.
However, most of the riches of the past, yet to be found, are buried under the sea. Don’t forget that over 100 million dollars worth of gold were recovered in 1986 in the sea off Carolina from the wreck of the SS Central America in 1857.
If you’re interested, you know who to contact, and be assured that for a modest fee he will be a very silent consultant.