Mel Fisher’s Treasures Museum

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Mel Fisher’s Treasures Museum located at 1322 U.S. Highway 1 in Sebastian. Outside the museum, a cannon reproduction made from a mold from the original cannon and a sheet anchor weighing 750 pounds.

Inside the theater, watch a 20-minute film about the early life of the Fishers in California in the early 1950s to the time of Atocha the Spanish Galleon that sunk in 1622.

PICT0541PICT0542An illuminated map of the Spanish Trade Routes from the Atlantic to the Pacific dating from 1500 to 1800. Indigo dye in Honduras, gold and silver mined in Mexico and Peru. Pearls found in oyster beds in the Isle of Margarita part of Venezuela located in the Caribbean. Silk, spices, tea and other luxury items from China, Southeast Asia and India to the port city of Manila in the Philippines the export location of goods heading to Spain.

PICT0520-1PICT0526Throughout the museum replicas of ships to an original 9 foot 3,000 pound cannon to different size cannonballs in a display case. Bernard Romans, a Dutch-born American navigator and surveyor whose map drawn in 1775 showed the earliest location of the wrecks. Different navigational tools from an Astrolabe used to determine latitude to the bronze dividers used to measure distance.

PICT0558PICT0563Tinaja the Spanish name for a large earthenware vessel used to store freshwater. A wedding chain used in wedding ceremonies. The Spaniards melted down the gold, silver and jewels to bars, bits, disks and ingots, which are oblong. A photograph of Bill Moore, an Atocha diver who in one day recovered 165 pounds of gold.

PICT0531PICT0548-1Many different religious artifacts that include a gold religious medallion, a pitcher, gold plate and an emerald cross. A wall dedicated to family traditions, a display case of Maritime Archaeology artifacts. Maritime Archaeology the study of shipwrecks, the people and their activities. Display cases filled with artifacts and treasures throughout the museum.

Stop in the gift shop and see coins from the 1715 fleet. Earrings and rings from 1622 and 1715. Divers’ Guides, children’s books, t-shirts and videos. I highly recommend a visit; I plan a return visit to the museum. Admission prices and hours of operation on the website.

 

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Princess Place Preserve

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Princess Place Preserve located at 2500 Princess Place Road in Palm Coast. Drive along a two-lane dirt road crossing a covered bridge stopping for horses along the road. Bring a fishing pole and fish on the dock or relax on a bench. Bring a pair of binoculars on a clear day you can see the bridge that crosses to A1A and see Marineland. Hike one of the four trails or canoe on Pellicer Creek that flows into Matanzas Inlet. Sit under a canopy of trees, have a picnic feel the breeze while overlooking the water.

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PICT0473In the late 1880s, a hunting lodge built on the 1500-acre property. The lodge, the servants’ quarters that is now the park ranger’s office, livery stable, bathhouse and the first in-ground swimming pool all adjacent buildings. The pool table in the main hall include photographs of Princess Scherbatow, the owner to famous guests at the lodge. Going from room to room, the park ranger gave a thorough account of each room from donated pieces to family owned pieces. Original Hard Pine floors to a fireplace with original tiles and mirrors.

PICT0498PICT0454Cedar Trees, Palm Trees, Vines and the Southern Magnolia named for Pierre Magnol a French Botanist. Free entrance to the park, hours of operation on the website. Free tours of the lodge; I recommend the tour; the park ranger is very knowledgeable.

 

Discovery Gardens

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PICT0405PICT0403Discovery Gardens located at 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares. Ponds, garden statues and fountains throughout the gardens. From the Backyard Habitat to the Southwest Garden signs or maps help identify each garden. The Persian Shield a shrub native to Myanmar, the Variegated Shell Ginger and the Rangoon Creeper both native to Asia all along the path.

PICT0387Stand on a bridge and admire the many plants native to Central Florida Freshwater Wetlands. The Water Hemlock a perennial herb that grows up to 8 feet. A Red Maple that grows well in swampy areas that can grow to 50 to 60 feet.

PICT0446Sit on a bench donated by individuals or clubs. Have a picnic on one of the tables. Sit in a gazebo, relax and admire the native plants in the landscape garden.

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A canopy of plants and trees in the Tropical Shade Garden. Walk through the mulch lined walkway and admire the Xanadu, a Philodendron, Coontie, a plant native to Florida and Indian Head Ginger native to Central and South America. Loquat a fruit tree grown in Japan for over a thousand years but native to South-Central China.

Over thirteen gardens and hundreds of plants to enjoy that I can’t possibly name them all. Free entrance to the gardens, hours of operation on the website.