Sebastian Inlet State Park
Trip Start Nov 19, 2007
217Trip End Ongoing
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Arrived at Sebastian Inlet and immediately rode over to the beach. What a treasure!! More of the same as at Fort Pierce beaches. As far as the eye can see or the person wishes to walk there is soft, beige sand. We swam and body surfed till we were ready to drop.
Thurs. April 2nd
Biked over to the McLarty Treasure Museum (also a part of the park) a couple of miles down the road and checked out the exhibits and film that runs throughout the day. The museum is located on the site of the 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet survivors' & salvaging camp. The "fleet" was carrying gold, silver, jewels, ancient pottery from the far east and above all, the dowry for the Italian princess that married the Spanish king . All this was lost when the entire fleet went down in a hurricane. Salvage efforts went on for a year or so, but much of the treasure and all of the dowry were not recovered.
Over the centuries, the lost treasure was mostly forgotten, until a local beachcomber found some silver pieces of eight in the dunes. He kept looking and found more treasure and over time, he and others did the research necessary to identify particular pieces that had been on the manifest of the 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet. Since then, millions of dollars of treasure have been found, yet the Queen's dowry is still missing. The fleet, along with other treasure ships that sank in various storms, is why this portion of Florida's east coast is called "the treasure coast".
Went for an evening walk over to the pier at the inlet and talked to some shrimp fishermen that were quietly talking as they watched their net float in the current. The net was about 4 feet wide, with a mouth about 2 feet x 4 feet and 3 feet deep. Each time they pulled it up they had a half a dozen various sized shimp. The biggest was about 7 inches long. They told us that last year they went home with 5 gal. buckets (the limit) on a few different nights.
Friday, April 3
Checked out the Fisherman's Museum (also part of the park) and learned about the local fishing past and the settlers that came and lived along side the Ais indians. The Ais lived completely from the water and ate shellfish (there are huge piles of oyster shells that remain to this day), fish and turtle eggs.
This is a great park that we will return to visit for a longer stay sometime in the future.