OPERATIONS: During the past 12 months, the Polly-L267 offshore days. This is more days and bottom time than all the other treasure-hunting vessels in the entire industry, combined. Our Treasure Finding operations were hampered this year by bad weather but we worked every day possible on the Polly-L.
MAINTENANCE: During the past year, with the help of a few of our members, we have rebuilt the brake on the jacking system, replaced the 40 kw generator, replaced most of the hydraulic hoses and all of the hydraulic piping, all the batteries (8 total), painted the interior of the vessel and much of the hull. We also performed all the required maintenance on the three 300 horsepower caterpillar engines, the two 60 kw and one 40 kw generators and the 3 skiffs. We rebuilt the hydraulic rams on our ten-ton crane and maintained the rest of our very complicated hydraulic system, which hold about 14 fifty-give gallon drums of fluid. We estimate these repairs would have cost the Company about $125,000, if we had outside vendors perform the work. We could not have accomplished this work without the help of our members/partners.
LATE SEPTEMBER 2007:
September 21, 2007: We received the signed contract from Underwater Construction Corporation (UCC) to provide the Polly-L as a platform to support their divers as they cleaned one of the intake pipes that supply cooling water to the St. Lucie power plant. We began work on this project on September 23 and finished on December 12, 2007. This has been a great project for the Polly-L and her crew and will provide our Company with revenue, which will reduce the number of Membership Units we will need to sell during the 2008 season. We hope to do a similar project with UCC next fall around the same time.
From Underwater Construction Corporation - December 2, 2007:
The Polly-L has proven to be the perfect platform for diving support activities at the St. Lucie power plant. After two months of production work at the plant, UCC had no down time due to mechanical problems with any of the Polly'L's machinery, the main engines, generators, electronics, water maker, crane, and tooling supplied by the boat were always highly maintained and functional. A special thanks to Doug Pope and his crew for their diligence and professionalism in maintaining the equipment on the Polly-L, and always having at the ready anything we needed. We sincerely look forward to working with Doug and his crew in the future.
September 2007: Coin and other artifacts found on Jupiter wreck
We came back to Fort Pierce for more fuel and went right back out to E-89 for more digging. We worked here until the end of August and returned to the TIGER SHORES SITE on September 1 with a new DEP permit in hand and began digging for the pile of cannon. We found what we believe is a period artifact in the first hole we dug. After only four days on site we had to come back into the Intracoastal Water Way at Port Saint Lucie. Since we were in the waterway we elected to go down to the JUPITER WRECK. This wreck site is only 200 yards from a safe inlet if we need to duck in due to bad weather. While here found were several coins, some Indian pottery and lots of junk. After a short stay, due to the arrival of a bad offshore weather system, we returned to Ft. Pierce to get the Polly-L ready for a commercial job assisting the St. Lucie Power Plant as a platform and support team to Underwater Construction Company for some plant maintenance.
August 2007: Tiger Shores
On August 30, 2007 the Polly-L headed to the TIGER SHORES SITE where we hope to someday find the remains of another of the 1715 wrecks. We remained on this site for some 27 days and finally left because of a permit problem.
We came back to Fort Pierce for more fuel and went right back out to E-89 for more digging. We worked here until the end of August and returned to the TIGER SHORES SITE on September 1 with a new DEP permit in hand and began digging for the pile of cannon. We found what we believe is a period artifact in the first hole we dug. After only four days on site we had to come back into the Intracoastal Water Way at Port Saint Lucie.
After leaving the TIGER SHORES SITE we came back into Fort Pierce Inlet and refueled and departed again for contract area E-89. We worked this area for 96 days before returning to port for more fuel. We found hundreds of pounds of encrusted artifacts with very few of them being from the 1715 period. We found no treasure.
June 2007: Moving On Up
The Polly-L moves north to check out another part of the area. Targets and mag work have been the focus in the last week. Working is a mixture of sand and grey clay have made things difficult and visibility impossible...
The weather finally brakes. With crew and our "Weekend Warriors", work has been in full force. Recovery efforts began close to the beach, later we moved out into somewhat deeper water (25'-40') and to the south, plans changed from time to time with the discovery of a layer of grey dense clay. Excavation was hindered by lack of visibility and the process of working different layers of bottom material. Partial pieces of a pewter platter were found. The nice weather allowed for constant work without many interruptions. Lots of projects were completed such as a new outside shower, a new TV installed in the galley and maintenance on one of the lift poles. Progress was delayed by mating turtles which looked like swimmers too far off shore and two men seen in a raft early in the am...just finishing their beer. Several guest came aboard to tour our great R/V Polly L.
First tropical storm of the treasure hunting season hits Melbourne Beach. Tropical storm, Barry, surprise us and delayed work for several days. My first night on board the Polly L during a "named" storm wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. It was not until about 4:00am when the roar of the wind woke me from a sound sleep. Even though the boat was vibrating from the pounding seas against the legs of the boat, there was very little movement of the boat it's self (Thankfully). The seas were approximately 12'-15' and rain pelted the windows. By morning, things had calmed down somewhat only to pick up again in the afternoon.
May 2007- Treasure Hunting Season Opens
The Polly-L departed Saint Augustine on November 11, 2006 and headed down the Intracoastal Water Way enroute to contract area E-89. This contract area is located off the coast of Melbourne, Florida and could contain the remains of at least one of the ships from the 1715 treasure fleet. We stayed on this site for about 33 days and returned to port at Titusville, Florida to set out some bad weather and to work on the Polly-L.
May 1 opened the treasure-hunting season along the Space and Treasure coasts. The Polly-L is now working off the coast of Melbourne Beach looking for ships that wrecked hundreds of years ago. After a 15-year absence, longtime treasure hunter Rex Stocker slipped into clean, still waters last week to search for bounty from a Spanish fleet that sank in 1715 heavy with gold and silver, priceless porcelain and the still-undiscovered queen's jewels. Stocker is one of three founders of Amelia Research, which operates the Polly-L and serves as a Fisher subcontractor. Stocker and other divers brought up encrusted iron material that could be fasteners, tools or rigging from a ship -- or possibly something more valuable. "I thought I might be lucky again, but everything is encrusted so we don't know yet," Stocker, 65, said. The items that Stocker and other divers found have been returned to a restoration shop next to Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum in Sebastian. Stocker, a Sebastian resident, was part of a group of either engineers and scientists who lived around Cape Canaveral who spent weekends diving for treasure before going into business with Mel Fisher Treasures. It was Stocker who, in 1962, handed Fisher his first gold coins. "We've been finding artifacts every day," said Doug Pope, captain of the Polly-L. "We just don't know what they are yet."