Avast ye maties! There be pirate treasure in Saint Augustine, Florida!! And here is a picture of a real Jolly Roger!!
I’m talking about the Pirate Museum in Saint Augustine, Florida and I took a few days off, loaded up the lovely and adorable Nana and the grandchildren (the real Aidan and Maggie who were the inspiration for their namesakes in The Gemstone Chronicles), and visited the oldest continually occupied city in the United States. We saw the Fountain of Youth (and took a really big drink), the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, and many other sites (posts on those sites to follow later).
The Pirate Museum:
What did we find at the Pirate Museum? The flag picture above for one thing. It’s one of only three real Jolly Rogers in existence. We also found out about many different pirates like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Calico Jack Rackham (and his two female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read), and Black Bart Roberts.
Many of the pirates had a code of conduct that forbade gambling, fighting aboard ship (with others of the crew), women aboard ship, requiring each sailor to ensure his cutlass, piece, and pistols cleaned and ready to use at any time, and other rules. Some of the penalties for violation of the rules were death or marooning. Pirates were a tough bunch!
But, we went to see pirate treasure and we found treasure aplenty! Take a look at some of what we saw!!
These are dishes from around 1692. They are in amazing shape!
The above picture is a boarding axe! Can you imagine a screaming pirate clambering over the gunwales of your ship wielding one of these??
Elegant but deadly, these pistols would have been kept cleaned and ready to use.
One of the coolest displays are some of the treasures from the Atocha, a Spanish ship that sank off the Florida coast in 1622. Imagine finding a silver bar like this one!
There were about 1000 of these bars listed on the manifest of the Atocha. They were part of the treasure valued at $450 million!
Here is a tiny fraction of the artifacts found from the Atocha. Although hard to see in the picture, look for the silver mermaid in the lower left hand corner. It is a beautiful piece of work!
Yes, that is a gold bar from the Atocha! There were 125 of these bars on the ship. What a tremendous feeling it must have been to uncover these!!
Now, to be fair, the pirates didn’t attack Atocha. She wrecked during a storm near Key West. It’s still a very cool addition to the Pirate Museum! If you want to know more about the Atocha and the tragic story behind the search, visit Mel Fisher’s website!
This was my first visit to Saint Augustine. The history of the area impressed me. If you want to visit history, great beaches (remember to read The Gemstone Chronicles while you are soaking up the sun), and maybe find a pirate treasure, try the Saint Augustine area!!
If you’ve visited Saint Augustine, let me a comment and let me know how you liked it. Tell me your favorite attraction and what you missed. And, if you happen to be reading The Gemstone Chronicles, send me a picture of you reading it!!