It has been ten years since I first started my adventure on the RV Arctic Discoverer. I was very fortunate in 2013 to have the opportunity to salvage so many great artifacts from this, the most famous treasure hunting ship in US history. Over the years, I returned a couple of times to visit. Once in 2014, when the ship was auctioned off again. That deal fell through, and it remained at the dock in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Slowly rotting away as the elements took their toll. I was back again in 2018 after being contacted by a group that was working to get the ship ready to be sunk as an artificial reef. I spent a couple of days removing many more great souvenirs and artifacts from the ship. At this time, the bottom had rotted and all the lower decks had been submerged. The only access was the main deck and upper levels. I figured that would be my last visit, but, I was wrong.

In May, 2023, I was contacted by the ship's owner that it was still in the process of being cleaned and stripped to be sunk as a reef. Five more years had gone by and it was still sitting in the same spot, rotting. I was waiting to hear back from them to see about visiting again. There was not much, if anything left on the ship at this point, but it was always worth a visit to see if I missed anything.

Back in 2013, there was a woman and her boyfriend also working on the ship with me. Penny removed as many great items as I did back then. Her collection may have been even bigger than mine. She contacted me in June and told me she had decided to sell most of her collection. Of course I was interested as I am building a museum display of the ship's items and the SS Central America gold and silver it recovered. So in July, 2023, I headed back to Florida once again on another treasure hunting adventure.

I am always optimistic on my treasure hunts, so I made sure I had a vehicle that would handle anything and everything I may find to bring home.

My first stop was the ship. Amazingly it was floating again. The divers had patched the hull and it was in the process of being stripped to become a reef. I did not see much other than the anchor wench that had been removed. I am thinking it might look good in my front yard? 8^)

After spending a little while taking photos and video, I left the ship and headed farther south towards Penny's house. Penny lives in a 1920s built huge home on Lake George. Great place to be in Florida. This is a shot of her boat dock.

This treasure hunter's name is Ziggy. He is a black lab that helped us back in 2013. He always had a smile and the occasional joke to make us laugh. I figured I would never see him again after leaving in 2013.

To my surprise, Ziggy is still doing well at 16 1/2 years old. It was great seeing him again!

One of the pieces in Penny's collection. She found these in the lab on the ship. Using acid, she was able to remove the host sea bottom material, shells, sand etc. Embedded inside were nuggets of gold! I have a big hunk of this in my collection. Now I need to dig it out and get to work cleaning it up.

This was the prize of the trip that I have always wanted in my collection. Now it will sit alongside the other pieces I have restored or am in the process of restoring. The bell weighs between 50 and 75 pounds. I will update with an exact weight later. It still has the original patina, sea salt and everything else to show it's many years at sea.

A cool 1943 ammo box full of tools from the ship's engine room.

At the warehouse.

I have a lot of these lights already from years ago, but I added many more from this trip.

This key case has every key to fit things on the ship. Lots of cool skeleton keys

Rear mast light. I remember when Dan removed this one. I have several that I restored. This one will be sold on my web site or the ebay site I have. I am selling many items to help with the cost of restoring other items.

Gold pans used in the lab to recover gold on the ship when the robot NEMO would bring material to the surface. The gold and silver the robot retrieved was sitting at 8,000 feet deep in the ocean.

Some cool items from the galley.

Nice wood medical box with all the original contents inside.

I have a couple of these. Monitors from the control room on the ship where they watched and controlled the robot on the bottom hunting gold.

Sextant from the Captain's cabin.

I really like this. It was in a box of paperwork. Tommy Thompson's club pass to the Cozumel Club.

Back in 2013, I was planning to get these chairs. They smelled a little moldy, so I waited to get them last. In the end, I left them, and of course, regretted it. When I went back in 2018, they were gone. I did not know Penny had them until I got to the warehouse. they are now in my warehouse.

Ziggy says, "I ain't to old to hunt gold!"

Glad I was optimistic and brought the trailer!

This photo shows about a quarter of what I have collected from the ship in the past ten years. In the end, I brought back more lights, documents, treasure hunting tools, computer equipment, life jackets, tools, etc, etc. The bell was my prize, and it will sit next to the wheel and telegraph when I am done with my display. Once everything is finished, I will open it up for people to visit to see this great period in American history preserved. The display will feature a history of the SS Central America, the story of the recovery mission and I even have some of the gold and silver that was recovered to add to it.

You might ask, what the hell am I going to do with the rest of this stuff? Well fortunately, I am in the process of completely remodeling my house, and it will have a whole lot of great mahogany furniture, killer ship lights, portholes for windows. When I get my house done, all I will need is a motor to make it sail!