In 1622 two Spanish galleons laden with riches from South America foundered in a hurricane 40 mi west of the Keys. In 1985 diver Mel Fisher recovered the treasures from the lost ships, the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita. Fisher's incredible adventure tracking these fabled hoards and battling the state of Florida for rights is as amazing as the loot you'll see, touch, and learn about in this museum. Artifacts include a 77.76-carat natural
emerald crystal worth almost $250,000. Exhibits on the second floor rotate and might cover slave ships, including the excavated 17th-century Henrietta Marie, or the evolution of Florida maritime history.
Jun 13, 2005
While the other 3 couples ate, drank & shopped, my husband & I came here. We found the museum to be most informative about a subject we knew very little of. Start the tour while others are in the film to get a chance to see the exhibits without crowding. Then when you get out of the film later, you can go back to where you left off as they will all be starting in the first room. Most of the tourists rush through the exhibits & if you are patient
they will move on quickly as you stay and read at your leisure. It is not just a musuem about the wreck & how Fisher, et al found spent years searching for it; it is also about the history of the Spaniards life in Key West & The New World and life on the ships. It is essential to read the placards next to the exhibits if you are to understand what you are seeing. And shopping was better here in their gift shop anyway.