Apr 21, 2012, 10:55 AM
Booty Salvage is ready for the 2012 treasure season!
My name is Eric Schmitt, I am the Captain and lead diver on the Salvage Vessel Aarrr Booty. We outfitted this boat ourselves; our crew completed all of the fabrication, engine repairs, winch systems, etc all of it was our design (with a little help from John Brandon and Les Savage). The Aarrr Booty's "mailboxes" are designed to dis-assemble into "diverters" which allow the vessel to dig in extremely shallow water. There are also 24" extensions that bolt on and allow the boat to dig in much deeper water. Most of the regular treasure salvers on the Treasure Coast will remember our 68' Salvage Vessel the Booty Quest; the Booty Quest was also designed and built ourselves, although we lost her in Hurricane Frances while my father was undergoing heart surgery. My fathers health is one of the main reasons we didn't buy and rebuild the Booty Quest.
I have been diving on Spanish shipwrecks since I was 11 years old! At age 14 I made my first significant find, an amazing silver plate/ platter found on a 1715 shipwreck located in Vero Beach with an Aqua Pulse metal detector (pictures below). We also found gold coins and other artifacts before we lost the Booty Quest during Hurricane Frances in 2004.
My father and boat owner Richard Schmitt, was one of the original divers on the 1715 fleet when it was discovered in the late 1950's early 1960's by Kip Wagner. As a teenager my father worked with Kip Wagner and Real 8 as they found thousands of silver coins and was even there when they raised the intact chest of silver that most of you have seen in numerous treasure books. Richard Schmitt was diving for treasure before Mel Fisher decided to move to Florida from California. RIP Mel Fisher. If my father had never worked with Real 8 in the 1960's our current operation would not exist. Dad is the one who got everyone excited about treasure diving in 1998 and it lead to us building the Booty Quest. Captain Rick has a history of starting projects like treasure diving, that are designed to keep our friends and family close to us. We couldn't have a treasure boat without dad because his attention to detail and painstaking devoting to perfection keeps him working on the boat for months at a time.
When something needs to be done on a treasure boat, most people say "I have someone that does that." However, Booty Salvage doesn't just have "someone" we have a Dale. Having a Dale means a lot to us. If it requires a power tool, or needs to be measure correctly, or needs to be fabricated, Dale Zeak can do it. Not only is Dale a handy man, he is also one hell of a Captain. Dale was the Captain of the Booty Quest and lead us to several successful seasons even though we were brand new to treasure diving at the time. Dale found our first gold coin in Vero Beach and was responsible for the Booty Quest making it safely back to the docks each and every day.
We follow the philosophy that most of the treasure that remains on the 1715 fleet is far north of the main ballast piles and requires extensive exploration to discover. During our 7 years with the Booty Quest we spent most of our time working in areas that no one has explored yet (or at least no work that was documented in those areas). We spend a lot of time digging empty holes and roaming vast wastelands without a single hit on the detector; however, the philosophy of Booty Salvage is to work places no man has worked before.
The Aarrr Booty is back on the treasure coast!. We are docked in Harbour Town Marina in Ft Pierce. Just waiting for the weather to settle down.
We already have some investors for the 2012 season but spots are still open if anyone is interested. Our operation may be a little cozier than most, due in part to our treasure boat being a 50' trawler with A/C, 8k generator, full kitchen, and two staterooms for napping on long rides home from the crystal clear waters of Vero Beach.
Anyone interested in investing can contact me Eric Schmitt @ firstname.lastname@example.org or (407)-353-5668, or PM me.
-Eric Schmitt (President, Booty Salvage Inc.)
Last edited by Booty Salvage; May 11, 2012 at 01:26 PM.
Nov 24, 2013, 07:17 PM
Was just wondering how the last 2 seasons worked out for you and curious to know if you're still needing any help. Got pics of that platter?
Plenty of gold in them hills...and plenty of dirt too....
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