Nassau Sound is known for its tricky waters to navigate, shark infestations and a remote, narrow pass where the Nassau River meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Doug Pope also sees the sound as a possible site of treasure from the long-lost Spanish galleon San Miguel that wrecked in 1715.
Pope is president of Amelia Research & Recovery LLC, based in Fernandina Beach, and his quest to find the San Miguel’s loot is the basis of his business.
Pope said the find of a jeweler’s furnace in 1993 near Amelia Island is believed to be from the ship that was part of a fleet of about a dozen that went down during a hurricane nearly 300 years ago.
The treasure salvaging season for Pope commences in about two weeks, when area waters are most calm.
Curious Britannia, a historical research organization in the United Kingdom, estimates the lost San Miguel treasure with gold and silver bars along with coins, jewels and other valuables to have a value of up to $2 billion.
The organization’s website, named the San Miguel as potentially one of the most valuable shipwrecks that has yet to be recovered.
“You got to be excited. There’s a lot of anticipation this year,” Pope said last week. “We’ve got a little more research leaning toward where the San Miguel is and the value of it.”