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Part One: Planning Your Assessment > Chapter 2 The Due Diligence Process

CHAPTER 2

The Due Diligence Process

Early in the seventeenth century, as exploration and settlement of the New World was beginning to expand, Spain sent large fleets of wooden ships to the New World in search of silver and gold. As these wooden ships traveled the shores of the Americas on their return trips to Spain, they were often overloaded with treasure, even replacing their ballast stones with gold in order to steady the frail vessels and allow them to carry more of the precious cargo. These ships frequently became the victims of wind and weather, and entire fleets of them sank at the hands of Florida’s notorious hurricanes.

For centuries afterward, these ships became the focus of intensive searches by treasure hunters hoping to recover their lost bounty. Some treasure was found by a lucky few who happened to be in the right place at the right time and happened to stumble onto it. One of the greatest treasures to be recovered to date, worth millions of dollars, was discovered by a treasure hunter named Mel Fisher. Some of the treasure he found is maintained today by the Mel Fisher Museum in Florida. Fisher discovered a Spanish galleon named the Atocha located 20 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. His discovery wasn’t all luck. He had searched and studied for years in order to determine the location of the Atocha wreck site. Mel Fisher had done his homework and had correctly identified the area to search in.


  

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