On behalf of the directors of the 1715 Fleet Society, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank our readers and loyal fans and members for a wonderful year remembering the legacy of the 1715 Fleet!
It always amazes me that although the fleet sunk off the coast of Florida more than 300 years ago, there is much interest in its story (and its treasures) from people around the world, young and old. in that regard we have added 11 new members in 2018. Here is a list of our new members with their member number:
Number 76: Barbara Kirk, St. Augustine, Florida
Number 77 Joe Stich, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Number 78 Bob Evans, Hopewell, Ohio
Number 79 Dan Kipnis, Miami Beach, Florida
Number 80 Richard Politano, Valrico, Florida
Number 81 George R Laporte, Vero Beach, Florida
number 82 Jacqueline Hoover, Cocoa, Florida
Number 83 Alex Orsolini, Marco Island, Florida
Number 84 Barry Clifford, Provincetown, Massachusetts
Number 85 Mel King, Denver, Colorado
Number 86 James Mesher, Snohomish, Washington.
Together with the three Fleet Society Directors, there are a total of 89 members in the Fleet Society. Hopefully in 2019 we will top 100.
We continue to add to our ever popular Treasure of the Month series, which features a Fleet related treasure at the beginning of each and every month. In 2017 we published our first book, Treasures of a Lost Fleet, which sold out a few days after becoming available. This publication showcased our monthly treasures from May 2011 (the first of the series) to December 2015. We will continue this theme when we publish Treasures of a Lost Fleet Part II, which will feature our monthly treasures from January 2016 through December 2020. We anticipate a release date sometime in the spring of 2021.
Recently, we announced our intention to host the Third International Conference on the 1715 Fleet, in Cuba in 2020. This will obviously require a lot of advanced planning. At the present time, we are gauging public interest to see how much support such a conference would have. There are many obstacles that have to be overcome in an endeavor such as this. However, if there is sufficient interest, we will move forward in this regard.
Our website will get a facelift in January 2019. Our last redesign was in January 2015, prior to the 300th Anniversary Commemoration. In the last four years, we have had 40,000 unique visitors to our website from 160 countries. That means that our website has been visited by more than 82% of the world (since there are 195 countries). Together all of those people have consumed nearly 200,000 pages of content on our website.
Thank you very much for all of your help and support in 2018. I certainly hope that you have a 2019 that is full of good health, good luck and good fortune.