FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH - Miss Ocean Statue









INSPIRATION - This superb statuette was the inspiration for a water fountain feature. Water has long been held my man as giving the power of life. This translates to our oceans giving life to planet earth.



The Fountain of Youth is held to be a spring that restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted across the world for thousands of years, appearing in writings by Herodotus (5th century BCE), the Alexander romance (3rd century CE), and the stories of Prester John (early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries CE). Stories of similar waters were also evidently prominent among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean during the Age of Exploration (early 16th century), who spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini.

The legend became particularly prominent in the 16th century, when it was attached to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, first Governor of Puerto Rico. According to an apocryphal combination of New World and Eurasian elements, Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth when he traveled to what is now Florida in 1513, but this is a myth. The legend says that Ponce de León was told by Native Americans that the Fountain of Youth was in Bimini and it could restore youth to anyone.




BEFORE & AFTER - It is interesting to many people to see how something is made. On these pages we show you how we constructed the base for our Fountain of Youth. We will also be showing you how the statue itself is constructed. In the picture above you can see the concrete base and stainless steel frame that is to be further reinforced with a stainless steel tank and a brick surround that will be filled with concrete. Landscape gardeners 'Swan Hedges' carried out the construction works, except for the stainless frame that was made by a local welder/fabricator.




MAKING A MESS - All large statues start with the ground works. Basically, work out how much weight you have to support and dig a big enough hole to sink a concrete base that is capable of taking the loads of the statue and fountain, allowing for high winds and the occasional knock. We found out a lot about the site when digging. For example, we had no idea about this drain pipe - evidence of an earlier and judging by the brickwork on the right - substantial former use.




SHUTTERING - Having rammed hardcore into the earth, we then poured in around more than a cubic meter of concrete in two stages. The first stage is shown here. The second stage was after the stainless steel frame was set on top of the first stage.




STAINLESS STEEL - The mounting for a statue of approximately 3 meters (10 feet) in height requires a solid frame. Especially so where the frame will house a water tank containing a pump. This also means providing water and electricity supplies. In truly sustainable fashion, the electricity is provided by the Sun via solar panels and the water comes from a well on site. This frame was set close on one meter deep in concrete.





SIMULATION - We used bricks from around the site that had been stored for a long time especially for the day when this fountain would see the light of day. Bricks were stacked around the steel frame dry, to get a feel for the subject.





BRICKLAYING - Once the concrete had set the bricklayer got to work. As the walls got higher strong sharp sand mix was used to bond the brickwork to the stainless steel frame. Eventually, the inside will be filled with concrete completely, save for a corrosion resistant steel drum that will contain a water pump and flow control apparatus.





INTERNAL DETAILS - Here you can see the bonding of the steel to the brick walls and the internal shuttering that allowed us to place quarter rounds that were cut from some of the original semi-circular engineering bricks used to cap the original walls.




ORNAMENTAL BRICKWORK - This picture shows the brick pillar completed, with the recycled bricks for the wall leading from the pillar stacked to one side ready to be rebuilt. We used the original 100 year old+ bricks that were on site. This wall was in poor condition and much in need of repair. Please note that the photographs of the fountain and statue build are Copyright © Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., all rights reserved. You will need the permission of COF to reproduce these pictures except for educational use or research.




GARDEN WALL - The original garden wall was well and truly sunken into the earth but (it seems) built without any discernable foundations. We wanted the wall to tie into the brick pillar for added strength and by way of a latch to counteract the weight of the forward lean of the statue. Please note that the photographs of the fountain and statue build are Copyright © 18 July 2017 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., all rights reserved. You will need the permission of COF to reproduce these pictures except for educational use or research.




SHUTTERING - Having cleared out most of the bricks to a decent depth, the remaining solid courses were jet washed to provide a key - and then concrete was poured. The incline was divided into logical stages for as near an equal rise as practical, given that the slope is not regular. Please note that the photographs of the fountain and statue build are Copyright © 18 July 2017 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., all rights reserved. You will need the permission of COF to reproduce these pictures except for educational use or research.




PLASTIC WATERFALL - With the summer heat wave over and rain predicted by the Met Office, the concrete steps were covered in clear plastic sheeting, somewhat resembling a waterfall. We hated using plastic that is potentially single use, but we have used these same sections several times over now - so don't feel so guilty - they are no longer single use and we have a lot more use in store from them before we dispose of the sheets responsibly. Please note that the photographs of the fountain of youth and statue build are Copyright © 18 July 2017 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., all rights reserved. You will need the permission of COF to reproduce these pictures except for educational use or research.




BRICKLAYING - Using a line to keep the wall straight and a spirit level to keep it lever, our skilled bricklayer sorted the cleaned up bricks from the site into bricks good enough for the base layer, running courses and finally headers, and these were the best saved to last. The steps you see here are the first stage of our Stairway To Heaven. Our stairway to heaven is a ladder the takes you high above Solar House for a stunning view of the countryside. Please note that the photographs of the fountain of youth and statue build are Copyright © 5 August 2017 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., all rights reserved. You will need the permission of COF to reproduce these pictures except for educational use or research.




RAILINGS - With the seven walls complete (representing the seven seas) the next stage is to cut the timbers and lock them into place. We are using 8" x 8" inch treated posts with a vee cut in the top, mounted on top of a 9" x 2" base board, with 4" x 4" timbers fitted into the vee to form a handrail. 


The water that feeds this fountain is from an ancient well on site that is said to be mineral laden. The well has supplied water to those in the Park and to surrounding properties near the village, but, the well only supplies Solar House today. Please note that the photographs of the fountain of youth and statue build are Copyright © 5 August 2017 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., all rights reserved. You will need the permission of COF to reproduce these pictures except for educational use or research.




According to legend, the Spanish heard of Bimini from the Arawaks in Hispaniola, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The Caribbean islanders described a mythical land of Beimeni or Beniny (whence Bimini), a land of wealth and prosperity, which became conflated with the fountain legend. By the time of Ponce de Leon, the land was thought to be located northwest towards the Bahamas (called la Vieja during the Ponce expedition). The natives were probably referring to the area occupied by the Maya. This land also became confused with the Boinca or Boyuca mentioned by Juan de Solis, although Solis's navigational data placed it in the Gulf of Honduras. It was this Boinca that originally held a legendary fountain of youth, rather than Bimini itself. Sequene, an Arawak chief from Cuba, purportedly was unable to resist the lure of Bimini and its restorative fountain. He gathered a troupe of adventurers and sailed north, never to return.

Found within the salt water mangrove swamp that covers 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) of the shoreline of North Bimini is The Healing Hole, a pool that lies at the end of a network of winding underground tunnels. During outgoing tides, these channels pump cool, mineral-laden fresh water into the pool. Because this well was carved out of the limestone rock by ground water thousands of years ago it is especially high in calcium and magnesium. Magnesium, which has been shown to improve longevity and reproductive health, is present in large quantities in the sea water. The legend of Bimini and its curative waters was widespread among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. The Italian-born chronicler Peter Martyr told of them in a letter to the Pope in 1513, though he did not believe the stories and was dismayed that so many others did.






In the 16th century the story of the Fountain of Youth became attached to the biography of the conquistador Juan Ponce de León. As attested by his royal charter, Ponce de León was charged with discovering the land of Beniny. Although the indigenous peoples were probably describing the land of the Maya in Yucatán, the name—and legends about Boinca's fountain of youth—became associated with the Bahamas instead. However, Ponce de León did not mention the fountain in any of his writings throughout the course of his expedition.

The connection was made in Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo's Historia general y natural de las Indias of 1535, in which he wrote that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to regain youthfulness. Some researchers have suggested that Oviedo's account may have been politically inspired to generate favor in the courts. A similar account appears in Francisco López de Gómara's Historia general de las Indias of 1551. In the Memoir of Hernando d'Escalante Fontaneda in 1575, the author places the restorative waters in Florida and mentions de León looking for them there; his account influenced Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas' unreliable history of the Spanish in the New World. Fontaneda had spent seventeen years as an Indian captive after being shipwrecked in Florida as a boy. In his Memoir he tells of the curative waters of a lost river he calls "Jordan" and refers to de León looking for it. However, Fontaneda makes it clear he is skeptical about these stories he includes, and says he doubts de León was actually looking for the fabled stream when he came to Florida.

Herrera makes that connection definite in the romanticized version of Fontaneda's story included in his Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos en las islas y tierra firme del Mar Oceano. Herrera states that local caciques paid regular visits to the fountain. A frail old man could become so completely restored that he could resume "all manly exercises… take a new wife and beget more children." Herrera adds that the Spaniards had unsuccessfully searched every "river, brook, lagoon or pool" along the Florida coast for the legendary fountain.




ROYAL CHARTER - A drawing showing Juan Ponce de León and his soldiers searching for the fountain of youth.



St Augustine postcard of the arch entrance to the local interest location 


ST. AUGUSTINE - A postcard and a photograph of the entrance to the Archaeological Park built as a tribute to the geographical location of the landing of the Ponce de León.




The city of St. Augustine, Florida is home to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, a tribute to the spot where Ponce de León is traditionally said to have landed. Although there were several instances of the property being used as an attraction as early as the 1860s, the tourist attraction in its present form was created by Luella Day McConnell in 1904. Because she supposedly purchased the Park property from Mr. H. H. Williams using diamonds and cash, she was also known as "Diamond Lil". It is said that Dr. McConnell had a diamond mounted in her front tooth, but this may be a myth. Luella Day McConnell fabricated stories to amuse and appall the city’s residents and tourists until her death in a car accident in 1927. The first archaeological digs at the Fountain of Youth in 1934 were performed by the Smithsonian Institution. These digs produced a large number of Christianized Timucua burials. These burials eventually pointed to the Park as the location of the first Christian Mission in the United States. Called the Mission of Nombre de Dios, this mission was begun by Franciscan friars in 1587. Succeeding decades have seen the unearthing of items which positively identify the Park as the location of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés' 1565 settlement of St. Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in North America. The park currently exhibits native and colonial artifacts to celebrate St. Augustine's Timucua and Spanish heritage.



Ever since the rumors of the discovery of the Fountain of Youth by the Spanish explorer Ponce de León in 1523, it had been the ambition of many quests. On the Mao Kun Map, the struggle for eternal youth was symbolized by a tug of war between a skeleton and an angel, aligned with the symbol of the Fountain—the Chalices. The Chalices were required, along with a mermaid's tear, in order to perform the Profane Ritual, which was needed to use the Fountain. In 1750, three parties, including a pirate crew, the British, and the Spanish, embarked in a quest for the Fountain.




During his twilight years, American author Mark Twain noted that "life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18."

Twain's quip was only one of many complaints about aging that have been recorded for as long as humans have dreaded the downside of a long life. The ancient Greek poet Homer called old age "loathsome," and William Shakespeare termed it "hideous winter." Oscar Wilde's character Dorian Gray even preserved his youth by aging only in a painting, to hideous effect.

So it's not hard to understand why there have always been hopes and rumors that something soon to be discovered - magic waters, say, or maybe stem cell research - will do away with old age.

Alexander the Great, who conquered most of the known world before he died around 323 B.C., may have been looking for a river that healed the ravages of age. During the 12th century A.D., a king known to Europeans as Prester John supposedly ruled a land that had a river of gold and a fountain of youth.

But the name linked most closely to the search for a fountain of youth is 16th-century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who allegedly thought it would be found in Florida. In St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., there's a tourist attraction dating back a century that purports - albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way - to be the fountain of youth that Ponce de Leon discovered soon after he arrived in what is now Florida in 1513.

There are a couple of problems with labeling St. Augustine's natural spring as Ponce de Leon's fountain of youth, however. Elderly visitors who drink the spring's sulfur-smelling water don't turn into teenagers. And Ponce de Leon probably wasn't looking for such a fountain and may not have set foot near present-day St. Augustine. Many historians now think he came ashore about 140 miles (225 kilometers) farther south, near present-day Melbourne, Florida.




MANUSCRIPT - This is the book in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 that tells the pirates a little of  the Fountain of Youth with references to Aqua de Vida.



Map showing the location of Aqua de Vida


PIRATES MAP - This is the map in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 that shows Jack Sparrow the whereabouts of the Fountain of Youth known by the name Aqua de Vida.




For centuries, various legends and lore surrounding the Fountain of Youth existed in many cultures, dating back thousands of years. It was widely believed that if anyone were to drink water from the Fountain, their youth would be miraculously restored - thereby granting eternal life. According to the legends of the Arawaks - a tribe native to the western Caribbean islands - the Fountain of Youth was located somewhere north of Cuba, in a island called Bimini. But in reality, the Fountain of Youth was located on an uncharted island. The Fountain itself would be found through dense jungles and past the Jungle Pools, within a cavern where water floats upward. To enter the Fountain's chamber, the words inscribed upon the two Chalices, "Aqua de Vida," must be spoken.

At some point in its longtime existence, the Fountain of Youth was discovered by humans who built a temple around it. The Fountain had since been taken over by natural growth, in which it would become a ruined stone temple, with vines growing around it, pulling it down and tearing it apart. Within this sacred chamber, exotic creepers and clinging moss covered ancient skeletons that littered the stone steps, and a delicate stream of enchanted water flowed through a natural stone circle at the center of the temple. An archaic symbol would at some point be used as the symbol of the Fountain of Youth, in which it would be carved at the cave entrance of the Fountain as well as being written on the few maps and guides that led to the Fountain.





The legend was most often associated with 16th-century Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León, who purportedly tried to find it in 1513, during his voyage to the New World. Ponce de León would have searched for the Fountain of Youth in an expedition to Florida and a mysterious island. While it was said that Ponce de León died while searching for the Fountain, rumors and legends persisted that the Spanish explorer had discovered it. Sometime after 1523, the route taken by Ponce de León in the Santiago's journey to the Fountain was depicted on the navigational charts that led to otherworldly realms: the Mao Kun Map.

The Mao Kun Map served as one of the few guides to the Fountain of Youth, with the map having one of the items needed for the Profane Ritual, the Chalices of Cartagena, and showing the only place where to find a mermaid, Whitecap Bay. The only other known guide was the ship's log of the Santiago, which had pages that chronicled every detail of Ponce de León's voyage. Ever since rumors floated of Ponce de León's search, many men had sought the Fountain for the next two centuries.




ARTWORK - Storyboard version of a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 4.




FINAL SCENE - This is how the above art was translated in Pirate of the Caribbean 4 - the Fountain of Youth.




TWO TIER - Not overly complicated, but this twin bowl cascade works rather well with the circular pond below feeding the water back to the pump.




RESEARCH - Our artist is seen here searching for the perfect water feature. Paris and Rome are the places to go if you are looking for fountains. This is Paris and one of the most exotic fountains in this amazing city where architectural water features abound. Is it the fountain of youth? No, but it makes you feel good just looking at it. Our researcher traveled quite a bit to acquire reference pictures for what will be a smaller statue, but unique, drawing inspiration from some of the greatest artists that ever lived.






BREATH TAKING - The Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy. One wonders at the cost and time taken to produce such a wondrous work or art - an outstanding assemblage.



Fiji, fountain of youth natural artisian water


MYTHOLOGY - We are not sure what this picture depicts but it certainly captures the spirit of the subject matter, except where the lady statue appears to be holding a plastic water (or other drinks) bottle. 




"Feast your eyes upon this, mateys. There's more than one way to live forever. Gents, I give you the Fountain of Youth." 

- Hector Barbossa to his crew


"Some say the Fountain be not more than legend false a mermaid's kiss. Others whisper of a curse that leave ya as dead as old Ponce here. What be the truth of it? I'll show ya." 

Hector Barbossa

The Fountain of Youth, sometimes known as just the Fountain or the Aqua de Vida, was a legendary spring that reputedly restored the youth or granted immortality to anyone who drank from its waters. Rumored to be discovered by the Juan Ponce de León, the Fountain was located within on a mysterious island in the Caribbean.





SCULPTURE - In 1921, Loy Myrna posed for Venice High School sculpture teacher Harry Fielding Winebrenner for the central figure “Inspiration” in his allegorical sculpture group Fountain of Education. Completed in 1922, the sculpture group was situated in front of the campus outdoor pool in May 1923, where it would stand for decades. Loy’s slender figure with her uplifted face and one arm extending skyward presented a “vision of purity, grace, youthful vigor, and aspiration” that was singled out in a Los Angeles Times story that included a photo of the “Inspiration” figure along with the model’s name—the first time her name appeared in a newspaper.


Myrna Williams was a shy 16-year-old dance student when her art teacher asked her to pose for one of three clay statues being created for the school's front lawn. The original statue "Inspiration" was unveiled in 1922 where it became the symbol of Venice High School and the Venice community.





Sculptor Harry Weinbrenner, Art Department Chairman, used Myrna Williams as his model. With the start of her motion picture career, this shy student later became known as Myrna Loy.

The statue was repaired by William Van Orden twice during the 1980's and has been exhibited in this location until its deterioration required removal in 2000.

The re-creation in bronze was completed through the generosity and hard work of Peter Schwab '61, Laura Ferre '76 , and the Venice High Alumni Association, countless VHS Alumni and the Venice community. This beautiful re-creation has been sculpted by Ernest Shelton.



At some point during the quest for the Shadow Gold, Jack Sparrow and the crew of the Black Pearl learned about the Fountain of Youth from a distant descendant of Ponce de León's, Diego. After this, Jack had been intrigued by the idea of finding the Fountain. At some point during their pursuit to lift the Aztec curse, Hector Barbossa's cursed crew discovered a young mysterious castaway who claimed to be Ponce de León. Barbossa believed his tale and, thinking the Fountain of Youth might hold the key to lifting the curse that his crew was under, set forth for the Fountain, only to discover the young man's tale to be false.

Quest for the Fountain of Youth

"I hear-tell you've been to the Fountain?"
"There be a lot of hear-telling these days."
"The Fountain of Youth."

― Angelica and Jack Sparrow

Following the War Against Piracy, Captain Jack Sparrow set off in a small vessel to search for the Fountain of Youth using his compass and navigational charts he stole from Hector Barbossa, who had also intended to find the Fountain. However, even though he had been close as reaching the cave entrance to the Fountain itself, Jack never made it to the elusive Fountain and was forced to turn back. Despite not finding the Fountain of Youth, Jack Sparrow had the way to the Fountain of Youth committed to his memory and gained some renown as the pirate who knew its location, though some misinterpret that he had been to the Fountain himself.
Race to the FountainEdit

"If I do not make it to the Fountain in time...neither will you." 

Blackbeard to Jack Sparrow



In 1750, several years after the War Against Piracy, a dangerous quest for the Fountain of Youth was endeavoured. Upon the discovery of the logbook of the Santiago, held by an ancient sailor, King Ferdinand of Spain sent the Spaniard to find the Fountain. After learning of this discovery, King George II sent Hector Barbossa, now a privateer of the court, to find the Fountain before the Spanish. Rumored of having been to the Fountain itself, Jack Sparrow was forced aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge to help Blackbeard find the Fountain.

Throughout the quest, each party journeyed to find for the Fountain whilst collecting the items required for the Profane Ritual: the Chalices of Cartagena and a mermaid's tear. After the battle at Whitecap Bay, Blackbeard's crew was able to capture a mermaid named Syrena, who they later took a tear from at the Jungle Pools. Jack Sparrow was able to retrieve the Chalices after escaping from the Spanish with Barbossa's crew. The next day, Jack met up with Blackbeard and presented him with the Chalices before joining the crew towards the end of their quest.




PAINTING - Austrian artist Eduard Veith painted this scene of the mythical Fountain of Youth.










AIR, LAND & WATER - This sculpture portrays a mythical animal that is part human, part bird and part fish - a flying mermaid if you will, and certainly an interesting piece of art.







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