We started scanning at Mount Vernon on Saturday, 24 April. In the first two days we found more wrecks and other anomalies than we can ground-truth and assess in the week remaining on the schedule, so we will just have to go back again. We also found more than 30 sites in the Potmac on the trip there.
She cannot begin to compete with the amount of work Gypsy needs, but Roper has new zincs and new paint from keel to rail, and she is ready to go back in the water, thanks to hard work by Dawn, Brenda, John and Erik. She will be pretty for the Mount Vernon project. Chores still to do include cleaning the fuel tank; touching a few rust spots with the weklder; painting the mast, pilothouse, decks, and engine room bilge; installing the new alternator; and checking the engine alignment and valve lash.
Now that March Madness is over (I'm talking about the annual spree of archaeology conferences-- what did you think I meant?) it's back to work on the boat.
The weather was warm enough to be comfortable, but not warm enough for fiberglass work. That's ok-- there's plenty of sanding to do. Here's a pic that shows the existing bottom paint, what's left of it. The red color is the original gelcoat.
The Maryland Historical Trust will survey several submerged battlefields in the Chesapeake this year. under a grant from the National Park Service's ABPP (American Battlefields Protection Program). The Trust will need volunteers for that work -- divers, boat drivers, and researchers. If you are interested please email email@example.com.
The Maryland legislature voted on 3/26 not to fund any non-capital historic grants this year, so our plans for SHIP in Maryland will be curtailed. We have at least 226 sites to assess in Maryland waters. Many of them are fairly close to our home port at Tall Timbers, so we will stay very busy.
On the bright side, the lack of Maryland funding will free up a lot of time for reconnaissance in Virginia and Delaware if we get funding from those states, plus at least one field school -- maybe two, if enough people want it.
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Thanks to editors Cynthia Loden-Dowdle, Isabel Mack, and Kirk Pierce, and contributors Susan Langley, Joyce Steinmetz, Bill Utley, and Brendan Burke. The nesletter is attached as a pdf file.
The weather has finally broken in Southern Maryland and it was warm enough this weekend to get some work done!
The ice in the bilges finally melted completely, letting me pump out all the water. Unfortunately, two out of three old pumps didn't survive the winter ice. The important engine-room pump made it, though!
IMH will partner with the Maryland Historical Trust, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, and the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program to conduct the first known underwater survey at Mount Vernon. Details are in the attached pdf file.
20 - 21 Feb SHIP Md scan & map
27 - 28 Feb " "
6 Mar - 11 Apr Roper haul, fix, sand and paint
Sat., 13 Mar Crownsville MD Maryland Archaeology Workshop