David Howe's blog

2010 plans

2010 will be a busy year, with a lot of reconnaissance for the Maryland Historical Trust, and ground-truthing the sites we found in 2007 and 2009 in the Delaware for the Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs and the Archaeological Society of Delaware, and mapping the Quantico Creek site for the Marine Corps base, and perhaps doing some reconnaissance for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in several rivers, and perhaps helping MHT survey some battlefield sites -- plus giving Roper her biennial bottom paint, adding a small derrick to lift ballast stones at the St.

New old wreck

Dawn Cheshaek, CraigWhitaker, and I found a 20th century, 90-foot steel barge in the Potomac yesterday.  It is not likely to be historic, but will be a good training site for mapping.

October 2009 reconnaissance report

In October, IMH's boat Roper steamed from Maryland to Lewes DE and back, and scannned many potential sites along the way.  A summary report of the findings is attached in .pdf.  If you want more information on the sites, or want to dive them when we start working on them, please contact david.howe@maritimehistory.org


Got air?

At Lewes DE, and on the trip there and back this month, we found 13 new old wrecks in the Delaware and 27 in the Chesapeake that need to be dived and mapped, plus a big bunch of maybes. A sidescan image of one is attached.

Lewes project mostly blown out

We got one full day and two half days of work at Lewes, but the seas were too rough to work on the other days.  We finished the small area left over from 2007, found two sites in the outer harbor, confirmed two others that appear on the nautical chart, and disproved two more on the chart.  We also confirmed a dozen charted wrecks in the Chesapeake and the Delaware en route to Lewes, including (I hope) the schooner Mary A. deKnight that foundered in 1870 near Annapolis.

black water dive training

Once again, Adventure Scuba Company (Tom Black and Ron Miller) will be
conducting its Black Water Training - Self Rescue Course on Sunday,
December 13.

There will be a brief (~ 1 hr) class portion at the shop beginning at 3pm,
and the confined water training will be conducted at Oak Marr Pool. The
pool session runs from 6pm to 7:45pm. Directions to the pool will be
provided.  Tanks and weights will be provided if you need them. You do need to bring

Society for Historical Archaeology, annual conference

The annual SHA conference will be held at Amelia Island Plantation, Jacksonville FL, from January 6 to 9, 2010.  This is the biggest national conference in our field.  I hope you will consider attending.

The preliminary program is posted at

IMH will have good representation at the conference, including the following:

Solo dive training

As you may know, Adventure Scuba has been offering training through SDI in addition to NAUI and PADI.  Although we traditionally promote the buddy system, one of the courses that I believe can be of great value to IMH divers is the SDI Solo Diver Course.  SDI has successfully promoted solo diving as an option for experienced divers engaged in certain activities.

Lewes DE project

We will do harbor and near-shore reconnaissance at Lewes from Sunday 27 September through Saturday 10 October.  The targets date from colonial and Rev War through early 20th century.  On the weekend of 3 - 4 October we will be pierside for U. Delaware's Coast Day and Lewes' Boast the Coast.  We might also do a field school.  Free dorm rooms might be available at Cape Henlopen State Park.  If you are interested in participating please use the contact link or email david.howe@maritimehistory.org.


IMH field school

Our first field school in low-viz reconnaissance was held on 15-16 and 22-23 September.  Nine students attended.

The course included a day and a half on shore to cover basic material and to practice site mapping techniques, two and a half days on the water to run sidescan sonar search lanes and map several wrecks, and completion of a Maryland Historical Trust site report on one of the wrecks.

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