Seal Cove Shipwreck Project Day Eight – Wrap up

Going into this project, we hoped to draw each frame in profile and gather historical information relevant to the wreck and the cove. We have exceeded expectations, and as project director I couldn’t be happier. We have put in long days and a lot of hours, but there has been some fun thrown in, with a few swims in Echo Lake, an occasional stop for ice cream, and a visit to Bass Harbor Boat to talk with Robert “Chummy” Rich.

Archaeologically, the shipwreck recording went better than expected. We have profile drawings of 35 components, an amended site plan, a complete fastener pattern for the outer hull, drawings of artifacts, as well as photographs of newly discovered features. The outreach portion was a success as well. I delivered a lecture at the Tremont Historical Society on Monday night, and throughout the week we gave numerous volunteers a taste of maritime archaeology. More than 20 people were involved in the project, including retirees, boat-builders, vacationers, fishermen, and Park staff. They helped to measure, draw, and photograph site features. We also received some press. Today we were visited by a reporter from the Bangor Daily News, who took photos and video. Look for us in Monday’s edition.

While the archaeology team recorded the vessel, Baylus canvassed several historical societies and repositories around the island, learning a great deal about Seal Cove, its shipping and industry, as well as its economic rise and decline.

Today, after the rising tide ran us off the site, we carried the gear up the trail for the last time. With the fieldwork finished, now for the hard part …I will spend the next several months inking the drawings we’ve done, adding new features to the site plan, and researching whatever I can learn about the vessel. Then we will begin writing an academic article about the site. Baylus will produce the history section, while Steve and I will write about the archaeology. In the meantime the entire team would like the thank the island’s historical societies, libraries, and all of the volunteers for their assistance, as well as the Institute of Maritime History, the Williams Mystic Maritime Program, and the National Park Service for making the project possible.