St. Augustine FL trip, re-post

St. Augustine trip, May 2009

Dr. Sam Turner is president of IMH and is also Director of Archaeology at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in Florida

The museum’s Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (“LAMP”) is giving a three-week field school in underwater archaeology during June, in collaboration with Florida State University, Plymouth University, Syracuse University, and Flinders University of Western Australia.

To support that school, IMH members Dawn Cheshaek (also president of the Maritime Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Delaware), Isabel Mack, Dan Lynberg, Kirk Pierce, and Dave Howe took Roper from the Potomac River to Florida.
The museum has several boats, but Roper is larger and can work a dozen divers comfortably.

We left Tall Timbers, Maryland, on Saturday, 23 May.  On the way south we towed Genie Girl, a classic 28-foot Chris-Craft, from Smith Point, Virginia, for IMH supporter Craig Thatcher.  We delivered her at New River, North Carolina, on Monday, 25 May.

Topsail Inlet (the next inlet below New River) was closed due to shoaling, and the weather forecast said southerly winds and 6- to 9-foot seas in the ocean, so we stayed in the IntraCoastal Waterway all the way to Florida.  Staying in “the ditch” meant a slower trip, but the compensations included meeting Nina and Pinta in Bogue Sound, just south of Morehead City.

We hoped to dive the U-85 (sunk in 1942 by Roper’s namesake) on the way, but the schedule and weather did not allow that.

We arrived at St. Augustine on Thursday, 28 May, and were met by Sam, Chuck Meide and Brendan Burke of the museum, and Tim Bevan, a “plankowner” who crewed Roper from Texas to Maryland in 1999 with Don Shomette, Mike Nowotny, and Dave.

Roper went to work on Friday and was fitted out with a sunshade over her aft deck and a huge museum pennant.  The field school site is a steamship wreck, perhaps with another wreck underneath or alongside it.  Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hutcherson of St. Augustine will provide dockage.

Roper will remain in Florida throughout June and most of July, then come back home to resume work in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays

I will try very hard to figure out how to post photos from the trip.


field schedule,, June to November 2009

8 – 26 June — LAMP field school, St.Augustine FL

20-21 June — dive Queen Anne’s Revenge, NC

June through Nov — SHIP recon in lower Potomac every calm weekend

15-16 and 22-23 August — field school in recon and low-viz mapping, Potomac River

19 Sep — present U-1105 models to Piney Point Lighthouse Museum

28 Sep to 11 Oct —  scan and map Lewes DE

open dates:

finish mapping wrecks at Quantico for USMA

finish scanning off Gunston Hall VA

scan upper Potomac for MD Historical Trust

enter, reconcile and plot shipwreck data for DE, MD, and VA

To sign up, email

St. Augustine FL

IMH mid-Atlantic’s boat Roper went to St. Augustine to support the LAMP field school.  An exciting trip report with pretty pictures is attached.

Lewes plan, 29 Sep – 7 Oct

Plans have gelled for our week-long survey of the historic harbor at Lewes, Delaware, 29 September through 7 October.

With active support from the City of Lewes and University of Delaware, the Archaeological Society of Delaware, the Lewes Historical Society and IMH will reconnoiter the inner and outer harbor at Lewes, and the waters off Slaughter Beach, by sidescan, magnetometer, and divers. Approximately 20 people will participate.

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has also asked us to visit a colonial wrecksite, believed to be the merchant ship Severn (foundered 1774), to obtain specific data for comparison with baseline data that were collected a few years ago.