Seal Cove Shipwreck Project Underway


Today began phase two of the Seal Cove Shipwreck Project.  Last year, the first phase involved a field school that produced a site plan, recording the vessel from a top-down perspective.  This year, we will record the frames in profile.  The team this year consists of one senior archaeologist, Franklin H. Price of the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research in Tallahassee, Florida; another graduate of East Carolina University’s Maritime Studies, Steven Dilk of Upstate New York; Crista Shere, a student in Human Ecology and Anthropology at the College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine; and a current Maritime Studies graduate student at East Carolina University, Baylus C. Brooks, specializing in maritime history. 


Preliminary work began on July 7, 2012 with Steve taking pictures for a photo mozaic of the site and Franklin and Crista working on profiling frames 1-4.  Baylus visited the Mount Desert Island Historical Society to begin historical research to discover more about the shipwreck if possible, but also to put the site into historical perspective by profiling the Seal Cove community and the economics of this maritime locale. 


Sunday the team will take a break and prepare for a week of shipwreck fun! On Monday, field school participants will be arriving to learn maritime archaeological techniques and help record the wreck.


–Baylus C. Brooks

Site mapping in Seal Cove

We are well underway here in Maine, mapping the Seal Cove wreck. Placing a non-intrusive baseline proved problematic, but we were lucky to have two large boulders nearby to tie into. Since the wreck is in the intertidal zone, we can only work when the tide lets us. Each day has seen two shifts of mapping and numerous volunteers, from Acadia National Park staff to members of the local community. We have both east and west sides of the vessel mapped from zero to 38 feet. So far the most intriguing feature is the use of treenails, or wooden pegs, to hold the outer hull planking to the frames. Tomorrow we are going to have another two or three mapping teams working on finishing the main site plan.