Field work will start on 21 February, and we have added some items to the list. The updated schedule is attached. Dust off and tune up your dive gear, folks — this will be a very busy year.
We are contemplating a massive reconnaissance project to run from18 August to 10 November 2011, to investigate a long list of targets (372 at current count) in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays and off Cape Henlopen. A draft project plan is attached as a .pdf file.
The idea is to start when Roper returns from her summer soujourn at St. Augustine, and to finish in time to pull the U-1105 buoy on 12-13 November for the winter. “We are ready now … as soon as we refuel.”
Anyone interested in participating as a diver, tender, boat-driver or researcher would be very welcome, subject to our rule against disturbing sites or disclosing them to others who might: “no take, no talk.” Some of the diving will be easy, and some challenging. All of it will be low-viz or no-viz. Most targets are in 40 feet or less, but some are as deep as 90 feet.
If you would like to sign up or get more information please use the “contact” link or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new-to-us skiff is operational and legal. She will work in shallow waters and decent weather, and can handle four divers with gear — maybe six at most. 26 feet, 20+ knots, 1970 Pacemaker “Alglas” hull, 1996 Chevy 350 engine (straight inboard), center console, extra fuel tanks, all USCG-required gear, VHF, WAAS DGPS, &c.
She needs a name. Suggestions?
IMH and our Mount Vernon project were featured today on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU (88.5 FM). For a transcript go to http://thekojonnamdishow.org/ for 10/25/10, and click on Listen under Underwater Archaeology.
A revised preliminary report is attached for the Mount Vernon project, 24 April – 1 May 2010. The formal, detailed report will follow in due course.
IMH and LAMP (the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum) finished the first Phase 1 underwater reconnaissance at Mount Vernon on Saturday, May 1. In eight days of work we ran approximately 240 miles of search lanes, and found two definite sites and several possible sites. One site is an old wooden vessel with stone ballast. We achieved the initial goal of thoroughly scanning the waters near the estate. We will need to return for further investigation and assessment of the finds. We hope to do after the hydrilla dies off in the fall.
A full report of the project will be submitted to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the Maryland Historical Trust, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Profound thanks to Brendan Burke of LAMP for many days of hard work preparing Roper and for maintaining the highest level of professionalism, to Dan Lynberg and Dawn Cheshaek for providing their boats and skills, to John Dowdle and Bill Toti for organizing and managing the project, to all the IMH volunteers who participated — and especially to Dr Esther White and her superb staff for their support, guidance, and the opportunity and means to investigate those historic waters.