Monday September 6, 2004

By Jackie Mulligan

6.30am: Dr Toni L Carrell rises early to begin work on the GPS tracking paths. She enters all the targets identified by the west tow boarders.

7am: Over breakfast Dr Donald H Keith briefs the team. So far one metal shipwreck has been identified. Team members are still curious about the clusters of ballast but still believe the large rocks are likely to be natural. Don explains how the team now need to investigate inside the reef – the trick will be finding the way in. Time is short now and it is easy to see why Breezy Point and the jagged coast lined with shallow reefs has been the sight of so many shipwrecks. Levardo Talbot and Mitch Rolling agree to go and try and find a way through the reef and set off in the Boston whaler. If they manage to find a new cut in this unchartered territory, the team will be able to towboard, dive and do land surveys during the day. If they do not succeed in finding a new path through the reef, then the T&C Explorer will need to relocate to Ferguson’s Cut which will mean teams will have to prepare for whole days off the ‘mother ship’.

9.45am: Mitch approaches the boat shouting “We’re in!” Levardo and Mitch have located a channel that will work in low and high tide, the team name the route “Trouvadore Cut”. After over 2 hours of effort the pair have a power nap on the sundeck.

Anders, Don set off for the inside of the reef near Breezy Point. On the Eastern most point at Thatch Cay, Anders and Don spot a folding stock anchor which could date to around the mid 1800s.

Meanwhile Randy and James go to scuba dive over the iron shipwreck, where they see broken railings which James (see picture) sketches and measures.

Nigel dives around the area to see what else is in the vicinity – Randy complains that he is too tall for the lens and so crops the legs off the 6′ 7” Museum Director. In addition due to the amount of time Nigel spends underwater looking for objects, he is dubbed by James “SurveyMatic 3000”.

1pm: Teams return for lunch, a beautifully prepared feast by Stan.

In the afternoon, all teams go close to shore. Toni, Jennifer and skipper Graham make four tracks inside the reef on the Eastern side of Breezy Point. Nothing is seen. On the West, results are more positive, with another anchor being seen along with a large iron mast. Jason Burns approximates the date of the folding stock anchor to late 19th century. The best find of the day is enjoyed by Levardo, fresh conch

On Breezy Point, Anders, Don, Nigel and Randy search for remains. A number of diagnostic items are investigated and include ceramic pieces. A piece of black glass is found which could be contemporaneous with the date of the wrecking. Don and Randy had used Breezy Point as a GPS point only a week ago, both are surprised by the amount of debris and seaweed that has come to shore from the storm passing near the Turks and Caicos Islands. In addition a building and wall line are located in the bush behind the sandy arid expanse of Breezy Point. Nigel, a land archaeologist believes the ruins are related to the sisal industry which once employed over 400 people on East Caicos.

In the journeys in and out of the channel, James loses a pair of glasses. The team search for the missing spectacles described as ‘Buddy Holly style’ by James but to no avail. Perhaps they will turn up in decades as an artifact as mysterious as the black bottle glass…

3.30pm:Teams return from an exhausting day of searching. By 4.30pm bodies are strewn across the sundeck.

6.30pm:Dinner is served and then the aerial shots are re-examined as the team puzzle over the sites, buildings and missing glasses.

7.30pm: Unable to resist the temptation, Grand Turk rock star Mitch Rolling has a jamming session with Chief engineer Brian Cabral under the stars.