July 16, 2006

By Nigel Sadler

The Magnetometer Team
Mike, Jason and Mitch found the weather was perfect today. Low wind meant the boat could maintain a good speed without splash that might damage the equipment. In the morning they started by dropping a buoy on the anomaly that the tow board team would be investigating later. They then covered the whole area from the wooden shipwreck to the reef line. This will hopefully generate further anomalies for the tow board team to investigate tomorrow.

Once that was completed they turned their attention to the area west of Black Rock, inside the reef and by the end of the day had covered three quarters of the area.

Wooden Shipwreck Team
The team working the wreck again had a great day, Even though Randy started the day with regulator problems these were soon resolved by Johnnie. Toni has an ear problem and today Johnnie joined Dr Donald Keith, Randy, James and Levardo. Randy continued to dig in his area assisted by Johnnie, and in the evening debriefing Donald commented how quickly Johnnie took to the task of fanning sand into the dredge pipes and looked the part of an archaeologist.

James continued to record the site and provide illustrations of what is being uncovered. Jason is being kept very busy as some very large timber pieces are now being found. In the evening debriefing Donald Keith expressed hope that the way the planks are laid may help identify the country where the ship was constructed.

Work on the wooden wreck

Tow Boarding Team
The tow boarding team has now been renamed the ‘away team’ and are given all the odd jobs to do. Today the team is made up of Nigel, Angelie, Dylan and Fujio, who is now becoming a regular as he likes working with this team.

The team started the day by checking out an anomaly identified by the Magnetometer team. Nigel and Angelie finally got to wear dive gear and after the Magnetometer team had marked the area generally the divers used a metal detector to locate the exact position. What was going to be an easy job turned out not to be so. The metal item was well and truly buried and it took the two divers over an hour to dig down about 2ft and locate it. Several pieces were recovered and it looks like copper plating for a ship, probably from the wooden vessel. Some items were collected for diagnostic use but it is clear that more remains on the site and further detailed work is required.

Nigel and Angelie looking for the ‘anomaly’

The second task of the day was to take Fujio to the metal wreck found earlier in the 2006 season so that he could film it. Whilst on site the team also recorded more of the wreck.

After lunch the team looked for an anomaly that is visible on the photographs, but they were unable to locate it.

The Documentary Makers
Fujio seems to like the tow boarding team and spent the whole day with them, not only filming their activities but also actively taking part in their work.

Fujio filming the metal wreck