July 17, 2006

By Nigel Sadler

During last nights debriefing the team discussed the best plan of action to get as much done before the end of this season. The problem is, is that there are not enough inflatable boats. The tow boarding team announced that it had almost completed its tow boarding work and the last small area left probably would not be worth surveying as it was between areas already surveyed and was in the deeper water. It was therefore decided that the tow boarding team would continue to work on the anomalies identified by the magnetometer team.

The Magnetometer Team
As it has become the norm, Mike, Jason and Mitch are easily the first boat prepared and ready to leave.

Today they complete the area between Thatch Cay and Breezy Point and then started the area to the east of Thatch Cay. All equipment worked well and the weather was ideal for their work.

Mike showing team members how their processed data appears on a computer map

Wooden Shipwreck Team
JF and Jenn join the wooden shipwreck team to get project photographs and film. It is also easy for them to swim over to record the work being carried out on the nearby anomaly site. They manage to record all of the exposed material at the wreck site, And Jenn is able to get clear shots as she enters before any dredging starts. However the swells in the afternoon and the sand kicked up from dredging mad filming in the afternoon impossible.

The team know that the 2006 project is nearing its end as it backfills the first test pit today.

Randy started the day by cleaning up his area containing floor timbers and keel to be photographed by Jenn. He then continued the task of seeing what else was there. He also took samples of the wood for analysis in the laboratories after the project. It may be possible to identify what type of wood it is and where it was grown.

James tied in his measurements so that all his drawings will correlate with each other and he spent the day carrying out drawing the site. Levardo and Toni were also at the site and worked on dredging to uncover more of the wreck.

Dr Donald Keith drawing the location of some finds

Dredge Boat Three
The tow boarding team has now been renamed Dredge Boat Three (Dredge Boat one and two are at the wooden shipwreck site). Today the team is made up of only three people: Donald Keith, Nigel and Angelie and has swapped their inflatable for a bigger one. The reason became clear when they loaded the dredger pump, dredger hoses, three sets of dive gear and 6 dive tanks.

At last nights debriefing the find of copper sheeting by the tow board team, linked with further analysis of the area by the magnetometer team meant that this is an area of high interest.

It should be noted here that after getting to a site the dredge team members both on the wooden shipwreck and this anomaly site can spend over 5 hours in the water, luckily the water is less than 15ft deep.

At the anomaly site dredging soon started to uncover a large timber, probably part of a ship body linked to the nearby wooden shipwreck. As work on this timber continued some unusual timber pieces were found (flat on one side, curved on the other) and a long curved piece of timber was also found. It is likely that this curved timber is a barrel stave. Two pieces of coal were also spotted and collected.

In the afternoon as dredging continued the team also used metal detectors and located some potential sites for investigation tomorrow.

Barrel stave in position on sea bed

The Documentary Makers
With Jenn filming for the team at the wooden wreck site the rest of the documentary team stay on board Caribbean Explorer 1. In the evening debriefing Richard states he is happy with the way the filming has gone and it is unlikely that they need any more footage from the wooden wreck site, unless of course something spectacular is uncovered in the last 2 days.