or the "Ghost Ship" site,
15 Oct 2008 The Cofferdam Is Installed!
Now that the
cofferdam is installed, we can work on the site without the danger of cave-in
from the surrounding walls. A third test hole has been completed yielding the
broken pieces of another huge "masthead light" lantern globe. We have
also discovered evidence of tremendous structural damage to the bows of the
wreck. Also, the huge windlass, discovered last summer, has been excavated.
Photos and video are coming soon!!!
15 Oct 2007 Artifacts Are Still Coming Up!
This summer season
yielded many diagnostic artifacts including fully intact lantern chimneys and
brass wick holders and a fully intact blue-green lens for the starboard bow
navigation light. It looks like brand new!
1 June 2006:
Continues... We Begin To See Artifacts!
In what we
believe could be the bow section, we recovered shards of clear glass, several
brass fasteners or spikes (called "copper" in early shipbuilding) and
SIDCO Diver Rob Covey recovered this beautiful, hand-made, lead sounding weight,
personalized with the makers initials!
Truthing: Excavation begins!
4,5, and 6- During the week of June 23-27, We
began our excavation efforts to identify the sunken vessel at site 0003OKI.
Using the donated bulkheading material (see below), we built a mini-cofferdam
over the site of Target #01 at what appears to be the port bow of the wreck. The
excavation is continuing as we have reached the depth of 7 feet and have run
into framing timbers covering a large iron target. We will continue to excavate
through the summer season and try to find a defining artifact that will identify
4 5 6
Many, many thanks to Crane Materials
international, inc. and dare building supply for the donation of
cofferdam material we will be using to excavate this site!
Our initial work on this site will be
mostly non-intrusive. We will conduct a Gradiometer survey, in the same
manner as the work on QAR, in 1999 (see the Blackbeard's QAR page of this
site). Not only will this give us the parameters of
the site (length and width), but using iron core datum markers as reference
points during the survey will give us the size as well as provenience location
of each artifact. In essence, it will "draw" a magnetic site map for
us, giving us a much more accurate drawn site map and at the same time, it will
show us the original location of any artifact disturbed during whatever
excavation we decide to do. We can conduct this survey and gather a huge amount
of information about the original ship, without uncovering the sand that
protects the site from marine organisms, weather and looting.
In the graphic
above (we apologize for the size of the download, but clarity is a must!) you
can see the 3OKI site laid out with our mapping datum stakes on the base line
0-220 (bottom of picture) running west and east, and the transect lines
(vertical) 0-100 running north and south. Each artifact has a positive and
negative pole, just like a bar magnet. The scale at right shows the intensity of
each pole and the biggest concentration of iron materials. The "datum"
stakes, which are iron, are seen in blue at 0 feet, 75 feet, and 150 feet. These
are blue only because they are standing upright. Notice also the artifact at 85'
X 100', seen in deep red, which is also standing up right. The artifact group at
120' X 20' will be our primary focus and testing area. This "magnetic"
site map tells us more about this wreck than any other method and all without
moving a single grain of protective sand and sediment!
Dwight Burrus of
Hatteras Village operating Burrus Flying Service, has been
flying air tours over Hatteras, Ocracoke and Portsmouth Islands for
the last ten years and on one particular day in August 2002 when
both the weather and water were clear, he spotted what he thought
might be the darkened outline of a shipwreck. After confirming his
find with historian and author Drew Pullen, also of Hatteras, they
then contacted our officers with the news. Drew is a long time
supporter and advocate for SIDCO, and he asked us to investigate. We
sprung into action, first sending an advance party of divers to do a
visual search. Meanwhile we assembled the rest of the team and
prepared our electronic detection equipment, including the
Schonstedt Instruments GAU-30 marine magnetometer/
gradiometer that we used to survey the Blackbeard's Queen Anne's
Revenge site in 1999. Our VP, Dave Pope led a team of 12 divers,
conservators and boat crew members to the site.
Photos of chemical outline or "shadow" of the sunken
vessel. This outline or signature is not discernable on the site
itself. Our teams had to use magnetometers and metal detectors to
ground truth the wreck.
2- Vice President
of SIDCo, Dave Pope ground truths the 0003OKI or "Ghost
Ship" site with our MineLab Excalibur handheld metal detector. The site is
undetectable with out electronic help and is completely buried below
the surrounding shoals.
3- Even working in
the dead of winter, we continued the electronic survey in hope of
completing the gradiometer map before the summer excavation begins.
Bundled up against the cold, Dave Pope continues the survey work.