27 July 1997
All of the members of this expedition were instructed to meet at Teach’s Lair at 10:00 a.m. After all of the gear was stowed and secured, the initial briefings were held.
Michael Armstrong began the briefing with instructions concerning diver responsibilities and waiver/releases.
Captain Mike Hillier of the Miss Lindsey explained boat protocol and boat familiarization.
John Broadwater greeted and thanked all present for their interest and participation in this years goals.
Terrence Tysall briefly discussed the goals of this years survey and reiterated that this expedition is research oriented and not recreational.
We departed for the Marine Sanctuary.
The surface buoys were spotted and a 2 knot current was assessed.
All the divers with DPV’s (Diver Propulsion Vehicles) and free SCUBA were deployed. Due to bottom conditions, no attempt was made to verify the previously placed Datum Point Markers.
Tysall, Boxley, and Staub were the only divers to view the wreck. Consequently, dive operations for the rest of the day were cancelled.
28 July 1997
The conditions at the Sanctuary were excellent. The bouys were up and the bottom conditions consisted of negligible current with over 100 foot visibility.
The process of accessing the conditions of the previously placed Datum Point Markers began. Unfortunately, all the markers had to be replaced in a more secure fashion.
Due to the conditions, all divers were asked to make orientation dives.
The process of placing new Datum Point Markers began with the placement of #9, #15, and #16, all in the bow section of the site. Measurements were then taken between these new markers from the bow of the Monitor.
Eight divers were assigned the task of assessing the trash condition of the wreck. This team was headed by J.D. Selser, B. Kikta, and D. Balczeniak.
A Ceramic soap dish was discovered near Datum Point Marker #9. This artifact will be recorded and recovered on a later dive.
Photographs were taken of the newly placed Datum Point Marker and of the general overall wreck site.
Our videographer used a digital camera to record the process of setting up Datum Point Markers. This included video of the forward section of the wreck.
29 July 1997
Due to surface conditions, all dives were cancelled for the day. The team met with John Broadwater and the Survey Teams and discussed the strategy for the rest of the expedition.
It was concluded to use:
- Two 3-man teams for survey.
- Three 2-man teams for clean-up.
- One videographer.
- One/Two still photographers.
30 July 1997
At the site the conditions on the surface were marginal at best. The bottom conditions were considerably better with a 1/2 knot current and approximately 30-40 feet visibility.
The survey teams relocated Datum Point Markers #3 and #2. New Markers were placed using c-clamps and slate material to signify the number of the Station. Architectural tape was also placed around the marker for better visibility and distinction for future observation.
All the Markers were checked for stability and notations were made as to exact position and depth. All totalled, ten Markers were verified, secured and depth readings taken.
The clean-up teams have started in the stern section of the site, collecting nets, tape, and fishing line. PVC pipe was also recovered.
01 August 1997
At the site, the surface conditions were again marginal. The bottom conditions, however, were the best of the expedition, with no reported current and 80 feet of visibility.
The survey teams placed the Datum Point Markers #17, #21, #20, #19, #23, #22, and #18. Distances between these Markers have been measured and verified.
The clean-up teams brought up prodigious quantities of trash. They brought up last years measuring tape, survey line, and wads of fishing line with hooks.
The throttle gauge/annunicator in the boiler-room was videoed.
02 August 1997
Once again the conditions were marginal but the bottom conditions have made up for its shortcomings. With no current on the bottom and 80 feet of visibility, we could have asked for no more.
The survey team finished surveying the remaining Datum Point Markers and are satisfied with the results. The team replaced Datum Point Marker #13 with a c-clamp and verified measurements.
Two artifacts were recorded and recovered:
- The soap dish under Datum Point Marker #9.
- A "Gray’s Hair Restorative" bottle between Markers #10 and #14.
The clean-up teams have collected 2 large bags of trash consisting of beer and soda cans, PVC pipe, survey and fishing lines.
Please note that removal of large line hooks in the Kevlar Strap on the propeller shaft was not attempted due to time constraints. Also, debris from the U.S. Navy salvage efforts are still on the wreck site.