The day began as most expeditions do with briefings, introductions and procedures for the boat and their staff. The project director Mike Armstrong also briefed the divers on the protocols and planned diving for the day. Dr. John Broadwater, manager for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, was introduced and he made a quick statement about the mission.
Once all the waviers had been signed and the briefings were over, the boat started up its 2 desiel engines and we left the dock and headed for the inlet. The weather seemed to be cooperating, so there were high expectations. The trip out to the Monitor Sanctuary, 16 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, would take us about 2 hours.
Upon arrival at the site and after the boat crew had spotted the NOAA sub-surface buoy, Terrence and Kyle were to dive and follow this line to the bottom, swim over to the wreck and establish a downline on an anchor near the wreck. They entered the water and failed to make the line because the current was in excess of 2 knots. Our permit will not allow diving in excess of 1.5 knots. So, today’s diving on the Monitor was aborted. The boat crew attempted to hook two other wrecks near the Monitor, the Lansing and later the Empire Gem. However, the current was relentless, and we called the diving for the day and headed back to shore.
Back on shore, after a few equipment ajustments and gas fills, all of the expedition members participated in a class on underwater archeology and survey techniques. Issues of current, artifact location and mapping and techniques of trilateration were discussed. Divers were put into teams and practiced taking and recording measurements, as well as, communicating while underwater.
One of our other logistic duties for this expedition was preparing team member uniforms and was handled onshore today by Cindy. After some difficulty with a transfer process, she was helped by two of the staff, Debra and Joyce, of Surfside Casuals and Suits Galore at Hatteras Landing in Hatteras, NC.