The final day of this phase of the expedition brought sunny skies, warm weather, and special visitors. However, the Gulf Steam’s mighty currents once again swept the site of the Monitor Marine Sanctuary, preventing Cambrian divers from reaching the wreck. Currents exceeded the limits of the sanctuary permit, and this forced the Diving Safety Officer to abort the research mission to ensure diver wellbeing. The day was not a total loss – the team managed to install a more permanent marker buoy at the location. Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, this buoy will remain afloat and visible in the swift Gulf Stream for the duration of the next phase of operations. This marker will become an invaluable aid during the upcoming joint expedition with NOAA, NURC, and The Cambrian Foundation.
The team was given a special visit when a pod of over 12 spotted dolphins came to investigate the workers during deployment of the buoy. They danced effortlessly behind the boat and next to the buoy while we struggled to work in the current. An enormous leatherback turtle also made an appearance.
The day was not completely absent of diving. The crew of the Miss Lindsey managed to hook the wreck of the Lansing, and teams dove down to 170 feet.
Despite several days of strong currents, spirits were high and many research goals were fulfilled. Yet another Cambrian Foundation expedition opening phase was declared successful.