August 10, 1999 – after 2 days on shore because of bad weather, we finally made it out to finish the tune-up dives. On the 8th and just in time to wait on shore with us, two more Cambrian Foundation divers had arrived, Tyler Moon and Charlie Roberson. The divers that are arriving between now and the end of the expedition have all met the prerequisites for missing the tune-ups and are scientific divers on active status. They must have done at least 12 dives in the last 6 months with an equivalent nitrogen depth (END) of 130 fsw or greater, with at least 1 dive to 200 fsw with an END of 130 fsw or greater, and all dives must have been made utilizing the NOAA approved equipment configuration for the Monitor Expedition (doubles with 2 stage cylinders).
We had checked on the site on the 7th when we were last diving, and the channel marker buoy we put on site during Phase I had been torn away. We decided to finish the tune-ups by reestablishing our downline. Since we had the extra divers, we deployed two teams at the same time and used Tyler and Charlie as in-water support divers. Team 1, Kyle Creamer, Doug Kesling, Ken Johns and Lance Horn, swam down with a new line with a float ball attached and attached it to the anchor near the turret. They also removed the reminants of the old line and sent them to the surface on a lift bag All this was accomplished in the first 6 minutes of the dive. Team 2, Terrence Tysall, Chris Cote and Michael Ott, observed the line deployment and assisted with the staging of two 80 cu. ft. cylinders with trimix 18/50 on the bottom and near the downline that can be used in an emergency. Both teams then finished their dive by making an orientation dive of the wreck. They swam to the bow and back to the stern. The total bottom time for all the divers was 20 minutes. With all of our tools in place, we are ready to begin the expedition!
After returning to shore, all team members mustered at the Coast Guard station and turned to getting the gas cylinders filled and readied for the mission tomorrow. After filling, we had a brief meeting at Bill’s Dream (the house we are staying in) led by Dr. John Broadwater, the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary manager, to discuss the mission for tomorrow’s dives.