Dive, Dive, Dive!
August 13, 1999 – Another team member, Michael St. Germain, joined us last night, so we reassigned the teams and headed out at 0700 for the sanctuary, again.
- Captain, R/V Cape Fear – Dan Aspenleiter
- Principle Investigator – Dr. John Broadwater
- NOAA Historian – Jeff Johnston
- Diving Safety Officer – Dave Dinsmore
- Dive Supervisor – Cindy Creamer
- Dive Medical Technician (DMT) – Doug Kesling
- Chase Boat Operator – Mike Smith
- Chamber Operator/Chase Boat Support Diver – Ken Johns
- On deck Standby Diver – Terrence Tysall
- In-water Support Diver (deep) – Mike St. Germain
- In-water Support Diver (shallow) – Michael Ott (also our Diving Medical Officer [DMO])
- Research Diver (team 1) – Charlie Roberson
- Research DIver (team 1) – Tyler Moon
- Research Diver (team 2) – Chris Cote
- Research Diver (team 2) – Lance Horn
- Research Diver (team 2) – Kyle Creamer
The current was not as strong, and we were successful in making the wreck. The strong currents had stirred up the bottom, and visibility was poor – about 20 to 30 feet. Team 1’s first objective was to check the proper function and volume of the safety cylinders. We assign this task to a diver of team on each
dive and they check to see if the cylinders have at least 2000 psi in them and that the regulators function by breathing from them. They were unable to survey the area around the bow due to the limited visibility, but did make an overall assessment of the site.
Team 2 found the current meter hanging on the downline at 140 fsw. They carried it down to the base of the downline and staged it there for deployment on another dive. They also swam up past amidships and captured video of an artifact that was tagged on a previous dive. As divers find potential artifacts, they tag them with survey tape.
The tape is either tied directly to the object, or more often the tape is attached to a sinker weight that is place on or near the object. The diver then notes the location so that other divers can locate and continue mapping or photographing the object so that the principle investigator can determine if it should be recovered. This object may be a deck light or a porthole.The Monitor had several glass windows on her interior that would resemble a porthole. Further investigation of this object will continue.
After the dive and on the way back in, a debriefing was held. This is done so that all team members can benefit from the experiences of the others. Debriefings cover information from current conditions to what was accomplished on the dive. After arriving back on shore, we transfered the cylinders to the Coast Guard Station. The Coast Guard, for the second year, has allowed us to take over their Boat Maintenance Facility (BMF) where we have set up the gas fill station. All cylinders were readied for tomorrow’s dives. The weather may turn bad on us, but we are hopeful that we can still continue to dive.