Another Successful Dive on the Monitor
August 14, 1999 – The team assignments for today were:
- Captain, R/V Cape Fear – Dan Aspenleiter
- Principle Investigator – Dr. John Broadwater
- NOAA Historian – Jeff Johnston
- Diving Safety Officer – Dave Dinsmore
- Dive Supervisor – Dave Dinsmore
- Dive Medical Technician (DMT)/On deck Standby Diver – Chris Cote
- Chase Boat Operator – Mike Smith
- Chamber Operator/Chase Boat Support Diver – Doug Kesling
- In-water Support Diver (deep) – Kyle Creamer
- In-water Support Diver (shallow) – Michael Ott (also our Diving Medical Officer [DMO])
- Research Diver – Ken Johns
- Research Diver – Mike St. Germain
- Research Diver – Terrence Tysall
The current was strong again today, so the divers were deployed up current from the float ball and the breakaway line was not utilized. The divers would simply deploy a lift bag at the end of their dive, and the surface teams would use it as a visual marker for the location of the divers. The team drifted into the downline during descent and followed it to the bottom.
The assigned tasks for this dive were to complete the installation of the current meter and obtain video of this procedure. The team found the meter, neatly staged at the downline, checked the staged safety cylinders and relocated the meter to about 20 to 30 feet off the starboard bow of the wreck. They then deployed the meter. It is anchored to the bottom with large shackle weights and suspended about 10 feet off the bottom by two plastic cased, glass floats. The shackle weights are also tied to a sand screw to prevent the whole thing from being swept away by the currents. The meter will record water temperature as well as current direction and speed for the next year.
Decompression was a bit more eventful today. A pod of 20 or 30 Atlantic spotted dolphins came in and circled us a couple of times before moving on. It is amazing to watch how effortlessly they move through the water (especially, after how awkwardly we drug the meter and weights around on the bottom). They truly are incredible animals.
As with all dives, we debriefed and reviewed the video during the boat ride back to shore, and the bottom divers filled out their diver debriefing forms. After arrival on shore, we trucked the cylinders over to the Coast Guard Station’s BMF for gas fills for tomorrow’s dives.