Phase II – August 18

Looking forward along the port side armor belt

Stab meter on the exposed section of the turret

NBC17 crew interviews Jeff Johnston

Rough Seas, Good Vis

We have been remiss. We have needed to remind you of the official web site for the Monitor Expedition. Please check out their site at

August 18, 1999 – We were joined last night by another Cambrian Foundation Scientific Diver, John Chluski. It was windy and the seas were rolling today. We had about 4 foot swells and a lot of chop. The surface current was estimated by the captain, Dan Aspenleiter, to be around 2 knots. 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 – Cindy Creamer
  • Diving Medical Officer (DMO)/On deck Standby Diver – Michael Ott
  • Dive Medical Technician (DMT)/Chase Boat Support Diver – Ken Johns
  • Chase Boat Operator – Mike Smith
  • Chamber Operator/In-water Support Diver (deep) – Chris Cote
  • In-water Support Diver (shallow) – John Chluski
  • Research Diver – Kyle Creamer
  • Research Diver – Doug Kesling
  • Research Diver – Chad Roberts
  • Resaerch Diver – Terrence Tysall

With the current as strong at it was, we decided not to attempt to test the drop camera supplied by Sartek Industries. We also relied on the expertise of Dan Aspenleiter, captain of the R/V Cape Fear, to drop us far enough up current that we could drift into the wreck while doing a free descent. We arrived on the bottom just at the bow.

Team 1, Kyle Creamer and Doug Kesling, had two objectives today. First, they were to take several voltage readings on the exposed portion of the turret using a stab meter. These numbers will be used for comparison to readings that will be taken in a few days, after several anodes are taken down and installed along the turret and armor belt. Their second task was to video the area around the deck light again and try to see if the deck cap is still in the light and if you can see all the way under the wreck. It appears that the cap is not in the deck and you can definitely see out under the armor belt.

Terrence Tysall and Chad Roberts, team 2, swam directly to the dredge near the turret and completed the assemble of the dredge. They then started the excavation beside the turret to look for the rifle shield. They excavated a small pit about 3 feet deep just to the lip of the turret.

The bottom time today was 25 minutes and the total time in water was 122 minutes.

We were joined on the boat today by a Raleigh, North Carolina news team from NBC17, Heidi Deja and her cameraman Brian Manere. They interview several people and observed the full day’s operation.

Besides our standard post-dive debriefing and cylinder filling at the Coast Gaurd Station, we also were briefed by Curtiss Peterson, the conservator that has been contracted by the Mariner’s Museum for the Monitor project, and Jerry Kinney, representative for the Mariner’s Museum. They discussed a possible senario to utilize sacrificial anodes that can be used to slow the destruction of the Monitor and how they might be installed.

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