Phase II – August 20

The drop camera is deployed from the chase boat

Reversing wheel in the engine room

Guests from Roanoke, VA with Kyle and Cindy

Great Bottom Conditions

The official web site for the Monitor Expedition is

August 20, 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 – Cindy Creamer
  • Diving Medical Officer (DMO) – Michael Ott
  • 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
  • Research Diver – Chad Roberts
  • Research Diver – Terrence Tysall
  • Research Diver – Ken Johns
  • Research Diver – John Chluski

As usual, the weatherman called for severe thunderstorms and heavy seas, so we anticipated not even going out today, and when we arrived on site, the seas were 2 feet, no current and the dive team later reported being able to see the wreck on descent at about 110 fsw with over 100 feet of visibility. Terrence Tysall and Chad Roberts staged another K cylinder on the bottom for the dredge and utilized the drop camera supplied by Sartek Industries. John Broadwater, the principle investigator and chief archeologist, recorded and observed the operation on board the chase boat that today was merely a platform for this tool. Doug Kesling assisted John with the surface operation of the camera. They were able to see the lip of the turret that has been buried in the sand and have determined the presence of the rifle shield.

John Chluski and Ken Johns took advantage of the terrific visibility to shoot some video in and around the engine room. Since recovery of the engine as well as the turret is in the stablization and selective recovry plan put forth by NOAA, this video will help the engineers in deciding how to raise this portion of the wreck.

The weather did start to turn sour on us toward the end of the day, and by the time the divers came up from their dive after decompression, the seas had increased to 4 to 6 foot swells. This made the recovery of the divers more difficult and the ride back in a bit rougher.

We were joined today on board the R/V Cape Fear by Clive Rice from the History Museum and Historical Society of Western Virginia and Dan Beall from Dare County, North Carolina. Both men are supporters and are interested in Civil War history and the progress on the Monitor expedition. Upon arrival back at the dock, we were met by Tim Gallagher (Cambrian Foundation) and Glenn Taylor (NURC). Jay Styron (NURC) will also be joining us later this evening. Unfortunately, Ken Johns will leaving tomorrow – we will miss his expertise.

We went through our daily ritual of debreifing and gas mixing despite the weather forecast for heavy seas and thunderstorms – just in case the weatherman is wrong . . . again.

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