Phase I – April 28

First dive team and support divers

Captain Dan heads back in rough weather

Tune-ups Begin

Friday, April 28, 2000 – Today’s participants:

  • Kyle Creamer
  • Grant Graves
  • Ken Schneider
  • Pete Goutmann
  • Terrence Tysall
  • Tim Gallagher
  • John Barone
  • Doug Kesling (NURC)
  • Ken Johns (NURC)
  • Frank Cantelas (ECU)
  • Steve Sellers (ECU)
  • Gary Byrd (ECU)
  • Tane Casserley (ECU)
  • Captain, R/V Cape Fear – Dan Aspenleiter
  • The Mate – J.D.

Despite the forecast for severe weather, the conditions seemed acceptable for diving, so we departed the dock at 0800, our normal departure time. We headed out to the Lancing, a whaler/tanker torpedoed by the U-552 April 7, 1942, and sitting in about 170 feet. We planned to dive in two teams to allow us to have on deck and chase boat support available. After Captain Dan located the wreck, the first team suited up, moved to the dive platform and waited for the “Dive, Dive, Dive!” signal. Once the boat was in neutral, the signal was given, and the divers splashed and began their descent. The visibility was excellent until about 100 feet, where it slowly decreased to near zero at 140 to 150 feet. They literally drifted (bumped) into the wreck at about 130 feet because they couldn’t see it. After 6 minutes and not being able to find a suitable tie-in point, the dive was aborted. As the divers were being recovered on the surface by the R/V Cape Fear, the the sea state began to increase.

The teams discussed with Captain Dan the deteriorating weather conditions and the less than ideal tune-up conditions underwater and decided to suspend diving for the day and head back to shore. We hope for better weather and conditions tomorrow.

Dr. John Broadwater and Jeff Johnston stayed on shore to deal with calls to the Navy and some of the vendors participating in Phase II of this year’s project.

See you tomorrow and don’t forget to check out the official Monitor National Marine Sancuary web site and the Mariners’ Museum Monitor web site.

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