Phase I – May 5

Carl Saieva gets out of his gear after a dive

Divers surface after a dive – chase boat stands by

Gary Byrd fills cylinders for tomorrow’s dive

The Planets Align

Friday, May 5, 2000 – Today’s participants:
  • Team 1 – Terrence Tysall
  • Team 1 – Conrad Pfeifer
  • Team 1 – Kyle Creamer
  • Team 1 – Chad Roberts
  • Team 1 – Grant Graves
  • Team 1 – Ken Schneider
  • Team 2 – Glenn Taylor (NURC)
  • Team 2 – Tane Casserley (ECU)
  • Team 2 – Frank Cantelas (ECU)
  • Team 2 – Steve Sellers (ECU)
  • Support – Gary Byrd (ECU)
  • Support – John Barone
  • Support – Carl Saieva
  • Standby diver – Pete Goutmann
  • Chase boat support – Clyde Martin
  • Chase boat/Chamber operator – Doug Kesling (NURC)
  • Dive Supervisor/DMT – Tim Gallagher
  • Project Director and chief archeologist – John Broadwater (MNMS)
  • Monitor historian – Jeff Johnston (MNMS)
  • Captain, R/V Cape Fear – Dan Aspenleiter (UNCW)
  • The Mate – J.D. (UNCW)

At about 0400 this morning, four planets aligned themselves on the opposite side of the sun from earth. The doomsday types said this would lead to tidal waves and other “life-as-we-know-it” ending stuff. . . We just hoped it would cause the tides to shift drastically and leave the Monitor in about 30 feet of water. Well, as you might have guessed, the wreck was still in about 240 feet of water. The bottom temperature was about 68 degrees, the visibility was about 30 feet and the current was negligible.

We staggered the teams again with team 1 planning a 25 minute bottom time and team 2 planning for 20 minutes. This seems to be working well with this size of team, so we will probably continue to use this method of deployment. The teams took measurements, shot video and researched the aft section of the wreck around the engine. All of this is in preparation for Phase II when the Navy will be attempting to begin the stablization effort and the recovery of the engine.

After returning to the dock, we turned to the usual tasks – filling cylinders, writing reports, logging video and planning for tomorrow’s dives. The weather looks like it may hold, so we are planning for another good day.

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