Phase III – July 25

Ray and Cyndi Blanchard prepare to support dive

With an 8 point mooring, the Weeks 526 still rolls

Dive Supervisor initiates the dive for Team 2

Better Weather

Tuesday, July 25, 2000 – Today’s participants:
  • Team 1 – Kyle Creamer
  • Team 1 – Terrence Tysall
  • Team 1 – Andrew Donn
  • Team 1 – Tim Gallagher
  • Team 1 – Grant Graves
  • Team 1 – Michael Ott
  • Team 2 – Tane Casserley (ECU)
  • Team 2 – John Barone
  • Team 2 – Gary Byrd (ECU)
  • Team 2 – Frank Cantelas (ECU)
  • Support – Ray Blanchard
  • Support – Cyndi Blanchard
  • Standby Diver – Steve Sellers (ECU)
  • Chase Boat Support – Michael Barnette
  • Diving Supervisor – Doug Kesling (NURC)
  • DMT – Chris Cote (NURC)
  • Dr. John Broadwater – Project Director and Chief Archeologist
  • Captain, R/V Cape Fear – Dan Aspenleiter
  • The Mate – Mike
  • Shore Duty – Bob Beckner

The weather seemed to be breaking in our favor this morning, and we headed for the site at just after 0800. We had a slight chop and 2 to 4 foot rolling swells at the site. We dove today in two seperate evolutions, with 6 divers in the first group and 4 in the second. Both teams were scheduled for 20 minute bottom times, which has the divers out of the water in just over 1 1/2 hours of run time using the NOAA Trimix dive tables developed by Dr. Bill Hamilton. The teams collected data in and around the engine/fireroom and in the turret.

With the Navy barge directly over the Monitor, Captain Dan has to back the Cape Fear in close to the barge, put it in neutral and signal the dive supervisor. The dive supervisor then signals the divers with a “Dive! Dive! Dive!”, and the divers splash and submerge before Dan can motor the Cape Fear clear while we wait for the divers to return. During decompression, team 2 was visited by a good sized pod of at least 25 spotted dolphin. These encounters are always very exciting. Despite the so-so topside weather, the underwater conditions have been good with 30 to 50 feet of visibility and little to no current. The rains began again during our return to shore. It looks like we may have to put up with the rain for awhile.

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