Phase I – April 11

Conrad, Pete & dish recovered from USS Monitor

Back of dish recovered today

US Navy Pepper and Mustard bottles

Inverted bow of the USS Monitor

Brass sword handle

Another view of plate recovered


Wednesday, April 11, 2001
Wind reports were high again early, but dropped off quickly. Captain Dan thought that we may be able to get one more day in, so divers loading aboard the R/V Cape Fear and were underway to the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary by 8AM. It turned out to be one of the nicest days we had on the wreck for the entire phase. There was very little chop or current on the surface and the visibility on the wreck was over 40 feet.

Six divers were in the bottom team today. Their mission was artifact recovery in the engine area. This was a preservation effort. Phase II involves the Navy hard hat divers lifting the engine, so fragile items were removed from the area to prevent damage from the salvage divers walking on them. Heavy lifting is not easy on glass and china!

Terrence took MNMS’s video camera and captured shots of the floor (now the ceiling in the Monitor’s present position)to record the location of recovered items. Several different items were recovered, including the fourth piece of intact china removed from the wreck. Some frame from that video are included in this update. Pete also used a video camera to capture some shots of the USS Monitor. His footage of the bow provides our only look at that end of the wreck from this trip.

After recovering the divers the usual debriefing was held on the ride in. Then, after the artifact were packed away for transport, all the gear was removed from the R/V Cape Fear. As Captain Dan made a quick departure to get home in front of the weather (and before the Easter bunny), team members washed their personal equipment and packed for the trip home. Thanks again to Captain Dan and Mike for a fantastic job getting us to, dropping us dead on, and bring us back safely from the wreck for another expedition. We could not have done it with out them. We look forward to seeing them again in Phase III.

Again – "Thank You!" to everyone involved with this project.

Last Day’s Team:

Captain- Dan Aspenlighter (UNCW)
Dive Supervisor – Jay Stryon (NURC)
Chamber Operator/DMT- Doug Kesling (NURC)
Principle Investigator – John Broadwater (MNMS)
Bottom Divers
Pete Goutmann
Conrad Pfeifer
Tamara Ebert
Terrence Tysall
Tane Casserley ( MNMS)
Gary Byrd (ECU)
Support Divers
Nat Robb
Sweat Diver
John Barone
Zodiac Support
Mike Barnette (NOAA)
Mike Rodaway (UNCW)

Send questions or comments to the Trilobite.
Questions and Comments To the Trilobite

Glad to hear all is going as well as it has considering the weather and all. Bankruptcy proceedings are going well. Just kidding. I am sorry I missed the football. Hehehe Good job and keep up the hard work. T, I am glad to see you are improving relations with UNCW. Good on ya mate!
See ya all in Phase III. Way to take the licks and still hit the homerun.

We are all looking forward to Phase III and better weather!

Great coverage on the Monitor expedition! You guys are doing great work and I’m glad to see the weather has opened enough to let you do some of the fun stuff (mapping and artifact recovery). Thanks much (say hi to John).
Bruce Terrell
NOAA, National Marine Sanctuary System

To all my friends on Phase 1. It seems that between the fun and games that you have performed to the highest level that the Cambrian Foundation demands. My hat is off to of you. Congratulations.
Michael P. Armstrong

Hello to Tane’s crew members. No, my name isn’t Mary, but Tane’s extended family in many islands appreciate the photos and updates of the expedition.
Tane’s mom

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