Sunday, July 11, 2010

Week 8: July 5 - July 9: By Peter Sittig and Lynn Fobian

July 5-6, 2010
By: Peter Sittig

Tuesday:  With Monday being a holiday for the Fourth of July weekend, it was unfortunate to wake up Tuesday morning with a downpour of rain.  But being well-versed in rain days, the graduate supervisors quickly assembled two mock wrecks at Marine Services for the field school students to practice their DSM (Direct Survey Method) skills.  DSM is a method of recording points on shipwrecks along with the aid of computer software to effectively map out an entire wreck with only limited data points.

Wednesday was a beautiful day filled with three full boats of very happy divers.  Out on the Blackwater River two teams were able to dive on the Palafox and Dinty Moore and get some good practice in with DSM on real wrecks, along with some interesting sunburns!  Our other team was able to set up our side scan sonar equipment and acquire very good data through a significant portion of the riverways close to our dive locations.  Through this they were able to find a historic submerged barge within 50 feet of the boat launch- complete with a modern fiberglass Cobia sitting on top of it!

July 8-9, 2010
By: Lynn Fobian

Thursday was a beautiful day for diving.  The survey team went back to Blackwater to practice the “Direct Survey Method” on the Palafox and to dive on target #8.  The bow of the Palafox is facing the shore in a south-west direction.  Peter and I worked as a team to record the datums on the Palafox, so that we could later plug them into the computer. Direct Survey Method is very tedious work, but it is also a lot of fun.  The supervisors conducted a circle search on target #8, and determined that it might be a debris field from the Geo. T. Locke or Guana Cast. 

Friday morning looked to be a promising day for a dive.  We split up with half of the crew going back to the Blackwater River and the rest of us headed to Seminole, Alabama for a day on an abandoned steamboat from the late 1800s.  After a short tour of the very intact ship we split up into teams to practice Baseline Off-sets.  We broke for lunch and learned some of the history of the wreck.  The day ended too quickly and we headed back to MSC to clean up our equipment and the facilities for the weekend.

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