ECU's 2006 Fall Field School
25 September 2006
By Amy Leuchtmann
So, it’s finally dawned on me that with five students posting journal entries five days of the week…you see where this is going? Here I am, ready to open up another week of entries on this cold and dreary Monday.
Views from above and below: Though Site B is shallow and the divers are barely underwater little light penetrates to the wreck as can be seen in the from the photo below taken in less than three feet of water. This makes taking measurements and reading tape measures a challenge.
As we wrapped up last week, I am honestly not sure whether the crew was more excited because it was Friday or if it was because we FINALLY started to record on Mylar. Now, no matter what happens, we have something to show for all of our hard work! Today’s plan was to continue the recording as well as the dredging.
I started the morning on the dredge. Now, I cannot speak for everyone, but I have begun to look at that dredge as a personal nemesis. BUT I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED! My arms may ache after holding it for an hour, I may get disoriented underwater as I fight to control it, it may cause me frustration, it may even cause me to tumble over and clunk my head against a metal rod. BUT I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED! That being said…I was rather glad when my hour was up!
I was apprehensive as I swam/crawled over to my section today, Port side 10-20. On Friday, as I left, I decided to risk leaving my measuring tape clipped to our baseline. That is usually okay for breaks and maybe even overnight, but all weekend is definitely a risk. Now let me tell you why that is a risk. I do not believe anyone has taken the time to explain a little tradition we have here during ECU Field Schools. Its called (drum roll please) The Dumb Jar. The Dumb Jar is a rather rusty, beat up, old paint can that likes being fed money. This money gets placed inside the jar anytime someone does something…you guessed it… dumb. I promise you, the jar is well fed. At the end of field school we use this money for a little wrap-up party. I could truly go on for pages talking about some of the more idiotic things we’ve all done, but I’m thinking of writing a tell-all book. Anyway, losing any piece of equipment is an automatic dollar in the jar so I was very pleased to see my tape still in place.
Everyone has their own technique for recording once they are in their assigned section. Personally, I like to go foot by foot. For instance, my section is 10 to 20 feet along the baseline on the port side. I started at the baseline and worked my way outwards, making little marks where each new feature begins. I do this at the 10-foot mark, the 11-foot mark, the 12-foot mark, etc. This way, if there is a timber running from bow to stern, I will eventually make 11 dashes to represent it and then I can connect the dots as I go along. If there is a timber running port to starboard, I can simply measure it with the measuring tape I have running from the baseline outward. Then it’s an easy matter of drawing the whole feature right on my Mylar, there is no need for the dashes. I promise that it isn’t as complicated as I just made it seem.
Today’s Major Challenge- The water was very low when we arrived on site. We actually had a little bit of beach near shore! However, the water decided it wanted to come back in while we were working. The incoming water surge made it very difficult to stay in once place as you were trying to measure or dredge. Not to mention we all looked pretty funny trying to scuba dive in literally two feet of water!
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