ECU's 2006 Fall Field School
Project Journal
7 September 2006

By Joe Hoyt
Joe Hoyt

Today, after a small delay, the weather finally allowed us to commence with the fall 2006 field school. After meeting in Greenville at 8:00am, Dr. Stewart and Co-PI Calvin Mires ushered Maritime Studies students, Michelle Damian, Adam Friedman, Amy Leuchtmann, and me into a van and headed for Little Washington, NC. Upon arriving at the docks we rendezvoused with dive safety officer Mark Keusenkothen and began loading the boats.

ECU dive barge

Students Adam and Michelle discuss what they observed in the mud at "Site A" with Dr. Stewart

Our primary objective today was to do site reconnaissance on ‘Site-A’ directly across from Washington’s Historic Waterfront district. The area is a suspected ships graveyard containing an unknown number of vessel abandonments.   We did know, however, of one vessel that was discovered in previous research that we’ve loosely termed “the centerboard” vessel because its centerboard breaches the surface during low water. 

After anchoring the barge, we climbed into our wetsuits and coveralls, and then devised a search pattern that would cover a large area as well as being relatively expedient. Since the water was so shallow only snorkeling gear was required for this phase. With little trouble we identified the centerboard vessel and mark points on the bow and stern that will later facilitate installing a survey baseline.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trudging around in the sludge searching for other features including a dock that is known to have once been there. By the time we had chilled through our wetsuits and gotten sufficiently stinky with mud we had identified remains of what appears to be remains of a pier and at least four separate vessels. This of course will require much more investigation, but alas, work is underway and we will be out there nearly everyday the rest of the month working on these to produce scale site plans.

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