Buss,Fox,Payne,and Roberts
Flinders University 2008 Field School in Underwater Archaeology
15 February 2008
By The Supervisors

While students slaved away inside writing up their group assignments and personal projects, the supervisors went for a day of leisure on the bay! In usual fieldschool style, the planned activities changed as soon as we got out on the water due to the weather. The Stessl team chickened out after crashing through a few waves and not being able to keep up with Trim! We unloaded the dive gear at the boat ramp and all piled into Trim. First stop was Chinaman’s Hat to smell the seals.

Seals at Chinamanís Hat.

Figure 4- Seals at Chinamanís Hat. (Large View)(photo by Sam Turner courtesy of the Maritime Archaeology Program at Flinders University).

Braving heavy swells, Captain Disaster Harvey skillfully moored at Sorrento and we all stopped for coffee and cake! Resuming maritime heritage site visits we steamed to the old south pile light and then on to South Channel Fort where we anchored for lunch. All supervisors abandoned ship for an invigorating swim in the bay with Jason and Callum Harvey tying for the bombing competition. Going via Pope’s Eye, the supervisors completed a visual survey of the Quarantine Station before returning to the Queenscliff boat ramp. The great skill of Captain Disaster and Miss Behaving Philippou ensured that Trim was safely hauled from a trickle of water onto the trailer. Returning to camp, all was quiet punctuated by an occasional “Ahhh”! The students were still hard at work, on what was probably the best weather day of the entire 2 weeks.

The supervisors on their day out.

Figure 4- The supervisors on their day out. (Large View) (photo by Sam Turner courtesy of the Maritime Archaeology Program at Flinders University).

Student projects were due at 5:00pm on the dot. The quality reports from fieldschool 2008 will be combined with those of fieldschool 2004 to create a Portarlington issue of Maritime Archaeology Monographs Series. The teams handed in almost on time (Red Team were first past the post!) and quickly thereafter two cases of beer appeared courtesy of Mark Staniforth. The students had a few and then we all headed down to The Grand, the best, in fact, the only pub in Portarlington, for some celebration after all the hard work.  Three tables were full to capacity and we all tucked into our fare.  After dinner and a good bit more drink, the supervisors presented a selection of the funniest photos from the with appropriate explanatory comments (some had to be translated from NZED-speak into English) – a good opportunity to poke fun at one and all..

After the show, the dancing started where one student was so popular, Miss Behaving had to provide some pugilistic support to fend off the local admirers. Conversation went on into the early hours of the morning, not a bit dampened by The Grand progressively closing its bistro and bars. The sun eventually rose on a quiet, deserted camp – blissfully calm before the packing would begin. 

The two weeks of hectic activity are over but the relationships developed and concocted collaborations will remain. It has certainly been an experience never to be forgotten.

-The SUPERvisors


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