Saturday, 25 June 2011

The end approaches

Firstly let me say sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of days, we will of course be furiously blogging today to get everybody up to date with our activities up here in Lochaline (rest assured we have been very busy on site and the slight lack of blogs has nothing to do with not having anything to say!)

With the control points all measured in on the site the real survey work could begin in earnest on Wednesday as little orange tags (to which all marine life so far seems to have a terrible aversion) began to appear all over the site. The more dives we did on site the more those lumps of concretion began to take shape as iron straps, knees and pipes. Although for some the description remained 'amorphous lump of concretion, wood and slate' without much hope of further information! And Claire and Piotr who thought they had got away lightly being assigned an area to surevy with three unpositioned features from the 2010 season slowly began to realise that almost everything around them was infact some part of the ships structure and not rock and seabed as it might first appear.

Never to be accused of being too hard a task master the afternoon saw a break from the archaeology with a trip to Oban, supposedly to fuel the boat but more importantly to dive the Breda and for a fish and chip supper.

With the team fully rested after an afternoon off, on Thursday we were able to turn our attentions back to the John Preston and to those bright orange tags, with feature numbers now in the 30s there was no rest as we continued to survey parts of the ships structure into our newly established control point network.

Thursday evening saw us hit Site Recorder in earnest as we attempt to relate our new network and features to the work carried out in 2009 and 10. After a great team effort we final managed to get all the control points in place (even that keel which appeared to have moved around the site...) As one by one the features we had measured thus far began to be entered we slowly built a list of tasks for our last day on site.

To make up for the efforts of the team staying up til midnight processing data and writing up dive logs, we began our last day with a leisuely start and a dive on the Thesis, a shipwreck that looks like a shipwreck with a fairly intact hull, a few swim throughs in the hold and an engine and boiler still on deck.

After an early lunch we headed back out to the now very familar site of the John Preston for our final dives, collecting the data highlighted by the previous evenings processing session, surveying in those final features tagged and taking photographs to add to our archive.

Over the last couple of days we have collected a huge amount of data so today we will be adding all of this to the archive, finishing off dive logs and hopefully getting our site plan together before we leave tomorrow.

Thanks to the team for all their hard work this week and watch this space for a few photos and a site plan just to demonstrate what we have acheived!!!

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