The Maritime Archaeology team surveying.
Today the total station arrived. We were all rather excited at camp by the idea of using the total station to get the exact location of FPL 17. Excited by the fact that the only total station knowledge we had was of using one in Thorsminde Denmark, for recording the Rudder of the ship HMS St. George. (See under Projects)
A total station can plot points and give GPS co ordinates by shooting light into a prism. The prism for FPL 17, since underwater, was attached to a very large poll so that it would sit above 3.5 meters in the water and still have the prism exposed for the total station to shoot from land.
The first (and only) divers of the day, Bente and Kostas set out on the boat and began the dive. 5 hours later, the two divers disassembled all the baselines and attained 4 datum points along the wreck. In order to do this, Kostas had to paddle his little Greek heart out at the surface to make sure the points were level with the total station that was on land (assisted by Christian), while Bente held the heavy poll steady at the stem post, the stern post and amidships between frames 350 and 207.
Of course this sounds all nice and easy writing it now on this blog, but I can assure you it took great effort to align the prism with the total station – 45 minutes to be exact. Rain and long distance from the total station on shore where not in the divers favour, but practice made perfect as they did it twice to be sure.
The last few frames of the‘4am wreck’ were measured and completed in the early hours of the day, as we sat out in the rain drawing and measuring with soggy clothing and smiles on our faces. Ironically, after all was completed for FPL 17 and FPL 77, the sun decided to greet us with its presence. So we began the interesting task of taking samples from FPL 77 for tree ring analysis. In order to do this, Christian, Sarah, Andrew, Marja, Della and I hesitantly began cutting pieces of the frames we had spent so long getting to know. Andrew teared up as he sawed away at the very frame he drew early that day. 10 samples later, and smelling a bit funny from waterlogged wood, we finished the day with Piñacoladas at the Prerow beach party.