Prerow – THE MOVIE

26 11 2009

18 days of fieldschool in 5 minutes…

See Delia Ni Chiobhain’s new fieldschool movie, either here or in the gallery section…


Fieldschool Day 7

2 08 2009
Sarah measuring and drawing the planks of the FPL 77 wreck

Sarah measuring and drawing the planks of the FPL 77 wreck

Woke up to the tip-tapping of rain on the tent, but before we could even think about the day to come, the sun was already out and hot, like a baked potato. I gave my briefing of the things to come while everyone ate their Master-choco cereal and tried to catch bugs. Some went as far as to set up ‘wanna-bee traps’ to lure in our breakfast stealers. After the briefing, everyone immediately set about doing their jobs, no questions asked.

The first dive of the day was very successful. We decided to re-establish a baseline along the ship so to ensure accuracy in the drawing and in the future sketches that were to be made. The first divers in, Bente and Andrew completed the outline within one dive. The second dive consisted of Martin and Kostas drawing in details and refining the outline. Finally with the third dive, Christian and Liv went around the wreck taking measurements, primarily of the bow and stern sections. At the end of the dive, after the divers flopped aboard deck, a mini-briefing was held where we could discuss what had happened underwater.

As for the ‘land-based underwater archaeology’, the FPL 77 wreck has still been worked on continuously throughout the days. Sarah and I completed one side of the plank tagged ‘100,’ which was removed yesterday and today Sarah and Andrew completed that plank. An extensive legend was completed with various types of trenail holes, trenail holes with iron nails, wooden plugs … etc. Furthermore, we have continued to have both those on FPL duty and camp duty give the wreck a nice luscious wash done as often as possible. With such hot days and the baking sun helping our tans, the wreck needs more and more water so it does not dry up. Then again, so do we – back to diving.

Cate Wagstaffe

Fieldschool Day 6

1 08 2009
Jens Auer removing outer planks of FPL 77 4am wreck

Jens Auer removing outer planks of FPL 77 "4am wreck"

Another sunny day in Prerow, Germany, started at 7 am with breakfast and briefing of the upcoming day. The aim of the day was to tag the rest of the wreck’s timbers, identify the tags on the drawings that were made the previous days and to make a few corrections on the site plan drawing.
The first two dives went perfect and almost everything was completed, so that our dive instructor Jens Auer and diver Konstantinos Alexiou only had to make a few corrections and then start doing tomorrows tasks of cleaning and start drawing. Unfortunately, Jens found out that everything was distorted because our two base lines were too far away from the wreck. That means that the outline of the wreck was wrong and thereby also the frames and the planks that were drawn in today and yesterday. We therefore need to set up two additional baselines tomorrow and start all over again. But then again we are here to learn so it is good that we were ahead of our plan. At the end of the day the waves became huge and supervisor Marja-Liisa Grue and diver Martin Lonergan reported about waves at a height of two and a half meters (they are still walking from side to side).
In the camp the work continued on the FPL 77 wreck where the upmost layer were taken off the wreck so further registration could continue. New elements and planks were tagged and pins in different colours were put in to point out fastenings.
Bente Grundvad

Fieldschool Day 5

31 07 2009
Andrew investigating the framing

Andrew investigating the framing

A thunder and lightning storm woke everybody in their tents at 04’42 and we presumed the worst but it was not to be. After a large amount of heavy rain it cleared up and it became a beautiful day. First up for diving were Jens and Andrew and they carried out photography of the wreck site and working operation in an amazing visibility up to twenty meters. Next to dive are Sarah and Marja. This perfect visibility gave them the opportunity to start the tagging of the various part of the wreck and to draw some of its interesting features.  The last dive of the day was carried out by Cate and Christian. They continued on with the tagging of the wreck and made great progress towards completing the drawing of the wreck. Meanwhile at the campsite Bente, Jens and Martin finished the drawing plan of the ‘4 a.m. wreck’ (FPL 77). They also managed to survey ‘4 a.m. wreck’ (FPL 77) with a total station before the divers arrive back from a hard day’s work.

Martin Lonergan

Fieldschool Day 4

30 07 2009
Measuring the sternpost

Measuring the sternpost

The day started off with a small amount of pessimism about the weather.  The wind never really died, but we were fortunate enough to not have any rain.  Our first dive was cut short due to multiple simultaneous calls of nature, but the remaining dives seemed to be having a competition for the longest dive.  The winner of this “competition” came in with a dive of 2 hours 18 minutes!  This was despite having equipment problems in the middle of the dive.  Aiding the divers in their competition was the fact that the main purpose of their dives was to draw more of the ship, a task which allowed the divers to focus completely on their work while remaining very relaxed.

Not all of the focus is on diving, however.  With the ship fragment FPL 77, affectionately known among the students here as the 4 AM Wreck, everyone had work to do even when they were on the surface.  People seemed to be in especially good spirits when informed that we would be able to take the ship apart in order to fully document it.  Drawing has begun and is coming along quite nicely.

Andrew Stanek

Fieldschool Day 3

30 07 2009
Supervisor checks before dive

Supervisor checks before dive

Having the task today of being the site director I had planned an ambitious day of diving. The main task of the divers was to establish a recording grid and maybe start recording. With An early start I wanted to do four dive and if possible a fifth dive could be squeezed in. This plan slid even before the first dive. After a successful morning briefing, we made practice set up of the grid in the camp, to make sure it was understood by everyone.

Arriving to the boat moored approximately three kilometers down the beach from the site, I discovered that the fuel tank had been removed the day before, after diving. This resulted in a rather late start of the first dive. After retrieving fuel for the boat the first dive team got in the water about 11 o clock.

I was part of the second dive together with Bente. My dry suit wasn’t nearly as dry as the name promises. My left leg was completely soaked shortly after the beginning of the dive. Wearing the backplate, my only buoyancy control was my suit. When surfacing I couldn’t keep air in the suit since it was constantly escaping from my neck seal, this meant that I couldn’t stay at the surface with out kicking hard. Despite these problems we got the grid right and started on the drawing.

The third dive went well and the outline of the wreck was recorded on the drawing.

After a chaotic start we got the things running and managed to reach the goal set for the day’s dive.

Christian Thomsen

Fieldschool Day 2

28 07 2009
Cate Wagstaff draws as the other students study the details.

Cate Wagstaffe draws as the other students study the details.

Began Tuesday at 04:00 following an urgent call for assistance from the local authorities. Had breakfast and headed to the Bernstein Weg beach. We arrived at 05:20. A small patch of wood showed through the sand, on the edge of the surf. We began clearing the sand with hands and shovels. First planking then treenails and then frames appeared. We dug all of the planking proud of the sand. A two-pronged digger was used to loosen remains. The remains were loosened a little more with shovels. Following this it was taken out of the sand completely by the digger. We could see the boat was originally clinker built. The clinker hull had been covered with flush outer planking. There were the remains of two flush planks on top of original clinker planking and frames. Filling planks were used to assist the flush laid planks to sit securely on the clinker planks. The frames appeared to be of different sizes. The iron nails were sometimes on the upper and sometimes on the lower face of the planks. They had had roves around them as indicated by square indents around the small square holes. There was a little metal staining in some cases in the rove indents. There was one wooden nail that was square at its head it was the same width as the iron nail heads, about 1cm . Cate made a drawing of the remains. Bente and Kostas took photos of the morning’s proceedings. There was sea grass on the underside of the wreck, which was the inner side of the hull. The planking butts of the clinker section overlapped, showing the direction of the stem and stern. The wreck was attached to a heavy wooden board transported to a large pick-up truck. Then it was transported to our campsite and where we kept it water logged with a sprinkler.
08:00 We were back at our site. We had three dives today on the Ostsee-Bereich wreck. Thijs and Jens were first into the water. This was also their first dive on the wreck. They cleaned most of it with brushes. Maja and Cate were the next dive pair into the water. They picked up where Thijs and Jens left off, cleaning the wreck. The last dive pair of the day was Andrew and Martin. Their main aim was to start a photo record of the wreck. They also took some working shots of each other cleaning the wreck. Bente was dive supervisor for the day. The dives ended at 18:15. Dinner was followed by discussions of the day’s events and of plans for the next day. The remainder of the evening was spent processing the day’s accumulated data.

Sarah Fawsitt.