Search for the Lost French Fleet of 1565: Mission Logs

August 18: The Last Ride Home

August 18 Log: The Last Ride Home

I have spent the last 12 days at sea on board the Roper, on both Cruise 2 and Cruise 3. While it has been a joy to work on this project, and with such a great team, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t ready to take a break after living and working in such cramped conditions.

August 17: Today Must Be the Day

August 17 Log: Today Must Be the Day

Rising to a hot August sunrise, life aboard Roper had settled into a routine. Today was the boat’s third week of offshore operations and all of the hard edges had been beaten over, the rattles shaken out, and anything loose jammed into place.

August 16: More Shrimp Boat Wreckage?

August 16 Log: More Shrimp Boat Wreckage?

It is Saturday afternoon aboard the R/V Roper, and we find ourselves waiting out yet another storm. The visiting vessel, Sea Spirit, departed around 14:30 (2:30 pm) and we are currently swinging on our bow anchor near Target 1.

August 16: French Fleet Media Day!

August 16 Log: French Fleet Media Day!

Very few things in life are worthy of a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call on an otherwise peaceful Saturday morning. Among the adventures on that short list, however, is the opportunity to share all of the hard work our archaeology team is doing on the Lost French Fleet Expedition.

August 15: Visitors on Target E4T

August 15 Log: Visitors on Target E4T

Today we are expecting visitors! When we had originally scheduled our cruises, we had set aside two days at the end of the project to have additional boats available to come out to join us.

August 14: And the Mystery Concretion Is...

August 14 Log: And the Mystery Concretion Is...

Yesterday’s concretion has inspired a certain excitement aboard the Roper this morning as we prepare for the day’s diving operations.

August 13: Girl Power!

August 13 Log: Girl Power!

Of the three individual cruises scheduled for this project, only this final cruise has the advantage of “women archaeologists.”

August 12: Probing Target E3T and Returning to Port

August 12 Log: Probing Target E3T and Returning to Port

We woke today with the sunrise. Our first order of business was to retrieve the stern anchor, which helped us stay over Target 1, Drop 2, during the previous day’s work. We are pulling the anchor because we are done with Target 1, Drop 2, and will be moving on to a new target, Target E3T.

August 11: Testing Target 1, Drop 2

August 11 Log: Testing Target 1, Drop 2

Nothing was found with our 10-foot probe yesterday on the eastern side, so today’s goal was to see if anything on west side, at Drop 2, will have results.

August 10: Probing Into the Past

August 10 Log: Probing Into the Past

As I work on the seafloor, I reflect on the present tranquility of the Canaveral area. It gives no indication of the horrors that the French sailors and soldiers encountered on these beaches.

August 9: Continuing the Refinement Survey

August 9 Log: Continuing the Refinement Survey

The morning of August 9 began bright and beautiful. A nearly full moon hung just above the western horizon over a remote stretch of coast. It swiftly set, disappearing from view in less than 10 minutes.

August 8: Mowing the Lawn

August 8 Log: Mowing the Lawn

Following Cruise 1, the team returned to LAMP headquarters in St. Augustine to conduct post processing. Generally, we are very interested in anomalies that are detected over a good distance and anomalies that occur on adjacent track lines andrepresent the same ferrous mass.

August 7: Back to Sea Again!

August 7 Log: Back to Sea Again!

For the last 17 days, we have been crunching data gathered during the first cruise. Brendan has looked at the sonar data, while Sam has been focused primarily on the magnetometer data.

July 20 Log: Last Day of the Survey Cruise

July 20 Log: Last Day of the Survey Cruise

Today is the last day of our survey cruise. We only have two lanes left to finish before heading home, so we are confident that we will complete our planned survey and get home safely.

July 19 Log: To See With Sound

July 19 Log: To See With Sound

We woke up this morning just before 6:00 am. We had spent the night at the New Smyrna Beach City Marina, since the weather forecast had been dire.

July 18 Log: Mag Anomaly

July 18 Log: Mag Anomaly

Today we woke up to some problems. Actually we went to bed with the problems, and of course they were there facing us when we crawled out of our bunks and cots at 5:45 am.

July 17 Log: What’s for brekky?

July 17 Log: What’s for Brekky?

On any research project, the way to keep your crew happy and hard-working is through their stomachs.

July 16 Log: Out to Sea and Back Again

July 16 Log: First Day Collecting Data

Eager to get out to sea as early as possible, we are awake at an ungodly hour so that we are underway by 4:10 am.

July 15 Log: Out to Sea and Back Again

July 15 Log: Out to Sea and Back Again

After the disappointment of last night, turning around to come back into Canaveral Inlet rather than take our chances rounding the unfamiliar Cape at night, we are eager to get underway and begin collecting data.

July 14 Log: Heading Out

July 14 Log: The Search Begins!

Today is Bastille Day, a fitting coincidence for the day we launch our search for the lost French fleet of 1565.

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