This post, by QAR Field Director, Conservator and Laboratory Manager Wendy Welsh, is the first in series of field updates we’ll be bringing you each week.
Strong winds and rain kept us from getting out onsite the first three days of week five. We were able to keep busy processing ballast stones and panning sediment from exterior units to make sure we didn’t need to extend our excavation limits. After two days of looking at micro artifacts, the crew was very excited to get a “behind the scenes” tour of the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium from Ethan Simmons on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday the weather was great, so we finished out the week strong working two very long days on site.
Jonathan Bird of Jonathan Bird’s Blue World was a guest with our project this week. Originally we planned to have his crew out on site for two days to get some artifact excavation and recovery, and one day in the lab to get the other side of the story. Weather dictated otherwise, but we were able to get his crew to the lab, to the museum and on site during the course of the week. Since Thursday was our first day on site in six days, we were not at a point where we could excavate and recover but we did manage to get him on site helping out with some in situ monitoring of anchors and cannon. We enjoyed having Jonathan and his crew on board and look forward to seeing his show about the QAR.
Thursday was spent digging out part of the pile, exposing large artifacts for corrosion monitoring. A2 was tested and a new anode was installed to continue cathodic protection. C7, C6, C11 and C8 were all tested, C6 was the only other cannon that was not so heavily concreted it could accept an anode. There are three more cannon at the pile to test, so this will be done in the coming week. Before the end of the season, all artifacts that have had an anode installed will be tested again.
Friday was busy but the crew was able to knock out two more units that were laden with ballast stones and a few large concretions. By the time we made it back to the dockside it was getting dark so we stored the artifacts in tanks and will complete the dockside documentation in the coming week. This was a major feat to complete these two units in one day and it wouldn’t have happened without such a great crew!