Sun, wind and maritime archaeology

Sunday 22 April

The day began with a bit of anxiety as the weather threatened to prevent us getting onto and off the barge today. At 10am, the final decision concluded that we would not be working on the barge. This wasn’t bad news at all as it allowed us to prepare for the coming days and catch up on the last few days.  The data entry was updated and the conservation team has been busy in the lab for most of the day, only surfacing for food and radio interviews. In another unit in the Holiday Units, Andy, Amer and Brad were hard at work designing a device that can capture a photomosaic of the site, and there are high hopes of it working splendidly in the coming week. Peter V and Mark headed off to Geelong to pick up some more team members (Amelia, Liesel, Maddy and Kurt) and to grab some essential supplies for the upcoming work. With most of the professionals hard at work, a few of the volunteers and maritime archaeologists set off to Queenscliff for the afternoon to get to know the area. All those who dive have been reassured that our gear is wonderful after we looked at the old “hard hat” diving kits in the local museum, which weighed 85kg! This adventure was further benefited by none other than the driver and unofficial tour guide of the afternoon, Brad, who seemed to know anything and everything about the area.

Fiona Shanahan
2,500L water tank being cut in two (photo by Fiona Shanahan)
Queenscliff Maritime Centre (photo by Fiona Shanahan)

While I have only been apart of this truly diverse and specialized team for a few days now, I have learnt and witnessed so much maritime archaeology and conservation both on and off the barge. I have spoken with countless specialists about their fields and there is no better way to learn than to have them explain what they are doing while we are working. I have also been working on the task of transcribing the older reports from the first excavation of Clarence from the original typewritten reports. This has been fascinating as the site of Clarence is explained in depth which is increasing my, and hopefully others, understanding of what has happened. why this excavation is occurring and why we are approaching it in certain way. To conclude a day of hard work, a water tank arrived and was sawn in half in preparation of its use tomorrow.

by Fiona Shanahan
3rd Year undergraduate student
La Trobe University