Another sunny, calm day in Port Phillip.

Friday 20 April

Despite the holiday-like weather, today was quite a busy day on the barge.  Work commenced from both sides of the platform, with ADAS students finishing up the first half of their Part 1 dive course on one side and archaeologists working from the other.  We decided to use this opportunity to utilise the ADAS students and put them to work.  One ADAS dive team conducted a biological survey of the area while the others helped continue building the sandbag wall around the port side of the wreck.  Their assistance enabled archaeologists to set up the dredge along the stern of Clarence in preparation of tomorrows pending excavation.  Mike Nash hopped in the water and laid the centreline before helping me create a spoil-catchment underwater using sandbags, just south of the dredge.  These sandbags will then be covered with shade-cloth to create a capture system for the excavated sediment to go into, which will then be redeposited on site during the reburial phase of the project.

 Deb Shefi
Discovery Channel filming on JUPB1 barge (photo by Andy Viduka)
Deb Shefi on snorkle doing some photos of the site (photo by Andy Viduka)

In addition to the ADAS crew and archaeologists underwater, Conservation and Artefact Collections joined us on the platform today in anticipation of tomorrow’s excavation.  Tub after tub of equipment was piled onto the platform and sorted through as we prepared for the lifting and cataloguing of artefacts.  Each artefact will have to be recorded underwater, assigned an artefact number, carefully bagged and securely lifted to the platform where artefact management begins.

On top of all of the diving and last minute preparations, Channel 10 News decided to join us on site.  The film crew interviewed Peter Veth, Peter Harvey and Malcom Venturoni, and filmed divers kitting up and descending onto the site.  The crew team did not have an underwater camera so Mark asked me to grab a camera and film video clips of the site for the Channel 10 evening news. 

by Debra Shefi
PhD candidate
Flinders University
South Australia