Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ungentlemanly Conduct...

An incident occurred on the Lake today that was most unfortunate. A dive charter operator, who had no reasonable grounds to do so, refused another operator access to a mooring.

Preserve Our Wrecks deplores behaviour like this. It is worth remarking that the moorings we place are positioned primarily to protect the wrecks they mark. No charter operator is entitled to treat them as their private domain. Local charter operators face stringent economic times. Cooperation between them is strongly encouraged and the suggestion that any one, for whatever reason, might seek to suggest by their actions a proprietary interest in particular sites is shocking.

There were representatives of no less than four thriving dive clubs on the boat that was sent away today. The ill-considered actions of the operator who acted in such a high-handed fashion will have done little to encourage future bookings.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just another day on the water...

Despite a thunderstorm watch and some very intimidating grey skies, seven divers, from two boats, participated in work on the survey this afternoon. The picture shows the Steve and Steve team with Pat Coyne, one of the charter operators good enough to make a boat available to POW.

Work today included measurement of the stern features, collection of a depth profile and detailed measurement of the Riding Bitts, including placement of them in relation to the ship's sides and stem. Efforts to locate the keelson, using a sub-bottom profiling device, have so far been unsuccessful. Such minor frustrations just make the work more interesting though.

Preserve Our Wrecks thanks all the divers - and particularly the two boat captains, Pat and Mark Hanley.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Video Montage of the NAS Course now available...

Adam Rushton, who was good enough to attend various aspects of the land phase of the recent Nautical Archaeology Course and to capture some video memories of the activities, has made an excellent pair of montage films available on You Tube®.

Click here for the first, which concentrates on pool activities and here for the second, which, besides pool shots, contains some lecture material and student discourses on the excellent deductive exercise.

A big thank you to Adam for this excellent footage.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Discovery Channel Crew visit Guenter's Site...

Divers from Preserve Our Wrecks were interviewed today by the Discovery Channel during another survey visit to the site of Guenter's Wreck. This welcome attention for the work we're doing neatly complemented the front page story in the Kingston Whig Standard. The well written piece outlined our hopes for the work, included authoritative commentary from Parks Canada expert, Jonathan Moore, and set our work in its proper context.

It's likely that the piece being prepared by the Discovery Channel will air on Daily Planet sometime in the Fall. The intention is that the channel will keep pace with developments over the summer and report progress on the work of researching and working towards identification of the vessel in a wrap-up piece.

Work today included further photo taking, the introduction of Steve, a newcomer to the site, to the various features - and some general stock-taking. The visibility was very good and the strong sunlight overhead penetrated the depths rather well, making for good ambient light shots. A selection of recent pictures is available for perusal on our Flickr site.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Survey Work Continues on Guenter's

Thanks to the generous assistance of a local boat owner, who made his vessel available to us today, we got in a good working dive on the wreck that is our principal survey target. The picture shows measurements being taken of an interesting, and conspicuous, cylindrical wooden object protruding from the centre of the wreck, and lying out, at an angle, over the Port side. In our opinion (untested and unchallenged) this is too small for a mast (and masts were all believed to have been removed), but no obvious attribution is forthcoming. Other significant wooden projections are present, and hard to identify. With each dive, the puzzle becomes both clearer and more opaque. More objects are noted - and more remain invisible. Almost the whole Port side lies under silt that cannot be disturbed. Moving around the wreck, interest and suspicion are aroused by objects that may, or may not, be associated with it. Keep following this blog to find out where we stand in our work - and whether we get any closer to the answers.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nautical Archaeology Training rounded off...

Today provided the opportunity to complete the open water work for the Nautical Archaeology Course commenced in May. Thirteen divers assembled at Portsmouth Harbour to undertake the underwater exercises required to achieve full Level One certification. The weather cooperated almost completely (we'll overlook the last half hour or so of drizzle, which gave a perfect justification for adjourning to the Portsmouth Tavern). The Lake was calm and the day mainly overcast; a bonus for divers wearing heavy exposure protection or drysuits to dive in the 56℉ (13℃) waters. Judging by the smiles and enthusiasm of the participants, there was fun to be had as well as knowledge and experience.

A huge thank you is due to all of those who came to take part - and especially to Marg Barker, our NAS tutor, who did an excellent job of encouraging and guiding everyone.

Friday, June 5, 2009

POW makes the Kingston News...

Your President and Treasurer were only mildly discomfited yesterday to find themselves the subject of local media attention. CKWS News, who lead Kingston's local TV coverage spoke to us about progress on our survey of Guenter's Wreck. You can view the footage and read the transcript of the short segment here. The underwater footage was shot very recently on and nearby the wreck itself. It gives a reasonable feel for the site.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TV Team visits Guenter's Survey Site...

Media interest in the work that Preserve Our Wrecks is doing in Kingston to identify Guenter's Wreck has been quite steady this Spring. Today, a reporter and cameraman from Global National TV, based in Toronto, visited to discuss the work to date and to shoot some footage of dive operations. They were impressed, as all the media representatives have been, with the significance of Kingston's maritime heritage and the wrecks that represent it.

The interview and coverage, probably just a small news item, are expected to air sometime early next week. It's likely that the piece will include underwater footage shot by Preserve Our Wrecks.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fly through HMS Ontario ... CAD images online..

Members who have followed the story of the discovery of HMS Ontario last year, and who are interested in the ship, may like to visit this site, which features a computer generated tour of the vessel. And while you're passing the time, check out the original underwater scenes shot by the vessel's discoverers.