Missions Header Graphic
2008 Papahanaumokuakea Maritime Heritage Expedition
menu
Mission info 2007 Nancy Foster Cruise
 

Mission Blog: August 5, 2008
Drawing up the Site Plan

By Hans Van Tilburg, Historian and Maritime Archaeologist
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Region

Kelly and Tane transfer the data from their slates to the site plan.

Kelly and Tane transfer the data from their slates to the site plan.

After two and a half days of diving, the team is ready to begin making the plan view of the wreck at French Frigate Shoals. The first step is to replicate the baseline on the large format graph paper (drafting “fade-out” vellum) and fix the scale for the site map. In this case, the main site will fit onto the graph paper at a scale of one inch equals one meter. Next, the divers begin to translate the measured sketches from their underwater slates onto the map. Feature- and artifact positions are fixed to the site map by triangulating to known points on the drawn baseline. This first overall plan is an erasable working version, allowing for corrections as positions are checked and re-checked. It’s only when the working map is completed that the transparent mylar is overlain onto the drawing and the final site plan is made by tracing in permanent ink.

The site plan will include all the features and artifacts, as well as the outlines of the coral topography and sandy depressions in the vicinity of the site. Drawing the site plan is pleasant work--an artistic team effort around the central table in the ship’s air conditioned dry (computer) lab. It’s a time for conversation and some music and careful study of the many artifacts as they slowly emerge on the map.

Hans and Tane establish the baseline on the site plan.

Hans and Tane establish the baseline on the site plan.

The two transit days between French Frigate Shoals and Pearl and Hermes Atoll not only allow time for the site plan to be created, but also give the divers a chance to rest a bit after the first productive days of the research cruise. This is a time to sleep a few minutes later in the morning, enjoy a sit-down lunch on board the Hi’ialakai, rather than sandwiches from coolers in the dive launches (although those are excellent too!), and maybe even do some laundry as the easy rolling ship moves steadily to the northwest.

To ask us questions, you can email the team at: sanctuaries@noaa.gov and we will answer your questions within the blog, or in a live internet broadcast later in the cruise. Again, stay tuned for details.

 

leaving site indicates a link leaves the site. Please view our Link Disclaimer for more information.
Revised August 14, 2008 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Privacy Policy | For Employees | User Survey
http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/missions/2008pmnm/blog_080508.html