On September 16, we met up at Regis College for the academic portion of the DivARC training for our second cohort this year. Calvin put on his professor hat and walked us through some of the concepts, terms, and methods in his field of Maritime Archaeology which can enable us to focus on and describe fields of physical remains in submerged landscapes. The focus is often on the debris from vessels which perished long ago in a catastrophic loss of life and resources. At other times, vessels were intentionally scuttled. In all cases, what is left on the bottom are artifacts, each of which potentially being a piece of a story about the lives of people of that time.
To begin practice of the methods, we first created a field of items in the classroom. Next, students set a baseline and took offset measures to mark positions of items. By imposing a grid on a site, we can spatially encompass and more precisely describe the field.
With some of those basics in hand, we returned to the pool on Wednesday (9/27) with a mix of participants from cohorts 1 and 2. First hovering at a distance well-above the field, each diver sketched an overview of the site layout before returning to the surface to compare “mudmaps.” Divers then dropped to the bottom, working as a team to mark more exact positions and sizes of objects in the field. Very quickly divers learned to adjust to working with oversize slates and communicating measurements while keeping breath and buoyancy steady.
Current plan is to continue with pool sessions. Looking like 1-2x / month on Wednesdays evenings– but we are angling for a Saturday or two. TBD.
We are also looking forward to some local intertidal sites to practice on in the coming months—and to start coordinating operations on sites just a little further offshore and beyond, into 2024.
If the above interests you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to get involved! Must be a Rescue Diver or higher to participate.