August 6,2003

It is now 1100 local on August 6th. The 5th was a very busy 24-hours. After excavating the port side of the Wreck D, exposing several buried amphora, we used HERCULES to recover four of them which were placed in one of two elevators were had dropped to the bottom.

After that we went over to a second near-by elevator and removed a high frequency EXACT transponder and placed it near the wreck. We then lifted the second elevator which contained a second EXACT transponder and also moved near the wreck site.

Using these two transponders we worked through the night conducting a detailed photographic and sub-bottom profiling survey of the wreck. We will use this data to create a photo-mosaic of the shipwreck as well as a three-dimensional model of the buried portion of the wreck.

This mapping effort continued into the early hours of the 6th, followed by the collection of sediment cores near the wreck.

At early light on the 5th we sent the elevator containing the three amphora a signal to release its weights and return to the surface. Unfortunately,the release device did not release. We then had to pick up the elevator with HERCULES arm and return to the surface where the elevator with three highly preserved artifacts were handed over to Dennis Piechota for conservation.

HERCULES and ARGUS returned to the bottom at which time a signal was sent to the second elevator which also failed to release its weight. This time HERCULES reached inside the elevator and physically released the weight sending the elevator back to the surface. That elevator contained the two EXACT transponders used for the mapping effort.

With all of our assets safely back aboard the KNORR, we recovered ARGUS and HERCULES and began heading back to a port on the north coast of Turkey to meet our shuttle boat to transfer personnel and hand over the artifacts we collected on the expedition to the Director of Sinop Museum.

Dr. Robert Ballard

Immersion Program: 
JASON Learning: A Partnership of Sea Research Foundation and National Geographic