The first divers have hit the water to establish the mooring near the site for our boat, Puffin XI. The strong currents of the Indian Ocean (not to mention the proclivity of local fishermen to appropriate buoys) has made this process challenging. The solution for both of these issues has been affectionately termed “battle buoys” (after a misunderstanding of “barrel buoys”), which are 55 gallon drums with stainless steel chain welded into their sides. A friendship with the local welder has been forged as his skills have proved incredibly valuable many times this field season.
Our team has also been helped by kind strangers, such as the captain of the Ocean Perfect, who, upon learning that we could not fill our scuba tanks as we had run out of compressor oil, offered to fill our tanks for us using his compressors. Our morning dive was saved!
And so the work continues. Gear to be hauled. Tanks to be filled. Supplies to be purchased. There is always a lot of work to be done on land to support our underwater efforts. But the chance to explore, document, and understand a 2000 year old shipwreck is well worth all the extra labor of underwater archaeology!