Expedition team members from the ANMM, MTQ and Silentworld are all up at 0600 for breakfast and the regular morning dive briefing. The weather is continuingto deteriorate with strengthening south-easterlies predicted over the next four days due to the development of a deep monsoonal trough north of Cairns which is sucking up wind from the South.
As the developing weather pattern will make further work on the site increasingly difficult and the combination of low tides, strong winds and large seas would remove our survey tapes and marker I have decided to close down the site for the time being.
After discussion with Ed Slaughter from the Museum of Tropical Queensland, the State Government agency responsible for the management of shipwecks in Queensland waters and other team archaeologists I have also decided to remove several diagnostic artefacts from the site which may be damaged during the expected weather.
With an increasing sea from the South-east divers entered the water to start the work shutting down the site. Xanthe and Warren (MAAQld) entered the water to finalise the photomosaic, Nigel and Greg (Silentworld) completed plotting of artefacts whilst Lee and Steve (Silentworld) started to tidy up the site removing excess markers, lines and shotweights from the seabed.
The next teams in the water were Grant (DEWHA) and John (Silentworld) who photographed the exposed objects prior to their recovery.
The lifting team consisted of Peter (Oceania Maritime Pty. Ltd.) and Ed (Museum of tropical Queensland) who tagged and recovred the objects – they were assisted in the water by John and Lindsay (Silentworld Foundation) and on the boat by Paul and Dr. Lloyd. The whole process was photographed and videoed by Xanthe, despite the conditions everything went smoothly and the selected artefacts were quickly onboard Spoilsport.
Lee and I then completed a final inspection of the site removing the centreline and offset tapes, the swim line from the site to the kedge anchor and the two site bouys.