Well its been almost two weeks since my last post on the Mermaid Project blog and a lot has happened in that time.
On the morning of Wednesday 14 January the Mermaid Project team along with the gallant crew of Spoilsport found themselves anchored yet again off the southern edge of Flora Reef. We had relocated the site the previous evening and had commenced the preliminary post recovery assessment of the site in less than ideal conditions. However conditions had moderated overnight and underwater visibility had improved enough for us to complete our assessment.
Despite the largish seas which had been washing over the site for the last five days or so we could see no additional scouring or disturbance to the seabed on the Mermaid site – the areas where artefacts had been recovered from looked much the same as the rest of the reef – and there did not appear to be any additional corrosion occuring on the exposed iron concretions. The Mermaid‘s anchor also appeared quite stable although reef areas further south of the anchor appeared to have been damaged by the robust seas.
Whilst the two sites were being assessed by Paul Hundley, Lloyd Fletcher, Grant Luckman and myself the gallant mag and manta board crew of Ed Slaughter, Lee Graham, Peter Illidge and Nigel Erskine were doing it all again but this time for Xanthe Rivett’s camera – just in case we missed any crucial footage the first time round. All the crew acted like old hands (or is that old hams) and the filming was completed in record time.
After the work dives were completed we all took the opportunity to be photographed as a team around the Mermaid anchor before starting the lengthy task of checking and washing the gear and stowing it away in preparation for our departure from Flora Reef in the afternoon.
Spoilsport departed Flora Reef and the site of the Mermaid at 1400 and we arrived back in Cairns about 1830 in the evening.