31st July 2010
by Richard Booth
Survey work continues with the first dives of the day being conducted on the North East side of the reef. In 1970 it was in this area that Bill Smith had located a non ferrous pulley wheel from an old ship wreck. The area is heavily covered in kelp, so offers the potential for other exciting artefacts to be located; which proved to be the case with Steve Russell and Cally Cooper quickly locating another old iron cannon.
Further investigation around this particular cannon soon established that it was on its own. It also appeared to be a different design of cannon from those found in the nearby main cannon site on the other side of the reef. Was this evidence of another lost vessel, or the results of a desperate effort to lighten and re-float a stranded vessel on a rising tide?; we will probably never know but its such finds like this one that make diving such a fascinating past time.
For a second dive, the team dived on the main site on the other side of the reef. Each cannon was individually allocated a number and ‘tagged’.
Once every cannon had been thus ‘marked’ Andy Hunt proceeded to swim around the site and carefully draw up a draft map indicating each individual cannon’s location.
This plan will provide a useful map for planning a more accurate survey of the site, as it will allow for the identification of datum points from which to accurately measure and record the layout of the cannons in relation to each other. This future work will probably have to wait until next year as the autumn weather closes in.