Le Casimir Wreck Underwater Photographs for June/July 2014 Project.
ADMAT’s maritime archaeological work in June/July 2014 on Le Casimir Wreck, was very successful and was run with the permission of Ministerio de Cultura Oficina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuático (ONPCS); with the kind assistance of the Director General Juan Lopez and Director Francis Soto. The mission was to survey in the remaining timbers in the bow section to the El Morro side of the ballast pile. This section of the wreck had not been surveyed before and the extent of remaining timbers was unknown. We also wanted to assess the accuracy of the 1829 report into the sinking of the ship and the class of vessels which were built. Reports during the enquiry stated that the ship was not built correctly and that serious ship construction mistakes were made.
We had an excellent Team for the project. Without the hard work, time and finance by participation from the following, nothing would have been accomplished: Christina O’Sullivan, John Downing from USA, Raimund Krob and Nikki Bose from Canada, Jeremy Schomberg and Dr. Simon Spooner from England, Ruth Pion from The Dominican Republic and Dr. François Gendron and Florence Prudhomme from France. These people made the difference and helped ONPCS protect the great underwater cultural heritage of the Dominican Republic
In previous surveys the Team noted a number of bad design and construction details, but we were hoping that to survey a section which had not been damaged too heavily by the looters, would yield clues which would further our understanding and enable us to calculate if the reports were correct. We were in a unique position in that we would be able to see for the first time since the ship was constructed the design and layout of the timbers. In 1829 the inquiry had to speculate as to the cause of the sinking’s as all of the five ships in this class sunk on maiden voyages.
This was a special project because we had been granted permission to fly the Explorer Flag. This flag has been on major scientific expeditions all over the world and also to the Moon and the stars, so it was a great honour. However this was doubled by the club giving us a brand new flag to fly which will always be known as the ADMAT Le Casimir flag!
The first task for the project was to build a grid. We use schedule 40 PVC piping with special NIBCO cross pieces. Each side piece has to be measured and cut so that when the grid is built, the squares are exactly 1 metre across. We calculated the size of the width and length we would require and designed it following the ADMAT grid standard design. Raimund took charge and designed the grid with Wesley and Christina assisting. Once all the pieces were cut to the required length they were painted florescent orange which was Ruth’s task. Once it was built and measured, it was taken apart and stored ready to deploy underwater.
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ADMAT's maritime archaeological work on this wreck site was assisted by ADMAT-FRANCE a non profit organisation based in the Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
ADMAT-FRANCE is a sub division of the Anglo ~ Danish Maritime Archaeological Team
ADMAT is delighted to have an association with Muséum Nationald’Histoire Naturelle at Paris, départememt Préhistoire, UMR-CNRS 7194.