Day 1 & 2

After landing in the Dominican Republic and experiencing the typical crazy driving of the locals en route to the ADMAT facility, our Phase #1 team was finally assembled. 

   ADMAT team for weeks 1 & 2 and Dominican supports

ADMAT team for weeks 1 & 2 and Dominican supports

Armed with our very own ex-NASA employee, artefact handler, local school teacher, and videographer… our motley volunteer force was eager to commence work on Le Dragon!  However, our director Simon Spooner wisely refrained us, wanting us to be adequately prepared with the training for our specialized operation.

First and foremost, we tackled the basics of survey work. 

   Measuring granite blocks from The Tile Wreck which sunk in 1720-23 in our training tank

Measuring granite blocks from The Tile Wreck which sunk in 1720-23 in our training tank

Utilizing the tanks from the ADMAT facility (formerly a Chinese shrimp farm), we learned to construct grids, take measurements, and draw object arrangements on slates.  As difficult as this was, the real challenge was then taking these skills and applying them underwater when the tank was filled!

The second key training was learning how to use metal detectors and gradiometers, and familiarizing ourselves with their respective sounds.  These tools would be crucial for honing our excavation search and precision, and so proficiency in this area would be invaluable.  

   Connor and Bob looking for strategically hidden modern coins in the dirt to learn how to use the Aquapulse Metal Detectors made by Aquascan International

Connor and Bob looking for strategically hidden modern coins in the dirt to learn how to use the Aquapulse Metal Detectors made by Aquascan International

Having mastered these skills, we celebrated our progress at the local tavern – enjoying the frosty Dominican Presidente beer which is kept just above freezing point