April 2020

JULY 2019 to April 25 2020

By Iain Grant.

Looking back over the last blog entry which was a long time ago, it looks like I left the reader hanging, we did make a major new find, purely by accident as it happens!

Having secured the site buoy & only three of us on board, what to do?  We moved to the fix for “Pete’s gun” so named because he found it some years ago!  Modern GPS works well, I dropped the divers right on it, they went off on base line searches in different directions, first one came back & reported five new guns! The other returned shortly after & said make that nine and an anchor!

See Dan’s film HERE  

Checking back through the dive logs for the day, recoveries were a lead sounding weight, a silver serving spoon, the handle of a pewter spoon and a lead gun apron, a number of other artefacts were noted, but lack of air prevented recovery.

Dan did manage very useful photogrammetry (see Dan’s film) of the area before season end.

The rest of the season

Well the visit by new divers, which was funded by Historic England, organized by Alison James of MSDS Marine and brought to site by Dave Wendes in Wight Spirit, went ahead over two days, in not the best of vis, successfully we thought.

Things seemed to go downhill from there!  The second visit by the group was blown out, the weather went bad in September (last dive was on the 8th)  and shortly thereafter the site marker buoy came ashore again, this time with nearly all of its securing chain, it seems to be becoming a habit!

Up to the end of December, discussion centred around should we go back to the excavation, after refitting the site buoy again!  Or should we try and get as much of the new gun site information as possible “in the bag” if the sand had not covered it!

Then more bad news in January, the Butterfly Farm, where we have had our artefact display wet & dry store/conservation area for more than twenty years, was being sold, we had until the end of the month to get everything out!

Major panic ensued, however as usual the team pulled together, everything was moved from the wet store in short order, to various places around the area for safe keeping.

The display and a considerable amount of the artefacts packaged ready for storage however, had previously been removed by another!

This has thrown our database into disarray and will now require considerable time to assess what is not where it should be!

Now of course we are having the best April on record, light northerly winds, flat sea, near Mediterranean vis and we are under lockdown ………Never rains but it pours, lord knows when we will get back to the site!

Keep safe everyone.