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Guest Contributors...           Edwin R. Scollon

Diving Lake Champlain...
The Valcour Bay Research Project-VIII

Dive Operations
August 2000

                                                                                                            Photos by Jerry Forkey

In partnership with:

VBRP/LCMM Dive Operations

Between July 31st and August 4th, VBRP and LCMM divers participated in a combined effort.  The museum rented a camp from Dr. David McDowell.  The three-story summer home is situated on Valcour Bay and served as a perfect base of operations for the weeklong project.  The first morning was spent discussing survey objectives, survey operations, dive protocol and safety issues.  A “dry run” of the survey was simulated on the camp’s lawn.  It oriented LCMM and new VBRP divers to the use of metal detectors and the survey’s grid search pattern.  On-site survey operations commenced that afternoon.

The group was split into two teams.  Each group worked from separate boats and in different areas of the survey site.  One group was made up of four LCMM divers and the second was made up of a rotation of eight VBRP divers.  Art Cohn served as Master Diver for the VBRP group and coordinated survey efforts throughout the week.

The combined effort served as an acid test of the survey site’s operations.  Each group completed two grids of survey during a week that was hampered by severe weather.  The LCMM divers adapted quickly to the use of the metal detectors and the grid search pattern.  Doug Jones, a local dive shop owner was invited along and filmed them in action.  Jerry Forkey, a VBRP member, photographed survey activities that occurred on the surface.

The week culminated with the discovery of another fragment of the cannon.  It appears to be the neighboring fragment of the cannon’s cascabel and first reinforce, found earlier in the spring.  It was found eighty-six feet southeast of its muzzle and rested 18” below the sediment.  It measures approximately 16” in length and 12” in width and showed no signs of corrosion.

Another group project is currently being planned for the 2001 survey season.  It has been tentatively scheduled for August and will be expanded to a two-week effort.

 Dive Operations- August 2000

Photo Gallery

Tony Tyrell and Matt Booth loading up at Peru dock.

Matt Booth, Ed Scollon and Tony Tyrell preparing for an early morning start.

Tony Tyrell and Ed Scollon load tanks.

Jerry Forkey's boat is launched, Ed Scollon and Matt Booth standing by.

Camp owner, Dr. David McDowell, Matt Booth and Ed Scollon discuss day's events.

Bill Leege, Art Cohn, Tony Tyrell and Jerry Forkey discussing day's itinerary.

Dan Rock and Matt Booth prepare dive equipment as Tony Tyrell looks on.

Dan Carpenter arrives at Peru dock.

Art Cohn and Dan Rock.

Dan Rock, Art Cohn, Steve Nye, Dan Carpenter and Bill Leege prepare pony bottles.

Rigging tank with pony bottle, an added safety feature required by Dive Master Art Cohn.

LCMM diver Bill Atkinson.

Bill Atkinson drops onto the site.

LCMM diver/conservator Adam Kane prepares to assist LCMM diver Pierre LaRocque.

LCMM diver/conservator Adam Kane and LCMM diver Pierre LaRocque.

LCMM diver Pierre LaRocque.

LCMM Diver Pierre LaRocque's "Terri Anne" with LCMM divers and conservators aboard.

Bill Leege holds NYSED archeological placard that will be placed on site.

NYSED placard requests divers cooperation with VBRP in avoiding disturbance of site.

LCMM, Maritime Research Institute Director and Project Co-Principal investigator Art Cohn.

Ed Scollon brings pony bottles as Bill Leege assists divers Art Cohn and Matt Booth.

Art Cohn gives last minute instructions to diver Todd Bissonette.

Lake Placid diver and VBRP member Todd Bissonette.

Pierre LaRocque and Bill Atkinson aboard the "Terri Anne" at the completion of their dive.

Art Cohn, Ed Scollon, Bill Leege and Matt Booth continue with survey.

Bill Atkinson assisting LCMM diver/conservator Rob Wilczynski.

VBRP divers aboard Steve Nye's "Northern Comfort".

LCMM divers/conservators Adam Kane and Rob Wilczynski discuss their latest survey effort.

Ed Scollon and Bill Leege prepare to investigate Tony Tyrell's latest discovery.

Steve Nye and Art Cohn complete day's dive logs.

Steve Nye records ending air pressure as Matt Booth and Art Cohn break down their gear.

Ed Scollon relays sediment depth above newly discovered cannon fragment.

Project members aboard the "Northern Comfort" discussing day's activities.

Art Cohn completing survey and dive logs.

Dan Carpenter at the bow of the "Northern Comfort."

Dan Rock at the bow of the "Northern Comfort."

Art Cohn awaits assisting divers.

Matt Booth and Ed Scollon assist divers Bill Leege and Tony Tyrell.

Co-Principal Investigators Ed Scollon and Art Cohn.

Art Cohn assists diver Ed Scollon.

Diver Ed Scollon and Matt Booth prepare to enter the water.

Art Cohn assists diver Ed Scollon with the seal of his mask as Dan Carpenter assists Matt Booth.

Ed Scollon does the "giant stride" from the "Northern Comfort" as diver Matt Booth and Art Cohn look on.

(click on the thumbnails to see a full-size image)
All photos courtesy of Jerry Forkey

To be continued...

Continued here: Recovery Preparations- Topside

Back to the VBRP HOME PAGE

Other links about Valcour Island and the Battle of Valcour within
The Lake Champlain and Lake George Historical Site

The Battle of Lake Champlain:
The American Revolution on Lake Champlain

Download a copy of The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Official VBRP Cannon Raising Commemoration Program- Click HERE.

Also of interest: LCMM's Valcour Island Battlefield Preservation

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