Resource for Historians, Educators, Students and Visitors since 1997
|Guest Contributors... Edwin R. Scollon|
Diving Lake Champlain...
The Valcour Bay Research Project-IX
VBRP members discussed their options for several days before agreeing on what they believed would be the safest course of action. A rope harness would be attached to the cannon below. A series of straps and hand-winches would run between the harness and a boat on the surface. The team would use the buoyancy of the boat and the power of the winches to pull the cannon above the bay’s floor. A wooden pallet could then be placed underneath and the cannon gently lowered to it. The pallet would prevent the cannon from sinking back into the silt and allow the divers to prepare it for the final stage of its recovery.
Several conditions would complicate this first phase of the cannon’s recovery. Once the silt was disturbed, a heavy silt cloud would develop and the divers visibility would be reduced to near zero. As the team started to pull the gun from the sediment, the winches would have to overcome the weight of the gun (several hundred pounds) and the suction created by its removal. Once the gun was free of the sediment, the team would also have to maintain full control of the boat above. Above all else, the team would have to ensure the safety of each and every member as it worked.
The team would have to be separated into two groups, one at the surface and one at depth.
Click on the thumbnails below to see full-size images of the preparations.
Photos by Jim Millard
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