The 2005 Aquanaut Program Maritime Heritage Cruise investigated
several shipwrecks within the sanctuary using a remotely operated
vehicle (ROV). The Aquanaut Program brings together marine scientists
and students to conduct field research important to the management
of the sanctuary. During each day of the cruise, sanctuary archaeologists,
Undersea Research Center at the University of Connecticut
(NURC-UConn) scientists and University of Connecticut students
boarded the University of Connecticut's R/V Connecticut
in Gloucester, MA for the trips into the sanctuary.
technicians operated the investigation's primary research
tool, the ROV Hela. Hela carried lights and cameras
into the sanctuary's cold and dark depths allowing the archaeologists,
scientists, and students to document the shipwrecks and
their resident marine life.
ROV Hela is launched off the R/V Connecticut
project's primary goal was a thorough examination of the coal
schooners Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary. This
investigation began with the stern of the Frank A. Palmer, where
the research team made several discoveries. The team located and
imaged the schooner's partially intact steering wheel along with
artifacts from the captain's cabin such as dishware. Unfortunately,
fishing nets caught in the wreck prevented the ROV from exploring
further forward than the aftermost mast. Overall, the Frank
A. Palmer's appears to have considerable archaeological integrity.
and other artifactual material lies inside the
Frank A. Palmer's hull and provide important archaeological
information about the schooner's crew. Courtesy
of NOAA/SBNMS and NURC-UConn.
of a door, including the brass door knob,
in the Frank A. Palmer's aft cabin area.
Courtesy of NOAA/SBNMS and NURC-UConn
exploring the Frank A. Palmer to the extent allowed by
the entangled fishing nets, the ROV jumped the gap between the
schooners and began exploring the starboard side of the Louise
B. Crary. The Louise B. Crary appeared to be even more
intact than the Palmer; however, entangled fishing gear prevented
the ROV from safely examining the Lousie B. Crary's stern.
copper sheathed step on the side of the Louise B. Crary's
hull. Courtesy of NOAA/SBNMS and NURC-UConn.
addition to the Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary,
the 2005 Aquanaut Program Maritime Heritage Cruise also investigated
several previously undocumented shipwreck sites. At each site,
the ROV ran video transects to record diagnostic information that
will be used to characterize the site. Additionally, the video
transects also served to characterize the marine life resident
on the shipwrecks.
more information on the schooners Frank
A. Palmer and Louise
B. Crary click here.