BLACK SEA 1999
From: Brendan Foley
Hello All -
It's Brendan here, glad to be back in Sinop. Sarah Webster, Katy Croff, Justin Manley, and I arrived in town yesterday afternoon (July 2) after a long two days of travel. We got into Istanbul about 1:30 a.m. yesterday and only had a few hours in the hotel to sleep and shower. We flew out of Istanbul to Samsun about 8:00 the next morning, then took the minibus that Cathy Offinger sent from Sinop. The ride up the Black Sea coast is breathtaking in places, with rugged mountains dropping straight away to the sea. Sinop is truly ringed in by the steep hills, and ancient trade must have been focused toward the colonies across the sea rather than in the hinterlands beyond the mountains.
Our greeting from the rest of the crew was warm when we finally hit the hotel in Sinop. After we arrived we showered and went to lunch, then Sarah and I took naps. Justin and Katy walked around the city with Sasha Lehman, daughter of the former Secretary of the Navy. Our whole group went to dinner about 8:30 p.m. Cathy has arranged for lunches and dinners with one of the waterfront restaurant; the menu will not be too varied, but acceptable. Last night I had some sort of fried smelt or sardine, salad, red wine. Tonight it was tomato soup, salad, and chicken breast with potato salad and Efes beer.
Today I slept until about 6:30 a.m., then lay awake wondering what I could do if I got out of the rack. I decided I could do nothing particularly useful, so I went back to sleep until nearly 11:00 to make up for the last several nights. After a shower I went downstairs and gulped some Nescafe while trying to shake out the cobwebs. About 11:45 Sabahattin came in with news that the air shipment had arrived by truck at the quay. We went over and took the computers off, and Katy, Sarah, and Sasha set it up in our office in the hotel. A forklift arrived within 20 minutes, and we unloaded the rest of the gear including both the Mini Rover and the Sea Rover. We put the National Geographic Mini Rover aboard the Orkuz II, which will be my boat for the time being. Keith Moorehead is the NGS ROV pilot. The Sea Rover will be aboard one of the larger Sinop fishing boats, which Sabahattin organized for us. Martin Bowen will drive the Sea Rover, and David, Justin, and Sarah will be on that boat.
The Sea Rover has a Mesotech 1000 scanning sonar mounted, so it ought to be able to re-acquire the sonar targets given the dGPS coordinates from last year. The ops plan for now is to get the Sea Rover on targets of interest for quick ground-truthing, then bring the Mini Rover over for a close-up inspection. The Mini Rover has better video and still cameras than the Sea Rover. Cheryl Ward will be aboard the Orkuz II with me, and some of her students. We will fly over the sites and collect as much video imagery as possible while the Sea Rover does quick hits and moves on. Hopefully this plan will allow us to get good data without wasting too much time – I expect that many of the targets will not be re-acquired and many of those that are relocated will not prove to be interesting. But we’ll see.
The game plan for tomorrow is to get together and go for a nautical picnic. We don’t know if we’ll run to the north again like last year, to Ince Burun and Ak Liman, or if we’ll head south past Demirci and the Roman bridge. Fred and Alex Gantos think there may be another bridge out in the water. We asked to bring dories or the like so we can row ashore and/or check out submerged sites in shallow water. We will leave the dock around 11:00 a.m., and a host of friends will come along. Gunsel and her two nieces, Borcu and Esra, will be along, as well as assorted others. It should be fun.
Tonight after dinner the MIT crowd went back to the lab space in the hotel and set up our email. It will be great to have access to the world, but on the other hand it is kind of nice to be away from all the aggravation.
Dr. Ballard is due in on Thursday, and Arnie Carr and one of the sonar systems are due on Saturday. Once the side-lookers arrive, the game plan will shift. Marty and Tom Wilcox will be here next Tuesday we hope, though they emailed to say they are having a hard time getting flights booked.
It’s just past 1:00 a.m. now and there is a lot of commotion outside on the street. A convoy of trucks carrying a carnival just rolled by – I thought we would be the only circus in town!
Tomorrow should be an easy day, and I hope to be all done with jet lag. The Turkish government representative should be here tomorrow, so Monday we can start ops. The plan is to go to the possible 1853 wreck and the possible amphora wreck nearby it. That’s enough for now – off to the rack.