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black sea '98

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bs1999 :: 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7 :: 8 :: 9 :: 10 :: 11

From: Katy Croff
Subject: Newsletter #4
July 6, 1999

Ahoy hoy!

I'm Katy Croff, a Senior at MIT in Ocean Engineering. It's my first time here in beautiful Sinop, well, my first time out of the country for that matter, but that's not important right now. In any case, I'm very excited to be a part of this team, as we scour the floor of the Black Sea.

(below) National Geographic's Keith Moorehead
works on the MiniRover ROV, called Gump

I am currently working on the Orkoz 2, the vessel with the ROV, Gump, which has  digital video cameras, one regular and one with a macro lens, and a still camera. We are using this ROV to go back to the sites that the Yildiz tracked down from last year's sonar data, so that we can take good, detailed surveys for the archaeologists to examine. Man, this is a dry letter. I'll try to spice it up a bit...



Soooo, today we set out for the Yedigun bottle buoy left for us by the Yildiz yestaday. On the way, Yusef, the old man of the sea on the Orkoz, was working on making these fishnet-type bags that he has made for all the women on the trip. I got mine today. It's maroon with a yellow stripe and a white stripe.



All morning we spent working out bugs--setting up the trackpoint system (a tracking system that gives range and bearing to the ROV from the boat), ballasting the vehicle, trying to remain in the general vicinity of the site as the wind picked up, getting seaweed out of a thruster  --  it went on like this until around noon. At this point the Yildiz had just discovered that the site they were looking for was just some geology, and by geology I mean rocks. So, we rafted the boats together and took a break for lunch. The crew made the Beef Patty Special--grilled spicy burgers, tomatoes, and peppers on a half loaf of bread. Mmmm, mmmm good.

The rest of the day was spent on what we thought was a 19th century warship wreck. We found all kinds of fun stuff, like big pieces of wood, and big cube-shaped things which are yet to be solidly identified. We spent about 3 hours flying all over the place, but not very systematically, so that's what we plan to do tomorrow. We have learned a lot about how we should go about video surveying a site, and hope to be more efficient tomorrow. Everyone on board, from us MIT folks to the archaeologists to the boat crew, has a good idea of what each other needs to make this expedition successful and our learning curve is rapidly rising (yes, I'm aware of how nerdy that expression is. I did it on purpose).

After a rough day at sea, Brendan, Justin and I relaxed with a couple Efes at the cafe on top of a 2000 year old wall built right on the harbor. We talked about the work of the day, planned for tomorrow, and watched a beautiful sunset over Sinop.

This letter was brought to you by the letter "yoomooshahk geh" and the number "ooch."








Deep Water Archaeology Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Ave. Rm e51-194
Cambridge, MA 02139



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