Situation Report - 23 Aug 2012
We continued Hercules dive H1245 through the night, visually surveying the top of Eratosthenes Seamount. During the transect, we discovered an ancient shipwreck, designated Eratosthenes C.
The site is approximately 30 meters long by 10 meters wide and the cargo consists of a selection of ceramic vessels of a variety of sizes and shapes, including two pithoi. There are also two anchors, a possible bun ingot, and several unidentified artifacts. We also collected stereo imagery with which we will compile a photomosaic and three dimensional map of the site. No artifacts have been touched nor recovered.
After mapping the site, we continued our visual survey to the southeast corner of the seamount, where the cold seeps are located. We collected tube worms, clams, and a sea urchin for biological analysis, while consulting with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard University via telepresence. Hercules and Argus were recovered after sample collection.
The engineering team is currently fixing a laser used for mapping the seafloor, and preparing the vehicles to dive in the morning. We will launch Hercules and Argus at 8am local time (1am EDT) to map the cold seeps and another area of beaked whale scours.