Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 7

// August 3rd, 2011 // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Diver filling the lifting bag used to remove ballast stones

My biological clock woke me up early, as it usually does, at 5:30. A warm shower was followed by breakfast, which seemed to offer some insight to what type of day it was going to be…a careless hand and cold spilt milk ended up in my lap, which was soon followed by the same non-responsive hand following suit and stray cereal bounced out of my bowl onto my already milk damp pants…..Hmmmm, I thought…. is it really going to be one of those days…well, at least now I know, I concluded, trying to spin some optimism into a pessimistic outlook. Not to brag…but I was right. We got to the dock late, packed all three dive boats, and were ready to disembark when it was made apparent that one set of boat keys had not made it out of our vehicle that was now out of reach by cell and would not return until 12:00. Well, key or not…the show must go on! I think we can agree that it is not an unusual sight to see a boat towed into a harbour, for a variety of reasons (i.e. lack of fuel, engine problems, etc.) but it is another sight altogether to see a boat towed out of the harbour. I’m sure the few people awake on the docks that saw us were scratching their heads, and wondering why a motor boat would be towed out into the Baltic Sea without a functioning motor.
I will not bore you with the details of the early morning gong show that followed, but in sum we were three people short on the Nordwind (our major main dive platform for all dive operations on the 17th century Hedvig Sophia shipwreck that lies in 6 meter of water at the mouth of the Kiel Fjord), and it was easily apparent that several hats needed to be worn by the few of us onboard (i.e. supervisor/tender/helper hat). One advantage with this type of predicament is that time is saved not having to tell people what to do because…well, you are doing it. Agreed, the day got off to a rocky start, but we managed to meet all our operational goals for the day and several finds were retrieved from the wreck, including a leather shoe, a couple of pieces of leather stitched together probably coming from other shoes, a bone comb with teeth on both sides, a musket shot, two round copper alloy buttons, and another cannon was discovered from the area around the wreck.
In conclusion, the day ended on a fantastic note…Thomas the Captain of the Nordwind gave us nine freshly caught cod to BBQ as gratitude for cleaning his boat’s propeller, the day before, so in the golden sunlight of a setting sun, sitting on picnic benches set on the grass in the harbour of Strande (the town were our field school operations are based) we feasted on some of the Baltic’s best seafood offerings and drank some of German’s best liquids consisting of our four favorite ingredients: Malt, hops, yeast, and fresh water.

Xenius Nielsen

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