Life-Changing, Mind-Bending: Exploration

French Archaeologists inspect the wooden timber.

French divers look for clues in the construction of the wooden timber on the bottom of Lake Michigan.
David J. Ruck – Great Lakes Exploration Group

Let me just say that this has so far been one of those dream-like experiences.  You prepare for months – and for many of the people involved in the project, they have been preparing for years or even decades you might measure – and now here we are.  Surrounded by top archaeologists from the U.S. and France, expert commercial divers in Great Lakes Diving & Salvage….  we are waving flags from our respective country, celebrating history, and the efforts of today’s explorers in Steve Libert and the entire team.

We still explore, don’t we…?

I’m a relatively young guy and in just this week I’ve had my work seen on pretty much every major news network, print newspaper, online newspaper in every major outlet around the globe.  Some people wait their entire careers for that level of syndication or to accumulate appearances of their work in as many sources….  I’m humbled, baffled, surprised, shocked, and in all honesty I’m in such a remote location right now that I haven’t been able to notice aside from a Google Alert on my phone in the evenings… no TV here…

It’s a great feeling to have the gear start to feel like an extension of your person.  The Gates housing and EX1 combination are very complex, but also remarkably simple and elegant.   It takes beautiful images and leaves you with plenty of control.  If the budget is there, this is the go-to rig for this and similar work.

Gates Underwater Housing and EX1 after the Dive

After a test dive with the Gates/EX1.
Randall Thompson – Rubangfilms

The crews are still digging deeper and deeper into the lake bottom to find what they hope is the hull of a ship – the Griffin?  Le Griffon?  Something else?  I believe they are thinking that this item is a bow sprit, which has separated from the rest of the ship.  The ship may be in the area.  How did the bow sprit – if that is what it is – get buried so deeply in the sediment, likely hundreds of years deep in the sediment! I don’t know the answer to these questions.

Diver descends on the hole

French divers disappear down a muddy hole, trenched beneath the object believed to be a bow sprit, possibly of Le Griffon.
David J. Ruck – Great Lakes Exploration Group

And we keep exploring!  In the next day or two, the commercial teams may uncover more evidence that this is the final resting place of Le Griffon – or they may not.  Either way, working with these extremely talented and friendly people from around the globe on a high-profile expedition has been rewarding on so many levels.  It’s been a pleasure to be the visual liaison to the world with photos and video.  And, quite frankly, I’m still surprised it’s gotten as much attention as it has.  I’ll report back in a day.  We have some exciting things happening tomorrow and I’ll be diving with the camera again!

Thanks, everyone.

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