13 Things You Learn on a Lighthouse Archaeology Boat

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1. Dramamine is always a good idea.

Better safe than sorry. If you are not used to being out on a boat for an entire day watching the horizon move up and down for 12 hours straight, then trust me, you will want to take some Dramamine. Even if your family owns a boat that you take out on a regular basis, you will still want to take it. You might be a little groggy throughout the day, but at least you’re not sick.

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2. You will wake up at hours that you have never seen before.

It’s so early that coffee might not even do the trick. The team meets at the barracks to go out to the boat at 6 a.m., meaning you have to get up at about 5:15a.m. to get ready to go. Even by the time you get to the barracks, it is still dark outside. Then, when you are getting on the boat at about 6:45 a.m. you will see other people that are awake at this time too. You will be very confused, but too tired to really think about it that much.

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3. Going on an archaeological dive requires a lot of diving equipment.

Go figure? There is a lot of diving equipment that is necessary to take on these trips. One of those pieces of equipment is the air tanks for the divers. It is really ironic how heavy the air tanks are. It’s just air; yet it feels like a tank full of bricks. It is truly a mystery as to how those tanks are so heavy.

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4. Archaeologists can detangle rope like nobody’s business.

Detangling a 600 ft. rope is as hard as it sounds. There are knots on knots on knots and unfortunately, there is no such thing as rope conditioner. The Lighthouse archaeologists take it like a pro though and work their way through all the knots and tangles until the rope is good to go. It will leave you dumb-founded because you would have given up after the first ten minutes and claimed the mission as a “no-go”.

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5. There is extensive data crunching and analyzing before archaeologists actually go out on the boat to excavate the site.

It’s not all fun and games, folks. In order to try to find a shipwreck, archaeologists take their boats (along with their sonar and other technology that allows them to see what is on the bottom of the ocean floor) and run them in areas that they think could have possible shipwrecks. Before they can do that though, they must do hours of research and analyzing to try to locate the best sites they feel they would be most lucky looking. It is truly a science. Our Lighthouse archaeologists have done a great job perfecting this science to get the most bang for their buck every time they go out searching.

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6. Technology plays a huge role in identifying the site.

I spy, a shipwreck! It would be nearly impossible to locate these shipwrecks without the help of technology. There are so many gizmos and gadgets on the boat to help archaeologists locate the shipwreck. It really makes you appreciate the 21st century.

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7. Getting a site prepped to excavate takes precision.

Anchoring, re-anchoring, ropes, lines, buoys. Mooring requires precision, because if you miss one beat, it could cost you hours of work. Be sure to be on the ball, because you do not want to make that mistake.

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8. When archaeologists dive, they can be underwater for 2 hours at a time.

Divers? Divers? Do not panic when the divers have been underwater for over an hour. Their work takes a long time. It is your job to watch for bubbles on the surface, because that is where the divers are working.

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9. Divers swim in pairs and there is always a safety diver aboard.

Divers swim in two’s. Divers always dive in pairs to work together. While on the ocean floor, they experience surges and swells from waves and other boats passing by. They dive in pairs not only to make the work easier, but for safety. There is also a safety diver aboard the ship just uncase something goes wrong, so they can dive down to help.

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10. You will learn sailor-speak.

It is a line, not a rope. While on the boat, you will learn fun new sailor terms and phrases that you will later brag to your friends about. You will learn that a rope is called a line, when divers go under the water you yell “Diver down!” and more. When you leave, you will feel like you could have a full-on conversation with all the people on the Deadliest Catch.


11. It will make you appreciate land archaeology.

I bet land is lookin’ real good right about now. After all the searching, mooring, prep-work, nausea and diving, it will really make you appreciate land archaeology.

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12. You will feel like a true sailor being on the boat for an entire day.

I’m sailing! I’m sailing! After spending 11 hours on a boat, you will definitely feel like you have earned your sea legs.

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13. It’ll be about one of the coolest experiences you have ever had.

Definitely going to brag to my friends about this one. After spending an entire day on an archaeology boat and feeling like Matthew McConaughey in Sahara, you will walk away knowing that was a rare experience that not many people get to have. It was definitely one of the most unique, cool experiences you have ever had.

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