A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

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LAMP/Flinders Field School Student Log: day two

Student log: day 2.

It's 5.30 am. It's much too early and I wonder whether intravenous caffeine is a possibility. Slowly, very slowly all the necessary kit is assembled for the first morning for some of us who are heading out on the two vessels.


Much of the dive kit has yet to arrive. So it is a question of juggling air requirements between the nine cylinders and the hooka, linked to the electric compressor. The divers eventually leave by 8 am, only an hour and a half late, not bad for day 1.

Meanwhile the rest of us: Karson Winslow, Deanna Sundling, Jody Bulman and myself, Jessica Berry have been assigned to survey a possible 19th century rudder, found off Vilano beach.


It was found in October 2005 buried in the sand dunes. It was apparently dehydrated and re-wet numerous times during its time in the nexus between the beach and the sea. It is currently undergoing a conservation programme under the guidance of LAMP's chief conservationist Kathleen McCormick. Above the rudder hangs a drip attached to a teat containing a 60-40 mixture of Elmer's glue and water. Unlike PEG, which is highly toxic, this mixture is slowly preserving the wood without changing its current appearance. Under the right care, Kathleen estimates that the rudder could live another 100 years.

The rudder currently lies on LAMP's grounds, just below the lighthouse under an awning to protect it from the sun and the rain. Unfortunately it is a regular target for souvenir hunters. Several pieces of copper sheathing have disappeared. Hopefully our intricate survey may be able to help us identify where the rudder came from. We are now piecing together our measurements on several large sheets of graph paper.

I have to admit we struggled at first with inches and feet. We all grew up metrically. Well, thats my excuse.

Meanwhile plans are being laid to accommodate the press and tv crews over the next couple of days. Watch this space!

Comments (2)

I just wanted to tell you how happy we are all to have you here.

I'm looking forward to feeding you guys and gals on Wednesday at my house.

And I love the blogs. If you need extra caffine just call me. I always have some handy.


Great post! Any predictions that you maybe willing to share to assist us in understanding the second part a bit more? nice one

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