Tag Archives: archaeology

Cocos Keeling islands: Searching for ivory as indicator to wrecks

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The Wreck Check team were conscious that the 7-day stay on Cocos Keeling Islands was a narrow window of survey opportunity, but luckily we were able to go out on the water everyday. North Keeling, the top survey priority, is 28 km due north from the main atoll and the gap between each island is subject to deep ocean swells. Operating out of the six-meter-long Park’s boat Pulu Bill the journey was bouncy at times as we punched into deep ocean swells.

We surveyed a lot of parts of the island with the magnetometer again and besides that we visited sites of known wrecks to document them using photogrammetry and by doing corrosion measurements. One of the highlights of this week was diving on the SMS Emden, see the previous blog.

Monday was the last day of fieldwork on Cocos Island and for this season. We have completed the survey around Turks Reef and Horsburgh Island. Except for our first day on the water, over the week on Cocos Island we have contended with 10-15 knot SE winds and swell 1-2 meters. This has definitely limited our opportunities to survey and dive in our target areas. To exacerbate the difficulties, targets in the 6 – 8 meter depth contour around the atoll are usually just out of the surf zone making safe access and exit enormously problematic in large swell. Besides Turks Reef and Horsburg Island we were able to survey the south and parts of the west side of West Island, the north and west side of Direction Island. These were the most important parts of the island to survey as ships would have passed here because of the shipping route at that time.

The Cocos-Keeling Islands.

As always we have worked hard to achieve what could be done within the parameters of weather. Work inside the lagoon is possible and several sites have been dived and surveyed when weather has driven us back into the lagoon. We dived a SIEV (Suspected Illegal Entry Vehicle) that was found last year, a working barge, an unidentified wreck that we think is the Robert Portner. and we also snorkeled at the Phaeton wreck site. At all these sites we took pictures and video for photogrammetry and where possible with the current and swell we also did corrosion measurements.

While information collected from the Emden continues to be worked up our primary quest to search for the Fortuyn has been heavily impacted. Progress was made on following up on a report to the Queensland Museum in the 1980’s of a discovery of an elephant tusk at the southern end of the runway on West Island. This is relevant because another VoC shipwreck the Aagtekerke is reported as carrying elephant tusks. The team were able to walk the beach area and surveyed directly off shore with the magnetometer.

On the last day we were are all packing, backing up data and getting ready to fly home. Still, in the time left in the morning Graeme and Andy managed to squeeze in talking to four classes ranging from Kindergarten to grades 3-4 on Home Island. Some great questions and lots of good engagement from the students.

Team member Andrew Viduka talking to the school kids on Home Island.
Team member Andrew Viduka talking to the school kids on Home Island.

While the next steps for the team are to process collected data over the coming months from the magnetometer surveys, the photogrammetry and the corrosion measurements, we would now like to recognize the wonderful support of our partner, sponsors and supporters who enabled this fieldwork to be undertaken. Our research partner the Maritime Programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Culture, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia, Silent World Foundation, Parks Australia and the Australian Government Department of the Environment. We would also like to recognize the excellent contribution to this years fieldwork by Shinatria Adhityatama (ARKENAS, Indonesia) and Robert de Hoop (University of Southern Denmark). Without the significant support of the Maritime Programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Culture their attendance would not have been possible. Special thanks to Rob Muller, Ishmael MacRae and Trish Flores of Parks Australia for the assistance.

The SMS Emden

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On Tuesday we left Christmas Island and went to the Cocos-Keeling Islands. The Cocos-Keeling Islands are a group of 27 coral islands that are located in the Indian Ocean approximately 2700 km north-west of Perth. The main islands form a typical horseshoe-shaped atoll surrounded by a coral reef. Each island has rough coral beaches to seaward and sandy beaches on the lagoon side. The islands are low lying and most are thickly covered with coconut palms. Wildlife on the islands consists mainly of seabirds. Just like on Christmas Island, land crabs are common on all islands and the surrounding reefs support a diverse range of corals, fish and other marine organisms.

Surveying again!
Surveying again!

After the team unpacked and setup base at ‘The Castle’, we started doing a magnetometer survey again. After that we snorkeled the Phaeton wreck. The Phaeton was built at Sunderland (UK) in 1868 as a composite ship (timber planking over iron frames) and was 46 meter long. It wrecked in Cocos in 1889 while carrying a cargo of copra from Cocos Island back to Europe. At about half past five on the morning of the 25 September the Phaeton was discovered to be on fire. The fire force pump was in the area of the fire and could not be reached safely and the vessel could not be saved. To avoid blocking the entrance to the lagoon, the Phaeton was run aground in its present position, broken up and salvage. We hope to make a 3D photogrammetry model of the remains of the Phaeton using photos and video we made.

North Keeling and the SMS Emden

Besides looking for the Fortuyn and the Aagtekerke one of our objectives here is to properly record the SMS Emden. This German light cruiser was at her home port of Tsing-Tau in China at the outbreak of World War 1. She was on her way on the 6th of August with orders to her captain Von Muller to destroy as much allied ships as possible. Her rampage in the Indian Ocean was brief but spectacular as she managed to sink 15 merchant ships, a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer in less than two months!

Early on the morning of November 9th the Emden appeared off the Cocos-Keeling Islands, and sent a landing party of three officers and forty-two men ashore to dismantle the cable station that was there. While they were at work the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney arrived. Although the Emden’s gunnery was excellent and her opening salvo scored a direct hit on the Sydney, she was no real match for the larger ship. Within two hours, she was out of action, and hopelessly disabled. It was then about noon, and the Sydney left her to chase a captured merchantman which had been acting as an escort for the Emden. On her return, about 4.00 pm, she found the Emden still flying her colors, but unable to move. The Sydney signaled to her to surrender, but received no answer, and finally fired several further rounds at her. Only then did von Muller strike his flag. By this time the Emden was blazing furiously amidships, and in an attempt to save as many of his crew as possible he drove her on to the reef fringing the south coast of North keeling.

North Keeling is located approximately 27 km from the main group of islands and is thus quite remote and not a lot of people go there. It was really special to be able to dive there and see the remains of the vessel, because although it has been partly salvaged there is still a lot left of it as you can see on the photos we took. One of our team members even went on the island with Triss from Parks Australia, to document the remains of the vessel on land! Just as with the Phaeton we hope to make a nice 3D photogrammetry model of the ship to get a good overview of the site. We also documented what still remains of the vessel and did a corrosion measurement.

In the following days we will continue our survey for the Fortuyn and the Aagtekerke. We will keep you updated as good as we can with the limited internet access we have here..


De SMS Emden

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Op dinsdag verlieten we Christmas Island en gingen we naar de Cocos-Keeling Islands, een groep van 27 koraaleilanden in de Indische Oceaan zo’n 2.700 km ten noordwesten van Perth. De hoofdeilanden vormen een atol met een typische hoefijzervorm dat omringd is door een koraalrif. Elk eiland heeft ruwe koraalstranden richting de open zee en zandstranden aan de lagunekant. De eilanden zijn laag en de meeste zijn dicht begroeid met kokospalmen. Wild op de eilanden bestaat voornamelijk uit zeevogels. Net als op Christmas Island komen hier op alle eilanden veel landkrabben voor en het rif rond de eilanden herbergt allerlei koralen, vissen en andere mariene organismen.

Weer aan het meten!

Zodra het team alles had uitgepakt en zich geïnstalleerd had in ‘The Castle’ gingen we opnieuw metingen uitvoeren met de magnetometer. Daarna snorkelden we naar het wrak van de Phaeton. De Phaeton werd in 1868 gebouwd in de Engelse stad Sunderland; het was een zogeheten composietschip (gemaakt van houten planken die op een stalen frame worden bevestigd) met een lengte van 46 meter. In 1889 leidde de Phaeton schipbreuk bij Cocos, terwijl het een lading kopra van Cocos Island terug naar Europa vervoerde. Op 25 september ontdekte men rond half vijf ‘s ochtends dat de Phaeton in brand stond. De brandbluspomp bevond zich in het gedeelte waar de brand woedde en kon niet op een veilige manier worden bereikt, met als gevolg dat het schip niet gered kon worden. Om te voorkomen dat de toegang tot de lagune werd geblokkeerd, liet men de Phaeton op haar huidige plek vastlopen en werd het schip opengebroken en geborgen. We hopen dat we een 3D-fotogrammetriemodel van de resten van de Phaeton kunnen maken met behulp van de foto’s en video die we gemaakt hebben.

North Keeling en de SMS Emden

Naast het zoeken naar de Fortuyn en de Aagtekerke is een van onze doelen hier om de SMS Emden goed vast te leggen. Deze Duitse lichte kruiser lag in zijn thuishaven Tsing-Tau in China toen de eerste wereldoorlog uitbrak. Het schip voer op 9 augustus uit, met orders voor kapitein Von Muller om zo veel mogelijk schepen van de geallieerden onklaar te maken. Deze kruiser voerde een korte maar spectaculaire strijd in de Indische Oceaan: de Emden slaagde erin om in minder dan twee maanden tijd vijftien koopvaardijschepen, een Russische kruiser en een Franse torpedobootjager te vernietigen!

In de vroege ochtend van 9 november doemde de Emden op voor de kust van de Cocos-Keeling Islands; drie officieren en 42 manschappen werden aan land gestuurd om het telegraafstation op het eiland te ontmantelen. Terwijl ze daarmee bezig waren, kwam de Australische kruiser HMAS Sydney aan. Hoewel de Emden over een uitstekend geschut beschikte en het schip met het openingssalvo de Sydney meteen wist te raken, was het toch geen partij voor het grotere schip. Binnen twee uur was de Emden uitgeschakeld en lag het schip hopeloos in puin. Dat was rond het middaguur en de Sydney liet de Emden achter om een buitgemaakt koopvaardijschip, dat als een escorte voor de Emden had gefunctioneerd, te pakken te krijgen. Toen de Sydney rond vier uur ’s middags terugkeerde, hing de vlag van de Emden nog in de mast maar was het schip niet in staat om te varen. De Sydney gaf het signaal dat de bemanning zich over moest geven, maar toen er geen antwoord kwam, werden er nog enkele salvo’s op de Emden gevuurd. Pas daarna besloot Von Muller de vlag te strijken. Tegen die tijd sloegen er op de Emden midscheeps al enorme vlammen uit. In een poging om zo veel mogelijk bemanningsleden te redden, stuurde de kapitein het schip richting het rif voor de zuidkust van North Keeling.

North Keeling ligt ongeveer op 27 km van de hoofdeilanden van de Cocos-Keeling groep en omdat het behoorlijk afgelegen ligt, gaan er niet veel mensen heen. Het was dan ook heel bijzonder om op die plek te duiken en de resten van het schip te zien liggen. Ondanks dat het schip al deels is geborgen, is er nog een hoop achtergebleven – zoals je kunt zien op de foto’s die we hebben gemaakt. Een van onze teamleden is zelfs samen met Triss van Parks Australia het eiland op geweest om de resten van het schip op het land te documenteren! Net als bij de Phaeton hopen we een mooi 3D-fotogrammetriemodel van het schip te kunnen maken om een goed overzicht van de locatie te krijgen. We hebben vastgelegd wat er nog over is van het schip en ook een corrosiemeting uitgevoerd.

In de komende dagen gaan we verder met het zoeken naar de Fortuyn en de Aagtekerke. We zullen jullie zo goed mogelijk op de hoogte houden met de beperkte internetverbinding die we hier hebben…


More insight in the thirty shipwrecks around Christmas Island

We are now reasonably confident that the 1724 Fortuyn does not lie between 0-30 meters in the water off Christmas Island. We have re-run the priority areas on the south-west side of the island with a more sensitive magnetometer (for detecting magnetic iron objects such as anchors and cannon) than we employed in 2015. Divers have visually inspected all of the promising anomalies without seeing cultural material. Some of the anomalies have been discounted because they appear to have been affected by the magnetic basalt rock forming the core of the island.

We did some more photogrammetry in the last couple

We did some more photogrammetry in the last couple of days to hone our skills. This time we tried to do an object underwater and chose a mooring anchor. The computer is still crunching the data so we’ll show you the result in the next blog!

Christmas Island is fringed with a thick underwater coral platform. Its width varies and most of it slopes gently before curving steeply downward into the depths. During the last two weeks we have been following up on stories from the Dutch Facebook followers and the Christmas Island community about other shipwrecks here or nearby, in particular the Dutch ships, the 1100 ton Arinus Marinus wrecked in 1821 and the 500 ton Vice Admiraal Rijk wrecked in 1852, but also a lot of others.

The Dutch ship named the Vice Admiraal Rijk was lost on the south-west side of the island in 1852. Three men survived, managing to scale the cliffs and living ashore on raw seabirds for 57 days before being rescued by another passing ship. One of the three men left a detailed account of the wreck and his experience on the island. Around midnight the ship crashed onto the cliffs on the north side of the south-west point, breaking a large hole in the bow before turning out from the cliffs and immediately sinking entirely below the waves, with all sails still set.

We regard the Vice Admiraal Rijk as a useful model for assessing what would have happened to the Fortuyn if it struck the south-west coast. So we placed a major focus on inspecting the north side of the south-west point, carrying out a visual inspection of the anomalies and then swimming abreast along the coral platform. We saw no wreckage.

We inspected all the anomalies on the north side of the south-west point using divers and then swam abreast along the coral platform

The coral covering on the Eisvold, a 1942 shipwreck elsewhere on the island, is up to 0.5 meters thick, and coral would be expected to conceal smaller cultural objects on a wreck on south-west point. However, if the Vice Admiraal Rijk had broken up on the platform we should have seen objects such as large anchors protruding above the coral. Much of the platform there is only around 50 meters wide, with a vertical drop off into some 90 meters water depth. The Vice Admiraal Rijk must have slipped over the precipice without first breaking up.

Much of the platform is only around 50 meters wide, with a vertical drop off into some 90 meters water depth

Our theorizing, about whether a vessel striking the cliffs would break up against the cliffs or bounce back from the cliffs and slide off the platform into deep water, was based on accounts of the sinking in 2010, near Flying Fish Cove, of the asylum boat SIEV 221. Residents saw that that vessel was trapped between the swells and the backwash, in a ‘washing machine’ effect.

At the south-west point we saw a lot of small pieces of plastic bags suspended in the water column –  plastic brought from Indonesia on southerly water currents, then trapped close to the cliffs in the same washing machine effect. It appears then, that this would trap small items such as plastic bags, and even a medium sized object such as the SIEV 221 (a light wooden fishing vessel probably under 20 metres). However, probably not such a large object as the 35-metre hull of the Vice Admiraal Rijk. If this wreck has not been trapped by the violent pushing of the waves and swells, then probably the larger, 800 ton and 44-metre long Fortuyn wouldn’t either and may have slipped well beyond the 30-metres depth limit of our search.

At the south-west point we saw a lot of small pieces of plastic bags suspended in the water column – plastic brought from Indonesia on southerly water currents, then trapped close to the cliffs in the washing machine effect

Will we ever know? There is a slight chance of finding the wreck at Cocos Keeling. We will find out in the next coming week! The diving on Christmas Island gave us lot of new insights on other – some of them also Dutch – wrecks and a list of 30 shipwrecks that may have been foundered close to Christmas Island. School children have been taught about their past and the students on the project, me and Shinatria, have had a great time so far, learning enormously about the search for shipwreck. But we are not ready yet!

Cocos Keeling, here we come!




Remote sensing process & the big blue

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Remote sensing

A crucial element in the project is the remote sensing process. The aim is to acquire, process, analyze and interpret the data and to let this follow by diving on targeted locations.

We have acquired the data with a seaborne magnetometer. This device measures distortions in the natural earth’s magnetic field through the presence of iron (or ferrous) material on or under the seabed. The magnetometer is towed on a cable behind the survey vessel, sending readings up the cable to a tablet, which logs the data and provides positioning through a GPS.

Photo 1

Photo 1: The results of magnetic testing over know iron wreck site, Eidsvold, at Christmas Island. The image on the left clearly show distortions in the earth’s magnetic field, caused by the presence of the wreck. The three lines show the track of the survey vessel. The image on the right show a profile of a transect line across the sight with the clear characteristic ‘dipole’.

The tablet also helps the skipper to navigate along per-positioned lines called transects. These lines have been carefully arranged in mapping software to be straight, and parallel. Narrow line spacing is required to allow sufficient coverage.

Once the data is brought back ashore, it is reviewed on laptops with specialized software. This process allows for the earth’s magnetic field to be displayed and any distortions detected. Interpretation happens next.

Photo 2

Photo 2: A magnetic anomaly discovered in the post-processing phase of the remote sensing component in the search. The anomaly is clearly seen in the paler contour lines, along with depth contour lines. This anomaly is approximately 85 by 160 meters.

A list of potential sites is produced, and the most promising analyzed more closely. Mapping software allows for the precise positioning for the deployment of divers. Circular shapes are created and placed within the mapping software, which gives a very accurate indication of depths, and can thus inform the dive plan. In this case planning for circular dive searches.

This positioning information is then fed into the tablet, enabling precise navigation to each target.

Photo 3

Photo 3: Mapping and other specialized software enable the blending of magnetic isometric lines (black) and magnetic anomalies (blue and yellow), with bathymetric contour lines (white) and planned circular dive searches (red).

The entire work flow, carried out by Alex Moss and James Parkinson enables the team to react to information gathered in the field, a sort of ‘reflexive methodology’.

Penultimate day of diving on Christmas Island

Waterlogged is the best way to describe the way we all feel after the last few days. Whether diving or on the boat we have been wet. Some rain showers were so strong it was a drier feeling in the water than out of it! Sadly, our time on Christmas Island is coming to a close and we have not discovered any archaeological material that would bring us closer to the Fortuyn. While we have not yet managed to dive all the identified magnetic anomalies our time is running out. But let’s keep our fingers crossed.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR3506.Photo 4: Me descending down the shotline.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR3534.Photo 5: Alex Moss doing a 30 meter circular search. The other diver holds the line at 15 meter and makes sure the line doesn’t get caught.

Today we dived sites off the West coast and because of the very calm conditions were able to swim survey from Egeria Point northwards to Winifred Beach. The difficulty of finding a site in the 30 meter depth range available to us as divers was made very evident during that transect, as several times we encountered a vertical drop off to far greater depths not more than 50 meters from the coastline. A very small shelf for a shipwreck or shipwreck debris to stay attached to!

DCIM100GOPROPhoto 6: Graeme and Shinatria after their circular search.


Photo 7: The MV Eisvold shipwreck is a beautiful place to dive!

Our next blog will be the last from Christmas Island, before we go to Cocos Keeling. Stay tuned!

Community involvement and diving

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The very generous involvement of members of the international online community has been fundamental to the progress of the Closing in on the Fortuyn project. Thomas Creemers has sent information from the Netherlands that has fundamentally broadened the list of shipwrecks and the scope of team’s activities on Christmas Island.

Until recently the list of ships known and likely to have wrecked on and around Christmas Island consisted of the Fortuyn (1724), an unnamed Dutch shipwreck (prior to 1744), the Norwegian MV Eidsvold (1942), the Japanese Nissei Maru (1942), the Indonesian asylum boats SIEV X (2001) and SIEV 221 (2010) and the Panamanian registered MV Tycoon (2012).

Thomas has sent the team a wealth of information about two more Dutch ships. They are the 1100 ton Arinus Marinus and the 496 ton Vice Admiraal Rijk wrecked respectively near and on Christmas Island in 1821 and 1852. About the latter we have already written in our previous blogs, but not of the Arinus Marinus!

The Arinus Marinus

After the 1814 Treaty of Paris, Rotterdam merchants bought British ships and used them in the Dutch fleet to the Indies. The Arinus Marinus was one of these vessels, an English frigate, built in 1803 and named the Ceylon. It was purchased in 1815 by a Rotterdam shipping company. In this capacity the Arinus Marinus was taken to the Indies in 1816 for among others the trade in tea.

Photo 1

Photo 1: The Arinus Marinus as shown on a song sheet. This song is about the wrecking of the Arinus Marinus.

In 1821 the ship was loaded in Batavia for a return trip to Rotterdam. The winds took it close to Christmas Island with fatal consequences for the 200 on board, except for four of her crew. These four people floated on a piece of wood until they were found and rescued by the crew and captain of the Danish ship the Souvereign.

The Arinus Marinus had a very special cargo on board: a natural collection intended for the Museum van Naturalien in Leiden. This collection consisted of 15 boxes. Amongst these were:

  • 5 boxes that were full of stuffed animals,
  • two boxes had prepared hides and skins,
  • 4 boxes were full of skeletons,
  • 3 boxes were filled with minerals and rock samples.
  • Also on board were 36 different plants from Java for the botanical garden in Leiden.
  • a black tiger
  • and an elephant!

Photo 2 Photo 3: Loading all the gear for diving!


We finished the survey on Thursday so on Friday and we started diving to identify magnetic anomalies! All the planning, survey, analysis and preparation now culminates in a few dives over the coming days when we hope to see something that nature does not produce :a straight line! Nature is glorious, but humans construct materials with straight lines, be it anchor stocks, cannons, or other artefacts. The appearance of a straight line in the coral is a wonderful tell-tale that some cultural material lies below. While nature does not necessarily make straight lines underwater, when it breaks up, coral can result in the appearance of straight lines. Large plate coral literally abounds in the area we are diving. This coral can form a short straight edge when broken, periodically enough to get your heart racing before hopes are dashed.


Photo 3: Me proceeding down the shot line.


Photo 4: We drop a shot line at the anomalies and from there we do circular searches up to 30 meter.

We also dived on the MV Eisvold and the Nissei Maru (both WWII shipwrecks) to take corrosion measurements.


Photo 5: Drilling and taking the corrosion measurements at the Nissei Maru.


Photo 6: The wreck of the MV Eisvold is a beautiful spot to dive!

 On Tuesday we will leave for Cocos Keeling Islands so hopefully we will be able to dive on all the locations the magnetometer gave us some abnormal reading!

Betrokkenheid van de online gemeenschap en duiken

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De enorme betrokkenheid van leden van de internationale online gemeenschap is cruciaal geweest voor de vooruitgang die we met het Fortuyn-project hebben geboekt. Thomas Creemers heeft informatie vanuit Nederland opgestuurd en leverde hiermee een geweldige bijdrage: de lijst met scheepswrakken is nu verder uitgebreid en hetzelfde geldt voor de activiteiten van het team op Christmas Island.

Tot voor kort zag de lijst met schepen die waarschijnlijk schipbreuk hadden geleden op en rond Christmas Island er als volgt uit: de Fortuyn (1724), een onbekend Nederlands scheepswrak (daterend van voor 1744), het Noorse schip de MV Eidsvold (1942), het Japanse schip de Nissei Maru (1942), de Indonesische vluchtelingenboten SIEV X (2001) en SIEV 221 (2010), en het in Panama geregistreerde MS Tycoon (2012).

Thomas heeft het team een schat aan informatie gestuurd over twee andere Nederlandse schepen: de Arinus Marinus met een gewicht van 1100 ton en de 496 ton wegende Vice Admiraal Rijk die respectievelijk vlakbij en op Christmas Island vergaan zijn in 1821 en 1852. De Vice Admiraal Rijk is in onze vorige blogs al aan bod gekomen, dus nu is de Arinus Marinus aan de beurt!

De Arinus Marinus

Na het Verdrag van Parijs van 1814 namen Rotterdamse handelaren Britse schepen over om deze in te zetten voor de Nederlandse koopvaardijvloot die op Indië voer. Een van deze schepen was de Arinus Marinus, een Engels fregat dat was gebouwd in 1803 en oorspronkelijk de Ceylon heette. Het schip werd in 1815 gekocht door een Rotterdamse scheepvaartmaatschappij. De Arinus Marinus voer in 1816 naar Indië en werd daar onder andere gebruikt voor de theehandel.

Photo 1

Foto 1: Afbeelding van de Arinus Marinus op de bladmuziek. Dit lied gaat over de schipbreuk van de Arinus Marinus.

In 1821 werd het schip beladen om vol goederen terug te varen naar Rotterdam. De wind dreef de Arinus Marinus vlak langs Christmas Island, met fatale gevolgen voor vrijwel alle 200 bemanningsleden – slechts vier mannen overleefden de schipbreuk. Vastgeklampt aan een stuk hout dreven deze vier rond op zee, totdat ze werden gered door het Deense schip de Souvereign.

De Arinus Marinus had een hele bijzondere lading aan boord: een collectie natuurvoorwerpen die bestemd was voor het Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie (het huidige Museum Naturalis) in Leiden. De lading bestond uit 15 kisten, met daarin onder meer:

  • 5 kisten vol opgezette dieren,
  • twee kisten met geprepareerde huiden en vellen,
  • 4 kisten met skeletten,
  • 3 kisten vol mineralen en steenmonsters.
  • 36 verschillende planten uit Java voor de Hortus botanicus in Leiden,
  • een zwarte tijger
  • en een olifant!

Photo 2Foto 3: Bezig met het laden van alle duikapparatuur!


Op donderdag waren we klaar met de metingen, dus op vrijdag zijn we begonnen met duiken om de magnetische afwijkingen op te sporen! Na alle planning, metingen, analyses en voorbereidingen komt het nu aan op de duiken die we de komende dagen gaan uitvoeren. Daarbij hopen we dat we iets te zien krijgen wat de natuur normaal gesproken niet voortbrengt: een rechte lijn! De natuur is geweldig, maar wij richten ons op door mensenhanden gemaakte materialen met rechte lijnen: ankerstokken, kanonnen en andere archeologische voorwerpen. Als er een rechte lijn in het koraal te zien is, betekent dit vaak dat er cultureel materiaal onder ligt. De natuur maakt namelijk geen rechte lijnen onder water, maar als er een stuk van het koraal afbreekt, ziet het er behoorlijk recht uit. Groot plaatkoraal is letterlijk overvloedig aanwezig in het gebied waar we aan het duiken zijn. Dit koraal kan een korte, rechte rand vormen als het afbreekt, waardoor je hart van spanning soms even overslaat voordat de hoop op een schitterende vondst opnieuw de bodem in wordt geslagen.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR3506.Foto 3: Hier zie je mij omlaaggaan langs de afdaallijn.


Foto 4: We laten een afdaallijn zakken op de plek van de afwijkingen en vanaf daar duiken we in cirkels tot een diepte van 30 meter.

We hebben ook gedoken naar de MV Eidsvold en de Nissei Maru (twee scheepswrakken uit W.O. II) om corrosiemetingen uit te voeren.


Foto 5: Boren en corrosiemetingen uitvoeren op de Nissei Maru.


Foto 6: Het wrak van de MV Eidsvold is een prachtige duikplek!

 Op dinsdag vertrekken we naar Cocos Keeling Islands. Hopelijk kunnen we duiken op alle locaties waarvoor de magnetometer abnormale waarden heeft aangegeven!

Rainy days, more research and wreck stories: updates from Christmas Island

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So what have we been up to last week?

29-02-2016 – Today we were kept to shore with torrential rain pouring on the island. Not that rain should in itself stop maritime archaeology but as we are using electronics and the water integrity of the vessel’s cabin is not perfect, we choose to err on the side of safety for the equipment. Taking advantage of another day on shore the team split up to achieve multiple objectives. Magnetometer data collected in previous days is being processed. Initially mag data was analysed which correlated to the expected wreck location of the Eidsvold. We were highly gratified to know that we were able to locate a known site.

Meet the team members in this blog

Other work continued on translating Dutch archival information, preparing for proposed photogrammetry on the Emden site (should weather allow us access) and calibrating equipment for taking corrosion potential measurements tomorrow. A large amount of pot noodles and canned tuna continued to be consumed by the group!

Photo 1Robert de Hoop & Graeme Henderson working on translating Dutch archival information.

Photo 2Shinatria going through the calibration of equipment prior to commencing a corrosion survey of two local shipwrecks.

Computer Vision Photogrammetry
Recent advances in technology have made photogrammetry an easy and effective means of creating 3D models. The practice is now relatively commonplace on most archaeological excavations, terrestrial or underwater. Recognising the archaeological and interpretive value of photogrammetry team members have been practising collecting images and processing those images into 3D models to be better placed to rapidly document any site in the short time available during fieldwork.

Attached are some images of a Prahu Cadik located at Flying Fish Cove and an anchor found leaning outside the local pub. As you can see the anchor has a shackle (for chain) rather than a ring (for hemp rope). This is reported to have become common after the invention of the steam hammer in the 1830’s. The anchor may date from c 1840-1880 and is in the Admiralty pattern.

Photo 3The 3D model of a Prahu Cadik which was located at Flying Fish Cove that we made.

Photo 4A 3D model of an anchor found leaning outside the local pub.

We are now trying to make 3D models using GoPro footage from last year’s expedition.

01-03-2016 – Today was another rainy day, but we decided to go out on the water anyway. We surveyed the entire west side of the island and filled in some gaps on the south side. The surveying should now be done! With the weather clearing up we can hopefully start diving soon to check out the anomalies that we have found. Tomorrow morning the gathered data will be post processed and refined and in the afternoon, if weather allows it, we will dive on the Nissi Maru and the Eidsvold to measure the corrosion of the wrecks. This will give us an indication of the degradation/corrosion process around the island.

Photo 5As Azmi Yon said: ‘It is like a tropical Baltic Sea’.

Photo 6Everyone hard at work during the magnetometer survey.

Wrecksites around the island
In our previous blogs we also started to introduce other wrecks around Christmas Island. Beside looking for the Fortuyn other aims of this project are  the training of students and the inventory of the seabed around the island. While doing our magnetometer research and continuing the historical research we came across other really interesting wreck sites. The two – non-Dutch-  sites below  -the Eidsvold and the Nissi Maru – will be dived upon in the days to come as part as a measurement to establish the rate of corrosion on the metal wrecks.

On 21 January 1942 the Norwegian vessel Eidsvold was loading phosphate in Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island, when it was struck by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-159. The ship broke in two and was abandoned by her 31 crew. The vessel drifted and eventually sank off West White Beach. On the 6th of  February, the crew were rescued by HMS Durban. They arrived at Batavia, Netherlands East Indies on the 20th  of February. At that time, the attack of Japan on the Dutch colony has already began. The Dutch Indies will capitulate on the 9th of March that year.

Photo 4T

The Eidsvold caught fire after it was attacked and is portrayed on a stamp from Christmas Island.

The location of the wreck is known and the team used this wreck to test the magnetometer. Taking the magnetometer over a known shipwreck site enables us to calibrate the instrument, and ensure ability to pick up ferrous material from an unknown shipwreck. It also helps to refine our ability to acquire data and interpret in the field. This allows great flexibility while working on the boat. The magnetic signature is clearly seen and the system is working extremely well. We will also measure the corrosion of this wreck using corrosion potential monitoring equipment later this week.

Photo 5The result of taking the magnetometer over the Eidsvold.

Nissei Maru

Photo 6

Flying Fish Cove in 1929 from the cliff top. The pier is longer than it is now and during diving we found not only the Nissei Maru but also a lot of parts that must have belonged to the destroyed pier.

The same kind of corrosion measurements will be conducted on the Nissei Maru. This Japanese cargo ship of 338 tons was moored at the pier on the 17th of November 1942when it was torpedoed – as claimed – by the US submarine Searaven (SS-196).  The island was occupied by Japanese forces at the time. The sinking of the Nissei Maru marks the end of Japanese attempts to export phosphate from the island. During the attack the pier was also damaged and a storm in 1951 did  damage to the jetty even more and it was demolished soon after.

Robert de Hoop

Introducing the Fortuyn 2016 team

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A couple of blogs have already been written and the team has already been working together for a week on Christmas Island, so it is due time to properly introduce everyone. We also finally got a photo with everyone in it! So here we go, from left to right:

Photo 1Team members in 2016 along the back from the left to the right: Alex Moss Graeme Henderson, Shinatria Adhityatama and Robert de Hoop. In the front row James Parkinson and Andrew Viduka

Graeme Henderson (AM, Cit WA)

In 1963 Graeme made the first discovery of a 17th century shipwreck in Australian waters. In the following year he and co-finders, brother Alan, father Jim and John Cowan, persuaded the Western Australian Museum to become responsible for historic shipwrecks with a Deed of Assignment, transferring their finder’s rights of the Gilt Dragon (Vergulde Draeck) to the Museum. Graeme joined the Museum in 1969 and worked in the field of Maritime Archaeology until 1992. From 1992-2005 he was the Inaugural Director of the Western Australian Maritime Museum. From 1993-2005 he was Delegate to the Commonwealth Minister for the Historic Shipwrecks Act.

He developed awareness of Australia’s 18th century shipwrecks, leading early expeditions to the wrecks of the Sydney Cove off Tasmania, HMS Sirius on Norfolk Island and HMS Pandora off Queensland. He escorted VIPs through the Western Australian Maritime Museum including Prince Phillip, Prince Charles, the Sultan of Brunei and Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange (now King of the Netherlands).

He jointly led a UNESCO Mission to examine the feasibility of establishing the world’s first underwater Museum at the Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Australia ICOMOS invited him to establish the International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage Heritage and in that role he coordinated the development of the draft for the Annex of the UNESCO 2001 Convention for Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, now adopted by 54 countries.

Graeme arranged a partnership between the Maritime Museum and the Duyfken Replica Foundation for the construction of the replica Duyfken at the Museum. He lobbied successfully to have Australia’s Most Famous Yacht Australia II brought back to Western Australia. He is the author of 13 books and over 100 articles about the maritime heritage. Since 2009 he has been a Research Associate with the Western Australian Museum.

Andrew Viduka (B.A., B.App.Sci., MMA) 

Andrew Viduka has been employed as an Archaeological Objects Conservator, Maritime Archaeologist and Cultural Heritage Manager. Andrew is a Research Associate of the Department of Archaeology at Flinders University, Churchill Fellow, member of Australia ICOMOS, Bureau member of the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH) and Councilor of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA). He is the author of numerous scientific papers and contributed to and co-edited the 2014 Towards Ratification: Papers from the 2013 AIMA Conference Workshop.

Andrew is employed as the Assistant Director of Maritime Heritage in the Australian Government Department of the Environment and administers the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 and Australia’s National Historic Shipwreck Program. Andrew is an ADAS Part 2 diver and has led the development of the Australian National Shipwreck Database and Australia’s National Research Project on in situ preservation and reburial. Andrew’s current research foci include searching for the Fortuyn shipwreck, an underwater survey of the Larnaca District of Cyprus, shared heritage management, Australian national capacity building projects and linking community outcomes with the discovery and protection of underwater cultural heritage.

James Parkinson (B.A.)

James Parkinson completed his Archaeology Degree from La Trobe University, Melbourne, (2000) and a Graduate Diploma in Maritime Archaeology from Flinders University, Adelaide, (2009). James also holds an ADAS Advanced Diploma in Dive Project Management (2014), ADAS Part 3 diver, ADAS Dive Trainer, Dive Supervisor, Dive Medic Technician and Coxswain certifications.

James began his diving career in 1995 and commercial diving career in 1998. To date James has 5000+ commercially logged dives both onshore and offshore in Australia, the Middle East and Europe. After joining Professional Diving Services, Melbourne, Victoria in 1998 James spent 16 years working as a diver, ADAS Dive Supervisor, Project Manager, ADAS Dive trainer and Operations Manager and after leaving in 2013 continues to work for PDS in a consultancy capacity. During late 2013 James was privileged to have been asked to be involved in the diving operations salvaging the Costa Concordia on the island of Giglio, Italy. For the previous 3 years James has been working offshore in the southern sector of the North Sea for a Swedish offshore diving company Nordic Dive Enterprise contracted to provide diving services from dynamically positioned vessels during the construction phases of the offshore wind farms being built off the German coast.

While continuing to pursue a career as a commercial diver James has been heavily involved in a numerous maritime archaeological projects in his career both in a voluntary and professional capacity.

Alex Moss (B.A. B.Sc. MSc)

Alex Moss is principal consultant for Maritime Heritage Surveys, and principal investigator for ShipShapeSearchers, a non-profit organisation with the research purpose of obtaining and using non-archaeological remote sensing datasets for maritime archaeological purposes.

Alex has worked as a contracting archaeologist in the UK and Australia, after gaining his Msc in maritime archaeology (2006) from the University of Southampton, B.Sc in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London (2005) and B.A. in archaeology at Flinders University (1993).

Alex gained the part III certificate from the Nautical Archaeology Society, BSAC Sports Diver and ADAS part I commercial diving qualifications.

Shinatria Adhityatama (S.S.)

Shinatria Adhityatama is from Jakarta, Indonesia and graduated as Bachelor of Archaeology from Gadjah Mada University in 2012. He’s one of the Indonesian Maritime Archaeologists who is currently working for National Research Center for Archaeologist (Puslit Arkenas) in Jakarta, Indonesia and has published peer reviewed papers.

Shinatria has been diving since 2006 and doing research on maritime archaeology since 2008. Since then he has been involved in domestic and international maritime archaeology projects and training. Some of the projects include: The exploration of German U-boat in Java Sea in 2013; The exploration of Prehistoric Maritime Culture in Misool Island, Raja Ampat in 2014; Survey the HMAS Perth (I) in Sunda straits in 2014; The exploration of Underwater Archaeology in the Outer Island of Indonesia: Natuna Island in 2015; Research for Shipwrecks in Belitung Island in 2015; and participated in the Underwater Archaeology Research and Field School in Selayar Island in 2015.

Robert de Hoop (B.A. Hons)

Robert de Hoop is from the Netherlands and is currently studying for his masters at the Maritime Archaeology Programme at the University of Southern Denmark. Robert completed a bachelor in Archaeology with Honors at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and has obtained his commercial diving IDSA level 1 ticket, Commercial SCUBA Diver. Robert’s undergraduate thesis about predicting underwater cultural heritage was linked to an internship at the Maritime Programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.

Robert participated at: the International Fieldschool of Maritime Archaeology Flevoland, where he helped with the excavation of a ship on land (the OR49); in writing the process and best practice guidelines for the EU-project SASMAP; and the Oostvoornse Meer project with Computer Vision Photogrammetry. Robert is continuing his involvement in photogrammetry while involved in the Fortuyn Project as an intern.


Team Fortuyn 2016 stelt zich voor

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Inmiddels hebben we al meerdere blogs gepubliceerd. Het wordt nu echt tijd om het Christmas Island team aan jullie voor te stellen.  Ook hebben we eindelijk een foto waar iedereen opstaat!

Photo 1Teamleden in 2016 vanuit de achterste rij gezien, van  links naar rechts: Alex Moss, Graeme Henderson, Shinatria Adhityatama and Robert de Hoop. In the front row James Parkinson and Andrew Viduka

Graeme Henderson (AM, Cit WA)

In 1963 ontdekte Graeme voor het eerst een 17e eeuws scheepswrak in Australische wateren. In het opvolgende jaar heeft hij met zijn compagnons, broer Alan, vader Jim en John Cowan, het Western Australian Museum ervan kunnen overtuigen de verantwoordelijkheid voor dit historische scheepswrak te nemen. In een overeenkomst zijn de vindersrechten van de Vergulde Draek aan het museum overgedragen. Graeme is in 1969 in dienst gekomen bij het museum en hij is tot 1992 werkzaam geweest bij de sectie  maritieme archeologie. Van 1992-2005 was hij directeur van het Western Australian Museum en van 1993-2005 was hij afgevaardigde bij de Commonwealth Minister for the Historic Shipwreck Act.

Hij ontwikkelende een bewustzijn in Australië voor 18de eeuwse scheepswrakken, leidde de eerste expedities naar de wrakken van de Sydney Cove uit Tasmanië , HMS Sirius op Norfolk Island en HMS Pandora uit Queensland. Ook begeleidde hij VIP’s door het Western Australian Maritime Museum , waaronder de Britse Prinsen Philip en Charles , de sultan van Brunei en prins Willem – Alexander van Oranje (nu Koning van Nederland).

Hij leidde een UNESCO missie om de haalbaarheid van de oprichting van ‘s werelds eerste onderwater Museum aan de Pharos vuurtoren in Alexandrië te toetsen, één van de zeven wonderen van de Oude Wereld. Australië ICOMOS nodigde hem ook uit voor het Internationaal Comité voor Onderwater Cultureel Erfgoed en in die rol coördineerde hij de ontwikkeling van de UNESCO-conventie 2001 voor de bescherming van het cultureel erfgoed onderwater, dat nu door 52 landen is geratificeerd.

Graeme heeft een samenwerkingsverband opgezet tussen het Maritiem Museum en de Duyfken Replica Foundation voor de bouw van de replica Duyfken in het Museum. Hij  heeft er ook voor gezorgd dat Australië ’s  meest bekende sportzeil jacht Australië II weer werd teruggebracht naar West-Australië en dar nu in het Western Australian Museum tezien is. Hij is de auteur van 13 boeken en heeft meer dan 100 artikelen over het maritieme erfgoed geschreven. Sinds 2009 is hij voor onderzoek verbonden aan het Western Australian Museum.

Andrew Viduka (B.A., B.App.Sci., MMA) 

Andrew Viduka is werkzaam als  conservator archeologische objecten, maritiem archeoloog en Cultureel Erfgoed Manager. Ook is Andrew als geassocieerd onderzoeker verbonden aan de afdeling Archeologie van Flinders University, Churchill Fellow, lid van Australië ICOMOS , Bureau lid van het ICOMOS Internationaal Comité van het cultureel erfgoed onder water ( ICUCH ) en raadslid van de Australasian Instituut voor Maritieme Archeologie (AIMA) . Hij is de auteur van verschillende wetenschappelijke artikelen en heeft bijgedragen aan en was co- redacteur van het in 2014 gepubliceerde Towards Ratification: Papers from the 2013 AIMA Conference Workshop over de mogelijkheden voor ratificatie van het UNESCO verdrag voor de bescherming van het  onderwater cultureel erfgoed door Australië  

Ook is hij werkzaam als adjunct-directeur van het maritieme erfgoed bij het Australische departement wat onderdeel is van het ministerie van Milieu. Het departement  beheert de Gemenebest  historische scheepswrakken wet (Historic Shipwreck Act) uit 1976 en het Nationaal Historisch Scheepswrakken Programma van Australië. Andrew is een ADAS Part 2 duiker en heeftde ontwikkeling van het Nationaal onderzoeksprogramma voor in situ behoud en de herbegraving in Australië geleid. Andrew’s huidige onderzoek richt zich onder meer op de zoektocht naar het Fortuyn scheepswrak, een onderwater survey van het district Larnaca op Cyprus, gemeenschappelijk erfgoed beheer, Australische nationale projecten voor capaciteitsopbouw en het koppelen van de gemeenschap met de ontdekking en de bescherming van cultureel erfgoed onder water.

James Parkinson (B.A.)

James Parkinson voltooide zijn Archeologie opleiding bij de La Trobe University, Melbourne, (2000) en is afgestudeerd in Maritieme archeologie bij Flinders University, Adelaide (2009). James heeft ook een ADAS Advanced Diploma in duik project management ( 2014), ADAS deel 3 duiker, ADAS duik trainer, duikploegleider, technisch medisch duiker en stuurman certificeringen.

James begon zijn duikcarrière in 1995 en vanaf 1998 mag hij ook als commercieel duiker opereren. Tot op heden heeft James 5000+ commercieel gelogde duiken zowel in binnenwateren als offshore in Australië, het Midden-Oosten en Europa. Na de toetreding tot Professional Diving Services, Melbourne, Victoria in 1998 is James 16 jaar als commercieel duiker werkzaam geweest en als ADAS Dive Supervisor, Project Manager, ADAS Dive trainer en als Operations Manager. Daarna is hij blijven werken als duik consultant. Eind 2013 is James gevraagd om te ondersteunen bij de duikoperaties en berging van de Costa Concordia op het eiland Giglio, Italië. De afgelopen 3 jaar heeft James offshore gewerkt in de Noordzee voor het Zweedse duikbedrijf Nordic Dive Enterprise voor het bouwen van windmolenparken voor de Duitse kust.

Naast zijn carrière als een commercieel duiker is James ook betrokken bij een groot aantal maritieme archeologische projecten, op zowel vrijwillige als professionele basis.

Alex Moss (B.A. B.Sc. MSc)

Alex Moss werkt als hoofdconsultant voor Maritime Heritage Surveys  en is hoofdonderzoeker van ShipShapeSearchers, een non-profit organisatie met als doel om inzicht te verkrijgen in het gebruik van niet – archeologische remote sensing datasets voor maritiem archeologisch doeleinden.

Alex heeft gewerkt als archeoloog in het Verenigd Koninkrijk en Australië, na het behalen van zijn Master of Science in de maritieme archeologie ( 2006) aan de Universiteit van Southampton, Bachelor of Science in de archeologie van het Instituut voor Archeologie aan University College London (2005) en Bachelor in de archeologie aan Flinders University (1993).


Alex heeft de kwalificatiesdeel III certificaat van de Nautical Archaeology Society, BSAC Sport Diver en ADAS deel I commerciële duiken.

Shinatria Adhityatama (S.S.)

Shinatria Adhityatama woont in Jakarta, Indonesië en heeft in 2012 de Bachelor in de archeologie behaald aan  de Gadjah Mada Universiteit. Hij is een van de Indonesische maritieme archeologen die momenteel werkzaam is voor  het Nationale onderzoekscentrum voor archelogie (Puslit Arkenas) in Jakarta, Indonesië en heeft diverse artikelen gepubliceerd.

Shinatria duikt sinds 2006 en sinds 2008 doet hij onderzoek in de maritieme archeologie. Sindsdien is hij betrokken geweest bij de binnenlandse en internationale maritieme archeologie projecten en trainingen. Een aantal van de projecten zijn: De verkenning van de Duitse U-boot in de Javazee in 2013; Onderzoek naar de prehistorische Maritieme Culturen op Misool Island, Raja Ampat in 2014; De onderzoek naar  de HMAS Perth (I) in Straat Soenda in 2014; Onderwater Archeologische vrkenning bij het ‘Outer Island’ van Indonesië: Natuna Island in 2015; Onderzoek voor scheepswrakken in Belitung Island in 2015; en hij nam deel aan de Onderwater Archeologie Onderzoek en Field School in Selayar Island in 2015.

Robert de Hoop (B.A. Hons)

Robert de Hoop komt uit Nederland en volgt momenteel zijn masters in de Maritieme Archeologie aan de Universiteit van Zuid-Denemarken. Robert voltooide een bachelor in de Archeologie bij Saxion in Nederland en heeft zijn commerciële duiken IDSA niveau 1 behaald en zijn Commercial Scuba certificering verkregen. Hij heeft onderzoek gedaan naar de bruikbaarheid van de Historisch Geo-Morfologische waardenkaarten van de Waddenzee als stage bij het Maritiem Programma van de Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.  Robert heeft ook deelgenomen aan de International Fieldschool for Maritime Archaeology in Flevoland (IFMAF), waar hij hielp met het opgraven van een schip op het land (de OR49), het schrijven van ‘Best Practices’ voor het EU – project SASMAP ; en tijdens het Oostvoornse Meer project werkte hij aan 3D fotogrammetrie. Ook tijdens het Fortuyn project zal hij zich hier mee bezig gaan houden.