We set up base camp for the 2011 Wayne’s Sink Excavation in a rustic fishing cabin right on the banks of the Aucilla river. The cabin has archaeology in its history, as for many years it served as the temporary headquarters for the Aucilla River Prehistory Project.
The beautiful old building is made entirely from local tounge and groove magnolia boards. The deck looks right out over the river where the Aucilla comes rushing up from an underground stretch. Right off the back deck there is a convenient dock where we could load and unload the small boat.
The cabin was made available by Ed Green, who supplied much of the equipment, logistical assistance and local archaeological expertise. Without Ed, the project would never have gotten off the ground! We used his pontoon boat, small motorboat, kayaks, trailers, and personal equipment.
Built on top of two WWII steel bridge pontoons, Eddie’s pontoon boat makes a great diving platform. It is wide and stable, but a bit tricky to maneuver amongst the rocks at low tide. We took it up and down the river every day, and tied up at JoAnn’s dock at night.
Ed is a veteran of many years on the Aucilla River Prehistory Project. He designed and built both their pump barge and floating screen decks, and built ours along the same lines. We were able to leave the floating screen deck and pump barge on site, tucked out of the way in overhanging bushes. It was a relief not to have to tow them up and down the river every day. Initial set up was tricky enough. We piled every piece of equipment we had on the pontoon boat and used it to tow the screen deck down river. The screen deck was piled itself with the dredge head and coils of semi flexible hose. Turns in the river got interesting – avoiding rocks, more so.