Aucilla River Base Camp

The view of the Aucilla from the deck of Ed Green’s Cabin

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 view of the Aucilla from the deck of Ed Green's Cabin. - 2011© Douglas Inglis

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.

The dive barge, in the rain, tied up a JoAnn's Dock. - 2011© Douglas Inglis

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.

Eddie steering the pontoon boat and screen deck down river. - 2011© Douglas Inglis

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Aucilla River, Prehistoric Archaeology

Author:Doug Inglis: divingarchaeology.com

I study the archaeology of seaborne exploration and contact. I am passionate about public history and outreach, and write about nautical archaeology at http://divingarchaeology.com

2 Comments on “Aucilla River Base Camp”

  1. Bob Coughter
    May 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    Hi there. I found this site reminiscing on my college days in the mid 90’s. I worked on the Aucilla River Prehistory Project for several years. I can’t believe Ed’s old pontoon barge was still floating as of 2011, but maybe it was a different vessel. Ed is certainly a treasure and there were quite a few unique characters (ask Ed about Bill). I didn’t realize That old fish cabin is now Ed’s. I remember that view of Nutall Rise well. Interesting there are still research projects going on. The clear silicone of my dive mask is forever tinted brown!

    • August 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      You were very lucky to work on the Aucilla in the 90s! That must have been an incredible experience to see the project in full swing. The pontoon barge is the same – old WWII steel pontoons. The age was showing, I spent a good deal of the summer trying to keep it afloat! There is an incredible amount of work yet to be done on that river, and some exciting work still going on. The person to contact for more information would be Dr. Jessi Halligan, who teaches as University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.Glad it brought back good memories- and thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: