Yorktown whale day 3; the Navy to rescue!


I’ve been a bit concerned about this excavation. It’s supposed to start raining on Friday, and with the pit already only a few inches above the water table it will rapidly flood. We’ve been getting a lot of help from William and Mary students, but I’ve been worried about getting everything removed before the weather turns bad. The biggest obstacle is the 20-foot cliff that we have to climb to remove every single jacket. Some of the jackets are several hundred pounds, and we weren’t sure how we were going to get them up the cliff.

That changed today, when 13 sailors volunteered their time to help with the jacketing and transport. Combined with the help of the W&M students and other volunteers, we were able to finish off the first 9 jackets and move them up the hill.



The largest jacket we removed today was a pair of thoracic or lumbar vertebrae (I’m not sure which):


This jacket probably weighed around 200 lbs (2 vertebrae!), and required a bit of effort to get up the cliff:



We have even larger jackets still to come, but we’ve been promised a lot of additional help tomorrow, so I’m confident we’ll be able to get everything up the hill.

Thanks again to the Navy and William and Mary for all the help that’s making this possible.

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