Day 3, August 4, 1998

Author: Brent Rudmann
Activities: Interesting day, purpose of which was to perform precise mapping of ship's hull and of various objects. Two artifacts brought up for surface analysis: A Brick found by John, embossed with "Carnegie." Must have been firebox bricks, and are known to historical archeologists as a major brick house that supplied California with bricks until 1906 earthquake. Found brick is typical of period.

The Pomona wreck has a wealth of marine life, including this beautiful anemone. Photo credit: Chuck Honek.

The Pomona wreck has a wealth of marine life, including this beautiful anemone. Photo credit: Chuck Honek.

Note: Carnegie: Brick works located in San Joaquin Valley, (In between Tracy and Livermore) an area with a number of clay deposits. Vast industrial site with large smokestacks and resident population.

  • A book by William Brewer, "Up and Down California in 1860", wrote an account of Carnagie brick works. "Nothing but smoke and dust."

  • The 1906 quake caused the total destruction of brickworks. The San Andreas ran through this area, and was a 20ft strikeslip quake at the site. Sheep were thrown 20 feet into air. The town was abandoned. Now there is a state off-road vehicle park.

  • Pottery shard found by Dede, 35ft starboard datum. Back of ships' china: label reads:
    John Maddock
    San Francisco

  • Lion rampant on top of label, all in blue. Photos also taken of piston, crankshaft, various bearings.

  • 150 ft of hull are seen now. Keel is now identified. It is kicked over to left and twisted/buckled in middle due to proliferation of rocks. Front edge running up slope at wash rock.

  • Picture now more complete, 16 feet out, flywheel measured, mapped, frames identified, and keel and stringers identified.

  • Mapping with GPS of various sites for better identification of Pomona site performed.

  • Note: sun out early today, fog stayed out to sea. Surge very strong at last two dives, waves a bit choppy. Divers a little battered.

Researcher Log:
I awoke this morning to a beautiful sunny day and I was excited to have another day to explore and map the wreck of the SS Pomona. This is my first opportunity to be on a nautical archaeology field project so it has been a challenge to fulfill the expectations of the team leaders. There is so much to learn and I find the easiest way is to watch and listen carefully to the more experienced members of the team and to ask a lot of questions. I am looking to pursue a master's degree in nautical archaeology so this project is giving me a slight head start in my future plans. My first impressions of the wreck were ones of confusion. The wreck is quite large and because of the age and condition of the wreck it is hard to distinguish what feature is what. The physical challenges are also a playing a role on the project since the water is a chilly 53 degrees and the visibility is only 10 feet. Even though I live in California and dive here often, I find that there is a big difference between being a sport diver and research diver. The wreck is in shallow water so the surge makes it hard to measure and record details of the site. Half of the time on the dives is spent hanging onto the seaweed for support, especially this afternoon. Today was the first opportunity I had, with my dive team, to go up to the bow section of the wreck. As with any new location it is hard just to figure out what I was looking at. After these three days I feel I have gotten a better understanding of what is required when surveying an archaeological site, but it is still a test whether or not the goal each day can be accomplished.

Deborah E. Marx
University of San Diego
May 1998 Graduate