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The UASC meets the last Wednesday of each month at the Chicago Maritime Museum located at 1200 West 35th Street, Suite OE5010, Chicago, IL 60609. Free event, ALL ARE WELCOME. Refreshments 6:30, Business 7:00, Speaker 8:00.


Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago



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March 2008 PDF Print E-mail

Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago

Meeting Minutes 26 March 2008


  •  Approximately 40 members met at 6:30 at the 8th floor of the Helix Building, 310 S. Racine at Jackson, including several new members and guests.
  • Bob Gadbois provided pre-meeting entertainment in the form of videos from the ICSSD Underwater Competition.
  • Tonight's meeting was run by Joan Forsberg, with food provided by Howard Openlander.

Board and Committee Reports

  • Secretary - John Bell read the minutes from the last meeting, which were approved.
  • Treasury –  Bob Gadbois reported on the state of UASC finances. Contact Bob for further information.
  • ICSSD Claire Gadbois reported on the Illinois Council of Skin and Scuba Divers:
    • The Underwater Competition was held March 16th, with 3 clubs participating. The UASC team came in third. After the raffle, everyone went to a nearby sports bar.
    • The next event is the Jim Haigh Memorial Dive tentatively scheduled for July 20th.
    • Presidents' Night will be October 11th, probably at Charlie's Char House, like last year. Don't forget, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots are due at Presidents' Night.
    • The Council is continuing to distribute dive flag safety fliers to all marinas in the Chicago area.
  • Membership – In Roger Brown's absence, John Bell provided a mailing list based on the data in Bob Gadbois's spreadsheet. Please contact Bob if any of the data on this sheet needs to be corrected, or John for formatting issues..
  • Newsletter – Cris Kohl distributed copies of the March-April issue of the WreckChecker, featuring articles on the Buccaneer project, Bonne-Terre Mine trip, Door County Trip, and Calendar of Events. See below for more details on some of these projects.
  • Dive Coordinator – John Bell presented Project Status Report forms for comment, and requested that all Project Leaders fill out and return the forms at their convenience.
  • Other:
    • Webmaster - John Bell reported that the web site continues to receive slow but steady improvements, and that the new e-mailing lists have received a positive response.

Old Business

  • Ghost Ships Festival - John Bell reported on the Ghost Ships Festival, held in Milwaukee March 7-8. Overall good contacts were made, a lot was learned, and three memberships were obtained. Ruth Loftus and others spoke with Ralph Wilbanks about possibly speaking at a future UASC meeting.
  • Great Lakes Yacht Club meeting - Joan Forsberg and Cris Kohl reported on this meeting, held March 15th.
  • ICSSD Underwater Competition - Claire Gadbois reported on this event, held Sunday March 16th
    • UASC came in third, our highest placing ever!
  • Cities of the Underground, Chicago aired on the History Channel Monday March 17, featuring film footage by Larry Boucha and "acting" by Valerie Olsen Van Heest. The show will air again on April 6th at 10:00 a.m., according to this blurb from the History Channel web site:
    • Cities Of The Underworld : Mob Underground Airs on Sunday April 06 10:00 AM
      Chicago was once a playground for mobsters and corrupt politicians. It wouldn't be the third largest city in the U.S. today if it weren't for the shady dealings that went on just beneath its streets. From vice dens and top-secret railroad lines to sunken shipwrecks and the spark that created the A-Bomb, host Don Wildman unearths the true history of the Windy City.
  • The Chicago Maritime Society ( our normal meeting hosts ) is looking for help remodelling their museum space. Contact Joan for more information
  • Jim Jarecki reported positive feedback on school presentations, and requested that others volunteer to give similar presentations.

New Business

  • Bonne Terre Mine Trip - April 25-27
    • Don Dohererty, trip coordinator.
    • Joan spoke in Don't absence.
    • $400 / person, 2 nights accomodations, 5 dives.
    • MUST PAY by this weekend!
    • Contact Don at 708 636-3619 for more information.
  • Door County Dive Trip - June 27-29,
    • Joan Forsberg, trip coordinator
    • $100 / day of diving.
    • lodging arrangements and exact dive sites TBD
  • Clean-up Days for Members' Boats
    • Offered to members who own boats, on the day and schedule of their choice. Members wishing to take advantage of this offer should indicate how many helpers they need and when, and what tasks need to be performed, ( i.e. what skills are needed. )
  • The Buccaneer Project -
    • Cris Kohl briefly discussed some of the highlights from the excellent front-page article on the Buccaneer and its history from the Wreck Checker.
    • Jim Gentile is currently working on soliciting funding and the necessary bureaucratic approvals, and hopes to complete cleanup by the end of May and sink the ship in October.
    • Kathy Braun is interested in preparing a film documentary on the cleanup and sinking operations.
    • This would be an excellent opportunity to learn and practice surveying practices on dry land. ( The blueprints are available for slate production, but we can check the accuracy and quality of our surveying techniques against the blueprints. )
    • The ship is currently docked at Marine Services in Dolton, around 150th street.
  • Suggestions are always welcome for future guest speakers.  
  • Shipwreck Survey Projects - See Below
  • The CPR Class scheduled for Saturday March 29th has been postponed, probably to Thursday April 10th. Contact Chet Childs for further information.
    • 6:30 P.M. Wednesday, April 30, 2008
    • EIGHTH FLOOR Helix Building
    • Speaker: Most likely Larry Boucha, but possibly Richie Kohler if his schedule allows. ( Richie is committed to come speak to UASC some other time if not in April. )
    • Refreshments?
  • OTHER:
  • The Ford Seahorses will be holding the 27th Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival on Saturday April 19th from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
  • Brendon Baillod announced that the Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association will be holding a Underwater Archeology Survey Field School on June 21st in Milwaukee. Class activities will include classroom work as well as diving in 10 to 15 feet of water on The Volunteer, just inside the breakwall of the Milwaukee South Shore Marina. Class fees are $50 for the morning classroom session and $70 for the afternoon dive session. See the WUAA web site or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

Shipwreck Survey Projects

  • Material Service - Jim Jarecki/ John Loftus / Tony Kiefer
  • Barge No. 2 - John Loftus
  • David Wells - Liz Jurkacek
  • The Straits of Mackinac - Tony Kiefer
  • Status of ALL Chicago area shipwrecks - John Bell proposed a project for every shipwreck in Chicago to be visited by at least one UASC member this dive season, and the status of all wrecks compiled into a summary presentation for the fall dive show season. John presented Dive Report forms for comment, and requested that all divers fill out and return the forms at their convenience.
  • Inactive Projects:

Guest Speaker

  •  Brendon Baillod - Great Lakes Maritime Historian Brendon Baillod is an internet expert regarding Great Lakes shipwrecks, and he loves collecting books about Great Lakes history. Brendon, who works as a software engineer, has two Bachelors Degrees, one in Psychology and one in Management Informatioin Systems. Originally from Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, he now lives with his wife and son in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. This evening, Brendon gave an excellent presentation about the Great Lakes’ greatest mystery: the maiden voyage disappearance with all hands in September, 1679, of the first ship on the upper lakes, explorer La Salle’s Griffon.

Photo by Dan Kasberger, © 2008, all rights reserved, used with permission:

Other Business

  • The meeting was adjourneda at approximately 9:00, after which a number of members retired to Ricobene's for further discussions and socializing.
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