The French Frigate

Today, the remains of L'Herminie lie in 30-50 feet of water alongside the reef.   The 300-foot long vessel is broken up and scattered across a wide area of sandy bottom.   Various features remain, including several cannon, a large fluted anchor, a few cannon balls, part of a capstan or windlass, and a section of tiled flooring that was probably part of the ship's galley.

crossed cannons

Shaft of Windlass or Capstan
The site was mapped using baseline trilateration.   Because the surviving site features were spread so widely across the sea bottom, a single baseline running down the center of the site was considered impractical.   Many features would lie long distances from a central baseline requiring extended measurements that would be difficult to make consistently given the amount of surge experienced on the site.

Multiple baselines were a possibility, but they would have required additional set up time and record keeping.   Moreover, the datum points at the ends of each secondary baseline would need to be plotted, possibly introducing additional error into the overall map.


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