The Old Weather that we all know and love has been moved to:http://classic.oldweather.orgClick here for information on finding and joining our projects.For password problems, or problems with registering for a forum account,please read this postShip histories can be found at Naval-History.Net
Pioneer is a US Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship. See http://www.history.noaa.gov/ships/pioneer1.htmlThese ships want to know everything about the shape of the coast, and the shape, depth and composition of the sea floor, and the state of currents in the area in order to make charts for safe navigation.Charts produced by these ships can be seen at http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/csdl/ctp/abstract.htm
The soundings on the American coast are so regular that a navigator knows as well where he has made land, by the soundings, as he would by seeing the land. Black mud is the soundings of Block Island. As you go toward Nantucket, it changes to a dark sand; then, sand and white shells; and on George's Banks, white sand;...On Monday morning, the increased depth and deep blue color of the water, and the mixture of shells and white sand which we brought up, upon sounding, showed that we were in the channel, and nearing George's; accordingly, the ship's head was put directly to the northward, and we stood on, with perfect confidence in the soundings, though we had not taken an observation for two days, nor seen land; and the difference of an eighth of a mile out of the way might put us ashore.