Community Support

This article of July 2004 was written about the extraordinary community outpouring that occurred in support of the historic 2004 research and dive project.

Frolic Researchers Don’t Live by Bread Alone

By Robert Becker, volunteer

One-time anthology major thrilled to have history in her backyard, South Caspar resident Carol Ann Falk spent 50 hours getting her neighbors to endorse Frolic Cove as an underwater state park. Win Bowen transported (not once, but twice), garaged, and researched how to conserve an 1100 lb. 1840s cast iron cannon (for years half-buried in a Mendocino garden). A third donor, Kevin Braun and Lauren Reed, contributed deluxe accommodations (their lovely vacation rental house) for up to ten divers for ten days.

Over twenty locals will cook lunches and dinners for the professional science team who will catalog hundreds of Gold Rush artifacts, set up long-term baselines studies, and overcome challenging swells to dive in a tricky cove. A slew of folks will help with Saturday’s Rescue Relics Day (July 31) at the Lighthouse, when veteran sports divers are invited to make public, for the permanent Frolic record, relics held in private hands.

So if you think sponsoring an historic, ten-day research and dive project is just about feeding and housing a dive team – think again. Certainly, the topflight team – including an anthropology professor, maritime archaeologists, specialists from State Parks and State Lands, an artifact conservator, and an array of eager student divers – needs quality bed and board to sustain energy, focus and enthusiasm for ten grueling days.

Indeed, the extensive range of unpaid volunteer contributions is eye-popping, including: gaining the State Park underwater park designation, fundraising (targeting local businesses, donors, and grants funding), housing, food (especially lunches and dinners), transportation of people, artifacts, and equipment, interpretation (docent walks, public outreach and displays), diving safety measures, photography (both underwater and dry), web mastering, daily journals, extensive public relations to regional and national media, direct dive support (equipment, dive boat and maintenance) and, of course, recording key artifacts from this dive and others over the years.

Last year, after finishing days of underwater mapping and photography, maritime archaeologist and world traveler,