7 July 2020 - Flinders Returns!
In 2016 a large log was discovered buried in the beach at American River by the builders of the retaining wall outside the RIG Boathouse and Deck café. The log is about 2 feet in diameter and 16 feet long and lies at right angles to the shore, sloping towards the waterline.
We know it is a type of log that was used for early wooden boat building, and this log was clearly cut down by axe. But here the mystery thickens: it has a step, or notch, cut at exactly mid-length on the top surface, in which a flat stone had been embedded with tar.
We asked: Who cut this step? And - are there other logs like this?
In 2018 Dr Ian Moffat of Flinders University undertook a ground-penetrating radar survey of the beach area and yes, there were radar signals indicating several other shapes - possibly logs - parallel to the first, at regular intervals.
Was this a shipbuilding ‘yard’ at some stage? How long ago? Could it even date back to the 19th century?
To answer all these questions a team from Flinders University will be in American River from Tuesday 21 to Friday 24 July to dig at the site and uncover its mysteries. Many thanks to Sealink for providing discounted travel for the team - one staff member and 5 postgraduate students – which will be led by Professor Wendy van Duivenvoorde of the Department of Maritime Archaeology History, Archaeology & Geography. And so, Flinders Returns!
The RIG Boathouse will be open all of that week and visitors are welcome.
Who knows what will be discovered!?