The Polias Project: July 24 - August 7, 1999

The Polias was a ferro-cement cargo vessel built by the Emergency Fleet Program in 1919 as a response to World War I. Finished after the war ended, Polias struck Old Celley Ledge, near Port Clyde Maine, in 1920 just months after launching and was abandoned. Four years later a hurricane broke her apart. Larkin Post, a graduate student in the Maritime Studies Program, organized a field project to document the site as the subject of his masters thesis. The wreck is located in approximately 30 feet of water with water temperatures as low as 50 degree.

The Polias site exposed at low tide.

The Polias project team members were all faculty or graduate students from East Carolina University. Team members included: Larkin Post (Project Head), Frank Cantelas (Principal Investigator), Steve Sellers (Dive Safety Officer), Tane Casserley (Field Crew), Kim Eslinger (Field Crew), Cathy Fach (Field Crew), Russ Green (Field Crew) Michael Hughes (Field Crew), Matthew Lawrence (Field Crew), Dede Marx (Field Crew), Sarah Milstead (Field Crew), Matthew Muldorf (Field Crew) Michael Plakos (Field Crew), and Ripley (Team Mascot).

Back row left to right: Tane Casserly, Steve Sellers, Russ Green, Matthew Lawrence, Cathy Fach, Frank Cantelas, Michaeol Plakos (hidden), Michael Hughes, and Matthew Muldorf. Front row left to right: Kim Eslinger, Sarah Milstead, Dede Marx, and Larkin Post.

Larkin Post recovers from a cold day of research.

While working on the project the students stayed on Metinic Island, a small island the Post family purchased from Native Americans in the 1740's. The island has a long fishing tradition beginning nearly a hundred years ago as an offshore cod station, to its present use as a lobster fishing base. The oldest house on the island dates to the War of 1812. According to family tradition, carpenters roofing the new house watched the battle between the USS Enterprise and the British.

Metinic Island

Special thanks goes to Judy and Woody Post who opened up the island for our use and whose hospitality made our stay memorable. And everyone will remember the wonderful stories Luella Post treated us to almost every night.