17th Mar, 2009

L4 databuoy now relaunched

After a winter of regrouping, replanning and something else allitoral(!) the L4 buoy was relaunched yesterday in near perfect conditions.  It was very much, though, victory being snatched from the jaws of defeat.

All started off innoculously, with the usual radio chatter from the Navy complaining about the AIS giving an “off station” warning.  We arrived at L4 around about 10.30 an proceeded to remove the temporary mark – only to find that it was only attached to one leg of the two point mooring.  We attached the L4 buoy to the safe end and then proceeded to trawl for the missing end.  For about two hours.  What we decided to do then was to pick the entire mooring up (as it is in a triangle and by going all the way around it you can get around to the other side).  Unfortunately when we got to the clump part of the mooring, a strop broke and everything went to the bottom.  We were left with no ends!  Never mind, the Quest crew are nothing but optimistic and nothing but resourceful.  We trawled then for the joining wire between the two clumps.  We got this within a couple of attempts and then completely re-layed the mooring from scratch.  This enabled us to reconfigure the mooring the way that we have always wanted and also to attach the buoy.  This entire operation was completed around 18.15 as the sun was setting.  There had been no more margin for error!  The crew of the Quest: Norm, Andy, Andy and Jim are to be commended for the brilliance and professionalism that they showed out there yesterday.

Oh – and if anyone is interested – the data is being posted on the web at:

www.westernchannelobservatory.org.uk/data/buoy and click on the folders to take you to the latest data.  A proper web page will be put together in short order – but thought there might be some impatient people out there like me … and also the buoy shows up on the AIS receiver now too.  So no sweepstakes as to when and where the buoy is likely to go and end up!




Congratulations for the deployment and good luck with it!

Last few days have been settling the buoys in … fixed a long running bug with the data not logging directly after midnight.  It is amazing how many small glitches need ironing out after a deployment – probably because full testing is almost impossible from shore.

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