Buoy Maintenance with Batelle

approaching the buoy
Some engineers and myself standing by as we approach the buoy

On Monday I met Vin in Quincy at 8am to assist him with some private work he was doing for Batelle. Batelle is a large, private engineering company who, in this case, was working for NOAA doing buoy maintenance. The specific buoy we worked on can actual be found here! Basically our job was to  dive on an offshore weather buoy at about 20ft off water and scrape mussels off of an instrument, remove the bolts from it, and bring it to the surface to be cleaned and inspected by the engineers. Sounds simple right? Well when you are 11 miles offshore, there is a ripping current, and the bottom is at about 200ft, nothing is exactly simple. After about an hour long boat ride to get to the buoy, the engineers began their work. Maybe half an hour later we were geared up and jumping in the water… and then climbing out because the current was too strong to fight. Take two: we are dropped up-current we successfully make the buoy, locate the instrument panel, clean it off, and remove it (without dropping it or any tools into the abyss). Following that we get back on board the vessel where we wait approximately 3-4hrs for the engineers to finish their work so we could reinstall the instrument. During this time they were replacing old sensors, downloading data, and installing a new camera system so you can view pictures. Unfortunately the weather was deteriorating, after quite a while it was decided we would not be doing a second dive that day. Fortunately the engineers were able to get mostly everything else on the buoy working the way they wanted. We made it back to the dock around 5pm. It was a long day  for a 20min dive, but I got to see another possible career path in the engineering world and experience a bit of professional diving, and amy day on the water is a good day!

underwater buoy work
Here I am cleaning marine growth off the instrument
tools used for water sampling and other scientific measurements
Water sampling and other scientific paraphernalia on board the boat