Buoy cruise bonus: near perfect weather

Greetings from Woods Hole! The Delaware II is currently pier side after a successful 8-day leg in the Gulf of Maine servicing NERACOOS buoys. The ship docked Tuesday morning after transiting from Massachusetts Bay to recover and deploy the last buoy of the cruise, Buoy “A”.   A quick port call to Portland, Maine was made Sunday afternoon,  April 15, to offload and reload NERACOOS buoys and equipment onto a flatbed truck.

buoys on back deck

Chief Scientist John Wallinga (right) and Scientist Charles Fikes (left) repositioning Buoy “F” on the back deck of the Delaware II. (Photo by ENS Shannon Hefferan, NOAA)

mussels on buoy

 Mussels are attached to the near-surface instrument cage on a recovered mooring. (Photo by ENS Shannon Hefferan, NOAA)

Our weather was almost perfect for recovery and deployment operations for the entire cruise—only one recovery during the evening hours had to be delayed till the next morning due to 20 knot (kt) gusts in West Penobscot Bay.  Our junior officers really enjoyed this cruise because it gave them the chance to grow in their ship handling skills.

Ensign Shannon Hefferan
Operations Officer
NOAA Ship Delaware II

Buoy Bonanza

Thursday, April 12:

Greetings from the NOAA Ship Delaware II!  We are currently in Canadian Waters,  65nm from Seal Island, Nova Scotia,  and steaming towards our second buoy on the NERACOOS (Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems) Servicing Buoy Cruise. Over this eight day-leg cruise, the crew plans to first repair 2 NERACOOS buoys, drag for lost mooring equipment in Jordan Basin, and then recover and deploy 5 buoys along the coast of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

buoy N

Chief Scientist John Wallinga waiting for Buoy “N” to come alongside the ship in the Northeast Channel,  Gulf of Maine. (Photo by Shannon Hefferan, NOAA Ship Delaware II)

A brief port call to Portland, ME, this Saturday (April 14) will be made to load 2 buoys that need to be deployed and remove 3 buoys that were recovered.  Late yesterday afternoon, April 11, the ship arrived at Buoy “N” (located in the Northeast Channel in the Gulf of Maine; 110nm east of Cape Cod).  The whole operations process took roughly 6 ½ hours—from arrival at the buoy to deploying the buoy in a requested position with a new anchor attached.

Two NERACOOS buoys waiting to be craned onto the Delaware II in Woods Hole prior to the cruise. (Photo by ENS Shannon Hefferan, NOAA)

Weather conditions have been favorable for operations so far, and the ship is scheduled to dock in her homeport of Woods Hole, MA on the morning of April 17.

Ensign Shannon Hefferan
Operations Officer
NOAA Ship Delaware II