Newspaper Article, May 2005

Every Good Buoy Does Fine

(L to R) Randy Ryan, Jack Rodin, and DCPP marine meteorologist John Lindsey prepare to deploy a back-up Waverider buoy off the coast of DCPP. DCPPs other Waverider buoy broke loose from its mooring on December 7, but was not able to be retrieved immediately because of high winds and heavy seas. While the errant Waverider buoy was out actually riding waves, Telecom tech Bill Martin notified local HAM radio operators about the situation and asked them to help track it down. After that we started getting word from the HAM operators that they had contact with buoy, so we knew it was still out there transmitting, says Lindsey. Another Telecom tech, Bob Johnson, developed a dipolar antenna to locate the buoy; on December 9 it was located about five miles off the Montana De Oro coast but conditions were still too rough to risk a rescue. The renegade buoy was finally recovered on December 11 at the south end of Cayucos, with the help of State Park Ranger Phill Hill and State Park Maintenance assistant Gerardo Lopez. Lindsey says the buoy broke off its mooring in heavy seas, so we needed to engineer a new, more robust mooring for the backup buoy. For that he went to Ryan, the mooring master for Port San Luis, who designed a system using a much larger, stronger chain with backup nylon safety straps. The backup buoy was successfully deployed on Thursday, Dec. 16, and began transmitting data immediately. The other buoy will be sent back to its manufacturer, Datawell, for repairs and recalibration.