By Shannon Dunnigan
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.
When our water quality housing broke [again] at our San Sebastian site (remember when we talked about replacing that darn thing??) in January, we threw in the towel and asked for help in making that station better. Clearly, after breaking for a second time in less than a year and a half, the existing system was not working. We did make several attempts at replacing the housing ourselves.
Unfortunately, these housings are bracketed onto channel markers and require you to be able to access all the brackets to replace them. Well, when the tide does not drop low enough for you to access all the brackets from the boat…you’re out of luck. Additionally, we attempt to go out at predicted low tides, but when we get northeasterly winds, they result in the retention of water in the estuary and thus, we never see low enough tides.
So, our help came in the form of Logan Diving & Salvage, a group based out of Jacksonville, Florida, led by Mr. Joe Busuttil. We hired them to help us access those lower brackets AND install some new ones even deeper to help prevent our station from breaking again. As experienced commercial divers, they could easily assist us with this task. They were also perfectly fine with our request for assistance in replacing one of the housings at another site (our Fort Matanzas one just north of, well, the Fort Matanzas). We figured that while the professionals were available, we may as well knock another station off our maintenance list.
The best part of our job is having the opportunity to work with folks from a variety of backgrounds. We collaborate with visiting scientists (like Barbara and Carrie), but also folks like the dive crew from Logan Diving & Salvage. It was a great experience working with Joe, Andrew and Brian this past week. With their equipment and expertise, we were able to get both stations replaced smoothly. Andrew, the main diver for the day, also provided us with information on the depths of the new and existing brackets so we have a better idea of the location of all our equipment in the future. The instruments were reinstalled and both stations are back to actively collecting water quality data.
Did you know you can download this data for yourself by visiting www.nerrsdata.org ?
Thanks again Joe, Andrew, and Brian. Here’s to those stations not breaking anytime soon!