Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Cleaning and calibration

On December 3rd, 2013 Park Ranger Jose Sanchez and Marlon Hibbert visited the station to perform needed calibration and cleaning. It was the second visit since the team from AOML visited in early August.

For the months of October and November no visits were accomplished due to either the weather or other unavoidable delays.

Conditions good


That said , the station appeared in fair condition. Due to the weather, we had the opportunity to clean the topside of the pylon,  normally it is near impossible to work at the top due to surge. The screens on the lower CTD were also changed.

The calibration begun @ approximately 1000 hrs and terminated @ 1400hrs.

Our next trip is planned for a few weeks time, before years end and contingent on weather conditions.

Jose at work on the chains
Before cleaning
After cleaning


A maintenance trip was planned and conducted on June 13, 2013. This was the first site visit since mid March due to logistics of getting to the site and poor weather conditions.

Park Interpretative Ranger ( Jose Sanchez) and Coral fellow ( Jenn Travis) assisted topside by Marlon Hibbert carried out routine cleaning of the station. Conditions were not conducive to attaching the CTD for calibration as wave conditions made it unsafe for the boat to pull alongside the stick.

Instead the team decided to that they would concentrate  efforts on the bottom portions of the pylon.  The top half of pylon has proven difficult to maintain and and can only be done in the calmest of weather as the surge and risk of injury is highest with increased wave action.

That said, Jose and Jenn did a great job in the time they spent, but reported coming back feeling as if they had been dragged along behind a bus , such were the conditions.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Station Maintenance

On Friday March 1, 2013 Interpretative Ranger Jose Sanchez and Coral Fellow Jennifer Travis traveled to the Salt River station for a routine maintenance trip and calibration.

Conditions were fair with sunny skies, Jose and Jenn attached the ground truth CTD at approximately 10:00 a.m.  It was retrieved after 2:00 pm.

All mesh screens were replaced on both the shallow and deep CTD and general cleaning of ropes, chains and the stick were completed.

Unfortunately the teams camera had technical difficulties and no pictures were able to be taken.

A next trip is planned for the week of March 18th , 2013.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Station maintenance

On Wednesday the 30 January 2013, a team from DPNR and the NOAA  travelled to the Salt River station under clear skies and rough seas. The station had not been attended to since November 2012, and at least two previous attempts were aborted due to unsafe weather conditions.

The weather conditions on Wednesday were challenging but with the help of Jose Sanchez , (STXEEMP Ranger), John Farchette ( STXEEMP Ranger) Jennifer Travis( NOAA CRCP Coral Fellow ) and NOAA Liaison ( Marlon Hibbert), we were able to remove the deep light sensor and change the sacrificial anodes on the base plate and on the chains.

A plug was placed on the light sensor as it had been dropping in and out of service. No further cleaning was attempted on the station due to the conditions , but it was observed to be in fair condition.

A basic cleaning and CTD validation is planned for mid February.

Pictures courtesy of Jenn Travis and Jose Sanchez

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Station maintenance

On Wednesday November 14, 2012 Jose Sanchez ( STXEEMP Interpretative Ranger) and I traveled to the SRV12 to conduct routine maintenance.

Conditions were not the best, winds between 12-16 knots with gusts up to 20 knots and seas running about 3-6ft. We were able to safely attach the calibration unit done at 10:40 am and it was retrieved at 2:25 pm. Jose cleaned all the ropes on  two dives and worked on the lower portions of the stick, base plate etc.

The zincs on the support chains will need changing, and the lower base plate zinc will need changing as well. Cleaning of the upper portion of the stick was not attempted due to the surge conditions and was deemed unsafe.

Checks on the data the day before revealed a possible issue with the deep light readings which measured a consistent -9 over the last 72 or so hours.

No pictures were taken on this trip.

Next scheduled event is mid December barring weather and unforeseen events.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Station maintenance

Station maintenance  was conducted a week after our planned September 10-17 date due  to some rainy and stormy weather conditions and some meetings for the update of the STXEEMP management plan. On a clear  almost flat day on September 21, 2012  Jose Sanchez, STXEEMP Interpretative Ranger and myself ( Marlon Hibbert) journeyed out to Salt River.

Pleasant conditions 
Before-deep CTD 
After - deep CTD 

Jose-roped to his work

Jose - chipping away
Main  column - before

Main column-after 
The big picture

Cleaning brought us many friends hunting for scraps

Spectators doubling as security guards
Cleaning has pitfalls -we saved this one. 

Jose's handiwork

Paling of corals 

Pale Montastrea sp

Diseased-Meandrina sp 

Connected groundtruth CTD

The groundtruth CTD was connected at about 10:56 am and ran undisturbed for at least two hours. Jose cleaned and changed the mesh on the top CTD, but for the most part none were disturbed. The groundtruth CTD was disconnected at about 3:20p.m. just before our departure from the site.

A week before going to the site , a check on the data revealed conditions conducive to bleaching, on a brief swim around, we did observe some minimal paling that did not appear widespread and  was mostly species specific.

Next planned visit, Week of October 15, 2012.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Station maintenance

On Friday August 10th, 2012, Interpretive Park Ranger Jose Sanchez was accompanied by Jonathan Brown, Fisheries Biologist with the Division of Fish and Wildlife, DPNR  to clean and calibrate the ICON station.

Jose and Jonathan did extensive cleaning of station and connected the ground truth CT.  They also replaced the mesh screens on the deep and shallow CTD’s.

The cleaning took place just in time for the arrival of Tropical storm Issac who thankfully skirted the south of St Croix.

Next planned visit week of September 10th , 2012.

Pictures courtesy of Jonathan Brown, DFW, DPNR. 

Jose Sanchez chipping away 

Friday, October 07, 2011

Station Maintenance Performed

On Thursday Oct. 6th, 2011 staff from DPNR-CZM's St. Croix East End Marine Park visited the station to perform some cleaning and hook up the groundtruth CT. All looked well at the station including the repair of the ladder rung that was performed by park staff and the USVI NOAA Liaison on Sept. 22nd. Pictures to follow