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March 5, 2021

Buoy Turnaround Cruise off the Carolinas

In early February, the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program (UNCW CORMP) replaced buoys off the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina. These buoys provide real-time weather, sea state, and water quality data for use by the public, as well as the scientific and public safety communities.

The team went to sea on the RV Savannah and swapped the FRP2, CAP2, SUN2 and SUN2wave buoys for new moorings. For each deployed mooring, CORMP has a spare mooring at UNCW.  This allows the CORMP technicians to swap out deployed buoys after they have spent a year at sea, ensuring continued accurate measurements.

Replacement of the CAP2 buoy was much needed. It has been inoperable since early January due to power and communications failures. The CAP2 buoy has a brand new Seabird SIP-37 conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) sensor. The new sensor is connected to the  power system on the buoy instead of using a battery pack. This should eliminate the issue of power loss while the CTD is deployed.

In the near future, the team is planning to deploy a new wave buoy at the CAP2 site. This will be the first near-shore wave buoy on the South Carolina coast. It will provide real-time data for mariners and forecasters and archived data will be useful for ocean modelers and coastal geologists.

Thank you to the crew of the RV Savannah and Eric Glidden of the UNCW Underwater Vehicles Program for their help with the deployments.

Images credited to UNCW CORMP