Our Work at Head Of Bay – by Harold Bandouveris

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Our first day at Head Of Bay (HOB) was challenging.  Our goal was to set up a baseline and oyster trays on each of the reefs so that we can find the trays when we come back next year.   Oyster trays are vital to data collection on oyster growth, because they show which substrate (porcelain, clam, or oyster) would support the most spat on shell.  We started our day by getting on the 9:00 ferry to governors island, then proceeding to load our gear onto the Virginia Maitland Sachs.  The commute by boat takes an hour to get to HOB, so we had to get right to work on arrival to the site.  We put on our gear and preformed a giant stride entry into the water. Our dive team descended down the preset buoys to plant the shaft anchors. After the shaft anchors were planted, we tied the line onto the shaft anchor and swam it over to the other preset buoy and repeated the steps again. We eventually finished the baseline, but it took longer than expected due to the poor visibility.  

The next day we scrapped our previous plan, and thought of a new, more efficient, system for setting the baselines on the three other reefs.  Our new plan had Captain Abegg drop anchors with attached buoys and baselines at predetermined coordinates.  We formed two teams and descended at each reef to replace the weights with shaft anchors.   Along the baseline we planted trays every 40 feet on the left and right side, so our divers can know where they are next year.

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