November 8, 2005: Building a Reef - with surgical skill
Reef building consists of transporting reef segments from the Navy
yard to a site designated by the Division of Natural Resources. The
Cashman/Testa team has been havesting reef segments with wreckless abandon
for the past several months. This afternoon, I got to watch this very
delicate surgical procedure - a new technique in transplantation
It starts with our trusty crew boat, the Jay Michael from Boston. MA
and to keep the work context clear - we are preparing to transport
the reef segments to their new home, while in the distance, barge loading
for another reef transplant procedure is well under way
I took a small GPS along to track our course. From the tracks, you can
see the Captain Bill's outbound and inbound routes deviated
no more than a few feet.
Team members Rick Beauchamp, Brad Kenerson and Kenny King -
as we pass under the Pearman skeleton
with Charleston's new Ravenel Bridge trailing
and Capt. Bill being a captain
About an hour later - our target - a barge, Brad's 345 and Rick's 750
and a bit closer - illustrating our surgical instruments in the sleeping
Backing up a bit - to transplant a reef segment, segments must first be
harvested - as shown here - harvesting a concrete girder over East Bay.
Successful transplantation requires timely harvesting, transport and
repositioning. These girders were harvested Nov 2 night, when the temperature
was low and girder spoilage was minimized. This
girder was being parked on the Pearman ramp to the left
where it was divided into three precisely equal segments - perfect
for reef transplantation.
Back to the main story, here
Rick and Brad hop on the barge and immediately, Rick opens his jaws
Here seen in the operator position
Not to be out done - Brad opens his jaws also
and a closer view of Brad in his operator position
We continuously circle the barge, picking up floating debris - and so
I had some fun playing with different lighting angles from the sun - here
a silhouette of an open jaw.
with Capt. Bill looking on
Here is the basic reef transplant procedure - first someone has to be
King of the Mountain
Brad picks up a to-be-transplanted-reef-segment with his 345's jaws
Gently lets go
and the transplantion process is now activated
There is an initial splash
then as it subsides - Mike pointed out that the 2nd wave is almost
always taller than the first - some interesting physics here! - Anyone
have any ideas?
The large secondary wave, the water returns to its calm state and
the next transplant cycle is initiated.
For those with high speed internet access here is a video (40 Mb quicktime mov)
of Rick and Brad in action.
Here is Rick demonstrating his transplant skills
Note the secondary splash
Rick likes to show his jaws, though -
and of course - takes two to tango
and the tango has many different variants
but only one to make a splash
I still enjoy watching "Clash of the Titans"
Finishing up - a short conversation and then
All surgeons spend a bit of time in the surgical lounge - sort of mental
unwinding after a difficult transplant procedure
Mike offers a few suggestions
and then the sun did its setting thing - with a sail boat made to order
and finally Charleston where the sun says goodbye and we are home