Saturday, October 23, 2010

Whales are Arriving in Maui Waters

There is a sense of excitement every year on Maui when the first Koholā (our Hawaiian "Humpback" whales) arrive. I prefer the Hawaiian name, rather than the name used by whalers who decimated their population. Whales have now been reported off of Hoʻokipa and Lahaina.

The timing for first sitings seems typical for recent seasons.

Incidentally, the Hawaiian Kolea bird (pictured above) follows a similar migration path to our Koholā - North to Alaska and Siberia in the Summer, back to Maui for the Winter. The Kolea who returns to my yard every year showed up a little later than usual this season, on October 10.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Whalesong Board Member David Rothenberg honored

Iʻm very proud to announce that our very own David has received the "Excellence in Research Prize and Medal" from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

It is awarded by the NJIT Board of Overseers in recognition of a "researcherʻs sustained record of achievement that has enhanced the reputation of NJIT."

In the announcement on their website they say David "personifies the integration of research, instruction, economic development and public service that are this Universityʻs core mission elements."

David is a musician, writer, and philosopher who believes music can help us communicate with birds, whales, and all kinds of creatures. He wrote THOUSAND MILE SONG: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound, which documents his attempts to play his clarinet live with whales, including a section on the Whalesong Project. The book is currently being developed into two films. Otherwise, Rothenberg is a Professor of Philosophy and Music at NJIT. He urges us to listen to live whale songs online and become less human centered.

Our Founding Board Member Nona Beamer was very impressed with Davidʻs work, and took the time to write him a personal letter thanking him for his contribution before she left this realm. Hereʻs another thank you from the rest of us!

E hoʻopomaikaʻi iā ʻoe! (Congratulations, David)!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meet the Whalesong Project Board of Directors - Kent Noonan

This is Kent Noonan, the Vice President of our Board of Directors. Kent originally joined the project for what he calls "totally selfish reasons." He wanted to hear the whale songs every day and couldnʻt find time to go out in the ocean.

After a couple of years experimenting with home made hydrophones and kayak excursions, he discovered our fledgling project, which was just completing the first season webcasting from a sailboat in Maʻalaea Bay. From the webcast he could hear the whales without having to leave work.

He happened to have some esoteric electronic parts in his lab that were needed for the project, and werenʻt available anywhere else out here in the middle of the Pacific. Dan and Kent met, and an enduring friendship and partnership was born. Kent began to "appreciate what an amazing contribution to the world our project was." He has put in countless hours building and servicing the various generations of buoys so that people all over the planet can connect with the whales and their mysterious songs.

Kent brings wide experience with high tech electronics to our project, and a very big heart. His day job includes lasers, optics, radiation detectors, magnetics, subtle energy research, biomedical applications and more. Ken tries to spend much of his time and energy making the world a better place.

Kent is a big part of The Whalesong Project, and we are all very grateful to have him on board.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Acknowledging the Loss of a Key Whalesong Founder

Itʻs my painful duty to announce the passing of our Founding Board President Ed Bigelow last week. He will be sorely missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

Ed and and I designed elements of our first Whalesong Project buoy on a napkin at Borders Coffee Shop in Kahului back in 2000. He was a guiding light for our fledgling organization as we became a "legitimate" 501C3 corporation. He was a gracious, intelligent, inspiring and good humored facilitator of our Board Meetings for the eight or so years we have been incorporated, until he resigned last year due to health concerns.

Ed had a big heart and an incredibly intelligent mind. His interests and professional credentials were diverse, including science, economics, solar and alternate energy design and production, photography, art and music.

I met Ed through our mutual love of Hawaiian music, through our Kumu (teacher) and friend George Kahumoku, also a Whalesong Project Founding Board Member.

Ed was introduced to Hawaiʻi by his incredible wife Helen. Their mutual love of Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian Culture has had them contributing in many ways to keeping the culture alive in the world, and in bettering the community around them.

Ed was also one of my best friends and the best kind of friend a person could have. And he was my next door neighbor for the past five years. Those who have attended events at my home can testify that Ed was not only an engaging and delightful presence, and a great guitar and ukulele player, but that he also made one of the best Lilikoʻi cheesecakes on the planet, from passion fruit that he and Helen grow.

What are we going to do Ed? You are irreplaceable. You will live on in our hearts.

The picture below is Ed, George Kahumoku, me jamming at my home, Whalesong buoy in the background.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Project Update

The Whalesong Project is in a holding pattern right now. We hope our last ten years of webcasting the live songs of the Humpback Whales has raised awareness about this endangered species, and our endangered oceans....and about the fact that the oceans are a highly acoustic environment. This is important to know in an age that is filled with noise that can affect life. Whether it is noise generated by boats, underwater oil exploration, acoustic well logging with explosive devices, or sonar for navigation and military purposes.

We feel good about our ten year contribution, and we are assessing whether to put the hydrophone in the ocean this coming season. It is an expensive venture during a time of economic challenges.

We have applied for a grant that could fund this coming season as an educational project with children. We hope this comes through.

If it doesnʻt come through, we will continue to do what we can with the income we can generate. We are an all volunteer organization whose annual income from donations ranges from $500 to $10,000. This year we have raised about $6,000, which was spent already on last seasonʻs operations. We really need about $15,000 per year to operate. With this amount of income we can upgrade, maintain and operate the live webcast with our buoy in the ocean, pay all the associated costs, feed our volunteers from time to time, present at up to 8 events that we are invited to.

If we are not able to raise the money we need, we will continue to do our best and will play recorded whale songs for this season. We hope to put the buoy back in the ocean for the 2011-2012 season.

It is always a lot of work to bring the live songs to the world, which leaves me short on time to thank each of you who have contributed to the project. Thanks to each of you who have supported our work by sending money. Each contribution, no matter how small, has made a difference. Thank you!!!

Aloha, Kaʻili Dan

Friday, June 18, 2010

More on Sperm Whales in the Gulf

Evidently the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission warned of risks associated with oil exploration in the Gulf in the early 1990ʻs. According to this article, these warnings were ignored by federal regulators and BP. The author, Heather Heenehan, is a masterʻs degree student in environmental management at Duke University, and is working on a summer fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Thank you for this excellent article, Heather.

Messing with Mother Nature

CNN quotes one of the workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig....."This well did not want to be just seemed like we were messing with Mother Nature." Read the full article.

How to produce energy and live in harmony with Nature is a challenge, but donʻt we love challenges? If we look at the long term costs, and the costs of unintended consequences, of our energy choices, I think we will find that there are better choices we can be making. We are inventive people. If we make decisions based on facts about what is really serving the people and the planet, I believe we will make better decisions. Can this happen in Washington D.C.? Miracles can happen.

In the meanwhile the oil gushes and we continue to drive our cars. Iʻm thinking about what I can do to make a difference this year in my lifestyle and energy choices, and my contribution. We have officially begun our Haleakalā Institute project. More information and a website will be coming out soon. We have applied for a grant. The project will be educational in nature and will be Maui-based. If we get the grant we will be working with a lot of children on environmental remediation and sustainable energy projects. Use of media in communications will be involved, and all of it will be based on the Hawaiian way of learning, "Ma ka hana ka ʻike" - to learn by doing. More soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gulf oil spill and Whales

There has been a lot of speculation about the impact of the the oil spill on whales and dolphins. This story says NOAA is investigating the death of a Sperm Whale near the accident. In Hawaiian, the Sperm Whale is called Palaoa. The Palaoa are considered a form of Kanaloa, the God of the Ocean. They were hunted to near extinction, and are still an endangered species. Lets hope the problems in the gulf are solved soon, and that some wisdom is developed that will help turn the tide in favor of healthy oceans.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

World Oceans Day - Ocean of Life

The theme of Ocean Day this year is "Ocean of Life." Never has the importance of protecting the oceans seemed more important than this very day. Oil streams into the Gulf of Mexico, toxic plastic gyres are growing, ice caps are melting, the ban on commercial whaling may be lifted with support from Washington D.C.

Hereʻs hoping we will wake up and focus more diligently, as a world community, on the importance of the oceans to All Life on this planet. If you want to do something positive today for the oceans, please consider a donation to The Whalesong Project - so we can continue our work, with our all-volunteer team. Your money goes a long way with us, and we are operating on a very thin shoe string these days. Thanks to each of you out there who have contributed with your time, energy, money! With support we expand our activities, without support we have to pull back, and we donʻt want to do that in this challenging time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Whalesong Project Board Member George Kahumoku honored

I am pleased to report that Whalesong Project Founding Board Member George Kahumoku was honored with the "Aloha Is" Award for community service at the annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards ceremony in Honolulu. He was recognized "for his support of individuals and entities ranging from dropout students and Maui Community Correctional Center inmates cultivating taro in Waiehu to work with Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge." Read the full article.

Those of us who know George know that he never stops. He is an enduring presence in the world, not just on Maui. He has nurtured young Hawaiian students to become Grammy Awards winners, worked with "at risk" youth for decades, volunteered for countless fund raisers. Sometimes you could fill a page with his activities in just one day. Congratulations George! You deserve it.

At the same ceremony Mauiʻs Hula Honeys won the best Hawaiian Jazz Album of the Year. Jonathan Drechsler, the bass player, volunteers for Whalesong Project! Congratulations Jonathan - and Ginger and Robin.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Mystery of Pu'u Koholā

As we approach the 200th anniversary of the unification of the Hawaiian Islands, much attention is focused on Pu'u Koholā. It was here that Kamehameha built this large heiau before his unification quest. Some call it the "hill of the whale" and some say it resembles a whale. Some have suggested that perhaps the Koholā, the Hawaiian Humpback Whale, was an ʻaumakua of King Kamehameha. Others give a different explanation for the name. Koholā can also mean "chosen day," and there was a belief that the prophesies around Kamehameha and the unification of the islands required consecration of this heiau on a particular day. Hawaiian language and mythology is is filled with kaona, hidden meaning, metaphor. It is possible the name means both. Another puzzling fact: One of Kamehamehaʻs names is Paiʻea. Those of you who watched the movie Whale Rider may recall that the Maori prophet who rode the whale was Paikea, which is how one would say Paiʻea in Maori. Paikea was said to have come from Hawaiki, Hawaiʻi. We may never know the full mystery of this possible connection between Kamehameha The Great and the whales.

How to lessen sonar impact on whales

This article in the Honolulu Weekly includes a conversation with Robin Baird, who has done whale research in Hawaiian waters for eleven years. Robin helps explain the "lay of the land" in Hawaiian waters relevant to cetaceans and sonar, and outlines some steps the Navy could take to reduce impacts in their use of sonar. Robin also explains why we may not see whales who die or are injured by sonar use, making data collection on injuries more complicated than it already is.

My personal opinion is that there has not been much emphasis on data collection. My observation is that most whales who strand themselves in Hawai'i are not evaluated for acoustic trauma. Without data, without the scientific method applied, we are in the dark.

I am doing necessary post-whale season travel. I'm happy to report we were able to produce another season of bringing the live whale songs to the world, and to participate at a number of events, and to move our sustainability project, Haleakala Institute, forward. I'm sorry to report that we have depleted our financial resources. Our all-volunteer team greatly appreciates the heartfelt financial contributions that help keep our website, webcast, essential services alive. Thank you!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Whalesong Project Season 10 Complete

Aloha Everyone! Whalesong Project Season 10 of webcasting the live songs of Mauiʻs Koholā has come to an end. The whales are mostly gone now, and itʻs been about a week since I have heard any singing. The buoy lost its mooring this morning. Fortunately our diligent lifeguards at Kamaole I Beach called us and brought her safely to shore. They have been keeping a close eye on her for the last 9 seasons, since we moved to Kamaole I after completing our first season at Maʻalaea Bay. Here they are shown loading the buoy into our truck.
They not only brought her to shore, but also made getting her on the road easier with their special equipment.
Here Wendy Acosta, a Whalesong Project volunteer, assesses the situation with the life guards.

It was John, shown in this picture, who called us and managed the situation. Thank you John, and the rest of your crew. We are deeply grateful.

Now we begin cleaning and painting and various upgrades as we prepare for Season 11. Mahalo to those of you who have sent monetary donations. They allowed us to keep the project going to the end of the season. Any donations towards renovating her so we can get her in early next year are appreciated.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Please join Whalesong Project, and our Haleakalā Institute initiative at Earth Day Celebration this Sunday at Studio Maui in Haʻikū. Our buoy is still operational and we are hearing occasional whale songs. A large pod of very active whales were observed off of Kihei at sunset this evening.

Many thanks to those of you who have sent in donations recently. Although times are challenging, we have managed to keep the project going with your help.

Wishing all the Motherʻs out there a Happy Motherʻs Day, and a Happy Earth Day to All!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Challenging Times

I thought I would share this beautiful sunset shot, taken with my iphone off of Olowalu last weekend. There are still a lot of whales here, but their numbers will drop dramatically over the next few weeks as they head north to Alaskan waters. They are becoming increasingly interested in people this year. We are hearing many reports of whales seeking human contact, wanting to interact.

On to the challenging news. An AP news story this week says numerous scientific studies predict that coral reefs are heading for extinction worldwide. The scientific community is also acknowledging what the ancient Hawaiians knew for centuries - without healthy reefs you cannot have healthy fish and healthy people. They are a foundation for life in the ocean world. The Hawaiians had a system called the ʻahupuaʻa. Land divisions were pie shaped, and extended from the top of the mountain to the sea. They knew that everything from the top of the mountain to the deep ocean was connected and that healthy reefs were dependent on healthy land practices. If the world could get this concept, maybe the coral would have a chance.

This Curvier Beaked Whale washed up and died in Hana Maui on Monday. We still donʻt know if there is a relationship between these rare whale deaths and sonar use by the military in Hawaiian waters, and Iʻm not hopeful at this point that we will ever know. We finally had one whale tested for acoustic trauma last year, but now there is no mention of it being part of the necropsy process. Ten years of talking with NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Senator Inouye, other politicians, the National Marine Sanctuary, have only brought me frustration. This beautiful creature was hauled away by a team of excited scientists who want to learn about it, but probably will never tell us if acoustic trauma was a factor in its death.

In memory of this whale, I post a video of David Rothenberg performing Pete Seegerʻs "The Worlds Last Whale" at our benefit concert on Maui, March 19. The rythmic tones accompanying David are the "vocalizations" of Fin Whales, remixed to work with the song. Thank you, David, Keaolani, Mark Takaha, and all of the volunteers who contributed to this fundraiser, and to Paulo Mendes for creating the video.

A different kind of reception was given to a whale who died off of Vietnam recently, where fisherman revere the whales and consider them sacred. Whales in Vietnam are referred to as "Ngai," the same term used to honor Kings, Emperors, and other esteemed leaders, according to an AP news story. Read more.

This kind of respect is traditionally extended to whales by the Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. They are widely believed to be embodiments of the God of the Ocean, Kanaloa (Tanaroa in Maori Culture).

We at Whalesong Project keep saying we seek to inspire people to appreciate and respect the ocean and the life it contains. As we watch the ice caps melt we wonder if we are making any progress. We have new ideas we want to try, but we are challenged in our ability to carry on this task at this time. We have successfully carried on this project for ten seasons now, but we have been unable to make it sustainable financially. We that volunteer our time are getting worn out raising money to keep it all working as we simultaneously maintain the system, which takes about $15,000 per year to operate. Every penny donated has been gratefully and humbly accepted and put to use to keep the project going. But the money coming in falls far short of what we need to keep it going. We may be forced to shut down the project until we find a way to pay for it. I am very sad to report this. It is the last thing I want to do, but I may not have any choice. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. With aloha, Dan

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Peak Season Report

Aloha everyone! Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this seasonʻs success. It feels a little overwhelming every year to bring all of this equipment and software online, and participate in the events that this season brings. But we now have our buoy secure at her original mooring. It took a few trips out there to manage the trasition, find the anchor, etc. The whales are singing some very interesting songs this year. David Rothenberg is here and preparing for the benefit concert this Friday. David always brings interesting stories, people, technology. We enjoy his presence here. We were mentioned in the Maui News this week. We are preparing for participating in Celebration of the Arts at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua April 2, 3, 4. Again, thank all of you who have helped fix or maintain the buoy, sent money, played music or danced at one of our fund raising events. More soon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Whalesong Project Benefit Concert March 19 2010

Please join us on March 19, 7 PM, Makawao Union Church. David Rothenberg returns to share his music, stories, and to play live with whale songs from our buoy, and more. More information to follow. Thanks to all of you who have volunteered for the project, played music, provided a boat, paddled out on a surfboard during the tsunami, set the anchor, played music, sent money to keep our project alive.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shifting Tides - Whalesong Project needs Help

The buoy is moored temporarily in a new location. In the period between the tsunami and sunset we could not get her back to her permanent anchor. She drifts north in the morning and we get some noise as she leaves the area where our dish antenna can pick up her signal. Willy's boat trailer is broken, and we have not been able to secure another boat. We were hoping this season to have our own service boat and a webcam pointed at her, but the economic tides have created challenges for the Whalesong Project.

Our all-volunteer team is operating in the red right now. At the beginning, the project was funded entirely by me. We became a non-profit corporation and over a period of several years were able to raise the $15,000 per year we need to operate through donations. Last year donations plummeted and my personal credit cards became maxed out to keep the project alive.

We raised $1,500 recently through the kokua of numerous volunteers and musicians at our fund raising concert. With additional donations from Whalesong Germany, we got the buoy in the water.We have another benefit concert scheduled for March 19 (stay tuned).

We have survived the tsunami and kept our project alive in an economic tide that left many of the world's largest and most powerful corporations in bankruptcy. But we are straining our volunteers resources to do it. We know that there are thousands of you out there who love the project and many express support with annual donations. Most of our donations are in the $10 to $30 range, and they are heartfelt and deeply appreciated. I have a hard time asking for more, but I just wanted to put it out that we need support to keep the project alive.

I read in the news that various countries are competing for rights to the oil reserves under the Arctic ice...looking forward to when the ice caps are gone and the resources can be "exploited." It's this kind of thinking that we are working to overcome. Please help us.

The picture above was taken right after the tsunami, when we recovered Hokumoanalani as she drifted. Paulo Mendes, on the left, caught a ride back to shore in Cove Park after the rescue. He picked up his board and looked back to see the cove was empty. The tsunami was still reverberating through our archipelago.

Hope you are all well. Thank you for listening.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Tsunami Adventure

We had a big adventure today with our buoy, Holumoanalani.

We planned a service call this morning, but woke up to sirens and phone calls about the approaching tsunami. We watched the tsunami hit Hawai'i on television, and when I took a break to check email I saw a message from a woman named Jackie in Kihei who said the buoy was drifting north. Paulo Mendes and I rushed over there hoping to retrieve her before she was damaged or lost. The emergency had just been lifted, but there was no one and no boats in the water in South Maui. The beaches and parks were closed. Strong currents and unusual shifts in sea levels were still occurring. Shelly Stephens joined us, along with Paulo's friend, Nikos Los Banos, with his amazing Dog, Mana. Mana is well known on Maui for his love of surfing with Nikos.

On a kayak and two stand-up paddle boards, we followed Shelly to the buoy. We then towed the buoy back to a spot near her usual mooring. A tricky situation turned humorous when Mana, a strong swimmer, was given a rope to help tow the buoy.

We were able to create a temporary mooring until we can go back with GPS to restore the original mooring early this week.

I could not bear the thought of losing the buoy after so many volunteers, including myself, have put in so much time and money to bringing the live whalesongs to you and the world. Big thanks to all!!!

Tsunami Update

I'm sorry to report that some radio interference has moved into our buoy arena. The tsunami is hitting Hawai'i as I write. There is no way to get to the hydrophone and base station right now due to road closures and general evacuation of the coastal areas. We are now getting reports of erratic whale behavior outside of Kahului Harbor. A dramatic drop in the water level at Kahului Harbor is being reported.


The whales are singing their seemingly normal songs for this season approximately 15 minutes before the predicted tsunami. I am recording now, out of curiosity. What does a tsunami sound like? I hope I don't hear the sound of our precious buoy washing up on shore. So many volunteers have had a hand in putting her in the ocean and keeping her working. We had a scheduled maintenance run on the calendar this morning. This would have involved two people on surfboard and kayak with tools at the buoy site. We are trying to address some intermittent noise, and the fact that our hydrophone gain is set a little high. This makes the hydrophone (basically an underwater microphone) very "hot." It's great for listening to the whales at medium and far distance. But when we get a singer close by, as we did last night (a very energetic singer) it is causing some distortion. We can't do anything until this tsunami passes, which could happen "any minute" according to the local news channel. More later.

Buoy Launch, Whale Day, Tsunami Alert

Whale Day is always a big deal for us. We participated for our ninth year last Saturday and we always are pleased to see the smiles on the faces of people when they hear the live whalesongs. Mahalo to the Pacific Whale Foundation for inviting us again this year.

This is Eva, Kevin, Paulo and Trisha placing the buoy in the ocean last Friday, with new solar panels, transmitter, hydrophone. We raised $1,500 at our benefit fundraiser, which enable us to get her in the water. We have an amazing group of volunteers this year keeping the project going forward. We are trying to keep our heads above water financially until our next fund raising event with David Rothenberg on March 19. Stay tuned for details.

The buoy has been performing beautifully. Last night some noise developed in the system which we planned to address at the buoy site this morning. The Tsunami Alert has forced us to reschedule this service call.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Leiʻohu Ryder with Maydene Iao at our fundraiser Friday night. Big thanks to them and cousin Keʻaliʻi, who danced the hula, and to Ed Ellsworth who took these photos on his iPhone. For a beautiful collage of photos of the evening that show more participants and some music go to Peter Rosenʻs Site. Thank you, Peter. Oh yes, thatʻs Jonathan Dreshler on bass.

Hereʻs George, our Whalesong Project Board Member, and 4 X Grammy winner! Congratulations George!

I want to thank everyone who came and helped, and donated money and time for this event. We plan another benefit on March 19 with David Rothenberg and Mark Takaha and special guests. Stay tuned. We raised about $1,700 after expenses on Friday, and we hope that will be enough to get the buoy in the ocean and cover the various associated costs of the webcast through February.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Update on Buoy and on Benefit Concert Feb 5 2010

We are very happy to announce that Whalesong Project Board Member George Kahumoku Jr. just won his 4th Grammy Award in the Hawaiian Music category! George emailed me from Los Angeles from his iPhone with the great news last night. We are in the middle of creating an event for this Friday evening with George at Makawao Union Church on Baldwin Avenue near Rainbow Park, 7 pm through 11 PM. First two hours will feature George and other Hawaiian musicians, with hula, and with a little talk-story about the Oceans and Whales....and really anything George wants to talk about. Heʻs a true Hawaiian Renaisance Man, and it is always a great pleasure to hear him play and hear what he has to say. The second part of the evening will explore the musical and mystical realms of the Whale and Ocean world, and human interaction, with Sam David, WhaleTrance, and Eva Gueke, WhaleDance. My band, Keaolani, will open the show. There will be surprise guests and we expect it to be a very enjoyable evening. The acoustics and atmosphere are very good at this venue. Suggested donation $20, Seniors $10, Keiki free.

Money raised will go to getting our buoy, Hōkūmoanalani, back in the ocean for the season. We are getting a later start than we would like to be getting, but itʻs been a challenging couple of seasons in many ways. Weʻve lost some key people to relocation and the economy, and illness. But we are still standing, and hope to become a stronger organization as the challenges facing the worldʻs oceans increase. Your donations through the Paypal button, by mail, or by attendance at our fundraiser will help with that. We remain an all-volunteer organization. There are no salaries, and no compensation paid, to officers, board members, or our team of dedicated volunteers. Your contributions pay for hardware, software, webcasting and webhosting fees, costs associated with participating in the many events we show up at to promote Ocean health and awareness. Stay tuned for details.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making Progress towards the Sea

The whales are here and singing. The buoy is getting closer to being complete every day. I think it will be at least three more days to complete all tests and get a boat, but it could take longer, depending on how testing goes.

Sam David painted the buoy and has added some artistic touches that are beautiful.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Buoy Progress Report

Thanks to all for your patience, as we complete the final stages of the buoy renovation.

We just finished reassembling the power and floatation modules this evening.

We found out today that we need to re-engineer our base station on land, where the receiver and web interface are located, due to physical changes at the site. There are challenges like this every year, but I just keep reminding myself that this is an all-volunteer labor of love, and we just do our best. Thanks to everyone who shows up each year to keep the project alive!

Everyone involved in this project also has a day job, and the economy is challenging right now, but we are moving forward anyway. We had some donations come in over the holidays that will get the buoy in the water if we are very careful to spend it strategically. Thank you to those who pressed the Paypal button.

The picture above shows the electronic section on the work bench last night. Two more photos below.

Here James, Kevin and Paulo test the battery pack, cables, and solar charging circuitry on Sunday.

Me, Atreya and his Dad, Sam, retesting the charging system after repairs yesterday.