Details about MOBY’s walkabout and replacement

To all users of MOBY data.


MOBY decided to take another walk somewhere around 2AM HST on April 13.  Unfortunately this time it took the mooring buoy with it.  In other words, the mooring ground tackle failed, the tether was not cut.  What went on that day is a long story, but I should say a thanks to Zhongping Lee’s group as they forwarded a message from a fisherman that had gone out to fish at the MOBY buoy, but found it wasn’t there.  We had known at that point it was missing, and had a position for MOBY, but didn’t realize the mooring buoy was also loose.  In any case, we have to recover both MOBY and the mooring buoy tomorrow morning.

Unfortunately, because the mooring buoy is not there, we have nowhere to attach MOBY until we replace the ground tackle for the mooring.  We are working on arranging with Mooring Systems, Inc. to get an expedited new system out to Hawaii.  But as you can imagine, a mooring in 1200m of water is not an off the shelf item.  We have a tentative schedule of May 15th as the soonest time the mooring equipment can be in Hawaii, and fortunately the UH ship is available at that time.  So our current schedule is to put the new mooring in at that time, along with redeploying MOBY.

For information, we replace the mooring on a 2-year cycle.  It had gotten replaced in May 2015, and was scheduled to be replaced at the end of June 2017.  In 20 years, this is the first time we have had a mooring failure, but obviously we will be inspecting what we recover tomorrow to try to determine the failure point.

We are obviously sorry for the data loss, and are trying to get the system back and working as soon as possible.

Kenneth Voss and the MOBY Team