Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tomales Bay Buoy - A BOON for Downwinders ((Updated - Tomales Bay Buoy Transmitting NOW!))

About a month or so ago I went paddling on Tomales Bay.  South of Hog Island, I noticed a pretty yellow buoy that had not been there just a week prior.  After doing a little research I learned that this was being deployed by the UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab located at Horseshoe Cove on Bodega Head.  They already have a Bodega Buoy (that I use via my Android buoy app) and a Cordell Banks Buoy.  Anyone who spends time on Tomales Bay knows how quickly conditions can change.  Some people say there are three different weather and wind patterns on the bay.  I suspect a lot of this is due to the elevation undulations and wind gaps within the Inverness Ridge that separates Tomales Bay from Pt. Reyes. Keep in mind that Tomales Bay is only about 13 miles long from ocean to marsh so this makes weather and wind prediction very, very tricky.

If you are wanting to do a downwinder on Tomales Bay, you want real-time data from a device on the water.  Not behind a hill, and not a mile inland.  You want to know what the wind and waves are doing on the water where you will be paddling.

Enter, the Tomales Bay Buoy!  It's not online just yet, I think they are still working on it and testing/calibrating but I suspect it will be functional soon.  I hope it will be linked in with the various buoy apps that are out there.  When the winds really crank up this Spring, we will be able to get real-time wind speed, direction, air and water temp, and current.  YES!

Keep an eye on this page.

The UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab, Bodega Observation Node (BOON) is part of CeNCOOS.

Tomales Bay Buoy
Deployed August 2013.An oceanographic buoy is deployed in Tomales Bay, just south of Hog Island. It is a cooperative project between the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS/NPS), and the National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS/NOAA). The purpose of this buoy is to measure oceanographic data that will help researchers answer various ecological and oceanographic questions, as well as provide the public with real time data related to sea conditions within the bay. Researchers will use the data to study, among other things, marine life populations, water quality, how water moves through and around the bay, and climate change. Data may include: wind, ocean current speed and direction, salinity, temperature, chlorophyll fluorescence, turbidity, pH, and CO2 (the partial pressure of carbon dioxide).Please check back for more information (sensors/data), coming soon.

Tomales Bay Buoy - View is roughly NNW with  Hog and Duck Islands in the background.

10/26/2013 Update - I checked the site this morning and noticed that the Tomales Bay buoy is now online and transmitting data!  Exciting news.  We can now get real-time wind data from the middle of Tomales Bay!  As of today, I do not see this buoy listed in the iWindsurf, WindfinderPro or BuoysPro mobile apps.

Make sure to bookmark this page:

Tomales Bay Observations
Seawater Temperature (deg F)55.0
Seawater Temperature (deg C)12.8
Seawater Salinity (PSU)33.738
Seawater Fluorescence (ug/l)3.750
Seawater Conductivity (S/m)3.9404
Seawater Density (sigma-t kg/m3-1000)25.467
Seawater Turbidity2.760
Wind Direction (deg N)324
Wind Speed (mph)8.95
Last update: Sat Oct 26 11:30:00 2013 PDT

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