UCBC Mooring Buoys Assembly
Photos by Odette Bourgeois
In 1997, The Underwater Council of British Columbia decided to take action toward protecting reefs from anchor damage and giving divers a safe place from which to stage their dives: The Mooring Buoy Project was born!
Over the past 19 years the UCBC buoys have been heavily used by divers and abused by the weather in Howe Sound. As the projected life of the original mooring buoys was 15 years, it is time for replacements.
On a rainy spring day, nine UCBC directors and members gathered to assemble four brand new mooring buoys. Starting with a central pole welded to a radar reflector head, the buoys were assembled over the course of a single day.
The first step was to slide two foam-filled tire floats onto the pole. Next, marine adhesive caulk was applied to all mating surfaces to help seal them from encrusting organisms. Holes were drilled in the radar reflector to allow for the insertion of metal rods which hold the floats to the head.
Finally, the completed buoys were painted white and orange according to guidelines set out by the Navigable Waters Protection Act of Canada. While the buoys were being assembled, anchor lines were measured and cut from a huge spool. Connection points were spliced into the rope and Line Mussels Scraper were installed.
The new buoys were funded from sales of 'Diving Howe Sound Reefs and Islands' book (Sold Out) as well as from Your Donations and a very generous donation of Powerstrand rope from Rissling Services Ltd.
Our first priority for the new UCBC buoys will be to replace deteriorating or missing buoys at the South Bowyer, Christie Islet and Miller's Landing sites. The fourth buoy will be used to initiate an expansion of the mooring buoy project to a new site in Howe Sound.
In addition to protecting Howe Sound reefs from anchor damage, the UCBC mooring buoys have been focal points for the creation of Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) in Howe Sound. Once a buoy is in place and on navigational charts, we lobby the government for protection of the site.
All of our buoy sites are currently protected. All of our buoys are looking to be adopted - see our Adopt-a-Mooring-Buoy Project.
Many thanks to all UCBC members and everyone involved in the construction and installation of our mooring buoys!