Sunday, November 11, 2012

October Crazy Part II

After day 1 of our crazy field work, we woke up early again and James and I headed out in the kayak to do some sediment grab samples.  

We paddled quite a ways in the creek.

Then we met up with one of our subcontractors to take some sediment cores (or try to).  We dug a big hole.

Made it bigger.

And then dug another hole inside of it to get the core.

We wanted to test the cores to see how erosive they might be if we restore tidal conditions to the site.  (Ideally, we would want material that could hold up under high flow conditions and wouldn't totally wash away).

We examined the dirt.

It was actually quite pretty (kind of shimmery)... for dirt.

I went with our sub to try to take a core in the creek itself while James and Damien went back to work on the velocity gage install.

It's a tidal creek, so it was pretty cool to see how much of the sediment was exposed at low tide.

We didn't have much luck with the core- it was too rocky and sandy.  Sand doesn't hold together like mud, so testing for erosivity is kind of pointless. We took some of the sediment back anyway.

Meanwhile, James and Damien had the ladder all set up.  Since the sediment wasn't muddy, we had less fear of the ladder moving around.  We also set it up to be super stable.  James and I held either side so that it wasn't going anywhere when Damien climbed up to fasten the top of the pipe.

After this, things got crazy.  James and I rushed to the top of the bridge to screw in the large black tool box we bought to hold the data logger.  We passed the cable down to Damien, and he told us to hurry back down before the tide came in.  We ran down and I started grabbing stuff so that it didn't get wet while the guys finished connecting cables.  The water came quickly, so I grabbed the computer we had out, then the other tools.  Lastly the guys grabbed the ladder and hurried back up the side of the channel.  At that point, we had about an hour before James's flight took off.  We dropped him at the airport with 35 minutes to go- miraculously he and Damien both made their flights!

Since it was crazy at the end, I didn't get a lot of pictures.  But here is the (almost) final result...

You can see the gage sticking up to Damien's left, with the pipe (that the cable was in) right behind him.  At the top of the picture, you can see the black tool box where the data logger was.
After dropping the guys off, I returned the ladder to Home Depot and drove home.  It was another long day!

So the story of this field work gets even better.  Two days after we got back, I got the following email:

"Well, this is really the ultimate ending to a crazy insane set of feats we all pulled off…

Diana [our client] just called me and told me X County Beaches & Harbors and the Police called her and were freaking out and about to defuse the “bomb” on X bridge! Luckily, Diana explained it was our flow meter and they didn’t remove it.

We need to put a metal plate/label on the box with contact info, etc. soon…. Let’s discuss later. I was thinking that we should go back out soon anyway to download and check that its working, secure the cord above the pipe, etc.

Maybe that could be done around the XX survey work… or a vacation to LA, which you all deserve!

Nick [my boss]"

Haha- sometimes my job is just so awesome. :)

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