Anchoring a Mooring Buoy to the Tubbataha Seafloor

Tubbataha Mooring Buoys: Protecting the Reef from Anchor Damage



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An underwater photo gallery of the Tubbataha Park Rangers drilling and setting new mooring buoys on the seafloor.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    One of the projects we were helping out with on this trip to Tubbataha was drilling new mooring buoys into the seafloor for the diveboats to use.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    Much better for visiting boats to anchor themselves to a fixed line buoy that's been drilled into a relatively damaged area of the reef than allow them to drop anchor on otherwise healthy coral.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    The drilling operation was pretty complicated, requiring the drill to be powered by the engine at the surface in the small outboard boat.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    Here you can see two of the rangers choosing an ideal spot for a new buoy to be mounted. You can also see the deepsea power drill that enables the rangers to do this work so far underwater.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    Ed shows a recently drilled out core of coral that will be used to place one of the heavy pins to anchor the new buoy.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    It takes a lot of torque to properly set an anchoring pin like this one into the tough limestone substrate.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    Here the rangers are prepping the drilling equipment for the next anchor buoy.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    Angelique checks out the buoy equipment to make sure we're ready to go with the next anchor.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    Tough to work at 15 meters underwater with heavy drilling equipment!

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    It took a lot of coordination between the rangers working on the bottom with the drill and the other Tubbataha Park Staff on the surface running the drill's power supply.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    These heavy-duty chains will be used to anchor the many dive boats that visit Tubbataha during the busy diving season from March to early June.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    The drill sounded like a jackhammer and was very loud underwater since sound travels so much easier in water when compared with air.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    First buoy gets the 'Ok' sign and is ready to go.

  • Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha

    Mooring Buoy Undersea Drilling at Tubbataha
    Angelique checked it out from a little further away and also gave it the thumbs up.