So, Here I shall try and explain how we do what you expect us to do. Known in the trade as 'Buoy Bashing'. I tried to get photos of every step, though there are a couple missing. I am there to work after all and not fanny about with a camera. This Buoy is a Class 1 High Focal Cardinal Buoy. There aren't many. You can see in the final picture just how different in size they are to a Class 2. So this really is quite an adverse example, however the principals remain the same.
USING THE 'HAPPY HOOKER', ATTACH THE STROP FOR THE CRANE THROUGH THE LUG OF THE BUOY, ATTACH TO CRANE, REPEAT ON OTHER SIDE OF BUOY
BEGIN TO LIFT, AS YOU CAN SEE THERE ARE LOTS OF MUSSELS AND SEA CREATURES LIVING HERE SO...
...JETWASH THE BUOY
Once on deck, or in this case in the well, the bridle (the loop of chain attached directly to the buoy going to a swivel attached to the chain heading to the sea bed) is disconnected, taking off the load from the chain which we now start to bring on board.
The chain is pinned in place, a hook lowered and attached onto the chain going into the sea, then it is lifted, flaked below deck, then a hook lowered to repeat the process until we can get the sinker onboard.
It's at this point that one hopes it'll be just chain and sinker that arises, with nothing else fouling the chain. So far we've picked up an anchor weighing a tonne with about 50 fathoms of cable, and an old concrete sinker. It has been known of an unexploded bomb coming up with one sinker.
ONCE ON DECK, CLIMB TO TOP OF BUOY, CHECKING THAT THE LIGHT, BATTERIES AND REGULATOR ARE OK. MEANWHILE ON DECK WE ARE CHECKING THE THICKNESS OF THE CHAIN, CONDITION OF THE SINKER AND FOR ANY WEAR AND TEAR ON THE SHACKLES.
If the chain is too thin, it is replaced, as for anything else that is deemed unfit for purpose.
ALL OK!!! REVERSE PROCESS
Though we turn the hooks around in the lugs as to swing the buoy around and wash the other side of it.
Also now we have attached lines to the strops, as when the hooks go slack they can get tangled around the top marker and cause all sorts of bother. By pulling like nutters on these ropes we can get the strops and hooks away from the buoy pretty swiftly.
Say good bye, cup of tea, rollie, and jobs a goodun.
If all goes smoothly we can get a Buoy lifted, checked and back in the 'Oggin in little over an hour. That's 500 plus years of doing it every day. Ask them on the Pat, some of them have been there for about that time.