Tagged: status

The Worst Summer on Record

dunking

As some of you may have noticed, Buoy Alarm experienced some spotty Twitter service this summer, with the stations going offline for a period of nearly two months. This was completely our fault. We were unprepared for a Twitter API deprecation that left our publishing script unable to properly authenticate. The fix was trivial, but finding time to debug, code, and deploy a solution took months.

Buoy Alarm is maintained on a part-time basis by myself and @aaronvb. It’s a free service, which means we’re not bound to service level agreements, or overwhelmed by a flood of support tickets when an issue occurs. It also means we generate zero revenue. The app is fueled by our own passion for the ocean and software development, a strange mixture of salt water and code, and continued commitment to this service we’ve built.

Ten months ago I accepted a full-time position at Marinexplore, and while I naively expected to continue working on Buoy Alarm during my free time, I quickly learned that doing so was unrealistic. Long hours at a startup leaves little room for much of anything else, and spending those precious few hours writing more software left me feeling unbalanced. I have no regrets for choosing friends, surfing, and sleep instead.

Fortunately, Buoy Alarm is rather autonomous, and required little to no effort on our behalf for much of the year. Then in June the Twitter API crapped out. More recently, the NOAA forecast data that we parse began to report inconsistent column values, causing wave heights that were obviously wrong. Both issues lingered for quite some time before we could even investigate them. Twitter feeds were eventually fixed, but forecasts have been disabled until we can clarify the source file issue with NOAA.

Issues are bound to happen, I’m actually surprised something didn’t break sooner, but our inability to respond to them in a timely fashion is something that concerns me. I think our users deserve better, but it’s the best we can currently do, and unfortunately the situation is unlikely to change any time soon. Thanks for hanging in there.

@ckalima

Updates/

San Diego Power Outage Affecting CDIP Stations

All Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) stations stopped reporting real-time data on Thursday afternoon, likely the result of yesterday’s massive San Diego power outage.┬áThe San Diego Gas & Electric company reported that power had been restored as of 3:25 a.m. this morning, however the buoys remain offline and there is no official announcement from CDIP regarding the downtime.

If any further information becomes available, we’ll let you know. Follow @buoyalarm on Twitter for the latest updates.

UPDATE (9:46 a.m. PDT): The CDIP website is back online and stations are once again reporting real-time observations.

Updates/

Iridium Satellite Communications Temporarily Down

The Coastal Data Information Program has reported that Iridium satellite communications are temporarily down and affecting 24 stations under their management. Real-time updates from these stations have been unavailable for the past 11 hours.

This includes stations in the Atlantic (Jeffrey’s Ledge, NH @buoy44098 / Masonboro Inlet, NC @buoy41110) as well as the Pacific (Humboldt Bay North Spit, CA @buoy46244 / San Francisco Bar, CA @buoy46237 / Harvest, CA @buoy46218) and Hawaii (Waimea Bay, HI @buoy51201 / Barbers Point, HI @buoy51204).

We assume normal reporting will resume once satellite communications have been restored. For the latest status updates please follow @buoyalarm on Twitter.

Update

Service has been restored to the affected stations and real-time reports are now available.

Updates/

Did you know you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate our blog? Of course not. There’s a few

Did you know you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate our blog? Of course not. There’s a few things you don’t know about, including this new icon, because we just made it.

For those who would rather stare at the surf cam instead of drive two minutes to check it, now you can get even lazier… “k” jumps to the next post, and “j” jumps to the previous post. If you want to jump pages, just use the left and right arrow keys.

Updates/

The Mokapu Point buoy came back online today after being down for over 2 weeks. It’s a good near-shore indicator for East swells, as well as those early morning Pyramid Rock / North Beach sessions! Follow it on Twitter @buoy51202.

Welcome Back Mokapu

Updates/
Mokapu Point buoy came back online today after being down for over 2 weeks. It’s a good near-shore indicator for East swells, as well as those early morning Pyramid Rock / North Beach sessions! Follow it on Twitter @buoy51202." addthis:description="

Welcome Back Mokapu

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After experiencing some technical difficulties since mid-May, the Kaumalapau (Lanai) buoy returned to service on July 8th. According to the Scripps activity log, the downtime was due to “Telephone Problems,” which have been resolved with a new shore station. The Kaumalapau buoy is an excellent (and pretty much only) nearshore indicator for South swell activity in Hawaii, and is complemented nicely by the open ocean buoys, which are currently all offline or adrift, with the exception of 51003. For realtime updates on the Kaumalapau buoy, follow it on twitter (@buoy51203).

Buoy 51203 Returns To Service

Updates/
Kaumalapau (Lanai) buoy returned to service on July 8th. According to the Scripps activity log, the downtime was due to “Telephone Problems,” which have been resolved with a new shore station. The Kaumalapau buoy is an excellent (and pretty much only) nearshore indicator for South swell activity in Hawaii, and is complemented nicely by the open ocean buoys, which are currently all offline or adrift, with the exception of 51003. For realtime updates on the Kaumalapau buoy, follow it on twitter (@buoy51203)." addthis:description="

Buoy 51203 Returns To Service

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A good size late-season (mid-May!?) North swell hit Hawaii this morning (see Waimea Buoy chart above

A good size late-season (mid-May!?) North swell hit Hawaii this morning (see Waimea Buoy chart above), and by the looks of Northwest Hawaii buoy (51101), it’s going to be building all day long. The early session had some close interval surf, but that may open up as the swell builds.

In terms of development status, the entire site is being rebuilt in Rails, which is taking a bit of time. There are a bunch of exciting features being implemented in the rebuild, and we’re anxious to share them with you. We promise to reward those of you who register for your patience.

Now get off your computer and get in the ocean!

Updates/

Adding A Little Zip & Beware Firebug

We’ve pushed most of our static elements into a CDN in an effort to speed up page load times. You may notice that the map page has a bit more zip to it.

We’ve also noticed that if you’re using Firefox and have Firebug installed, there seems to be a documented issue with Google Maps. If you run Firebug, and the map and individual buoy pages are not loading properly, it’s most likely the cause. We suggest disabling Firebug when browsing Buoy Alarm as a fix.

Updates/