Off bottom plugs are set in both well drilling (kick-off plugs) and in well decommissioning (abandonment plugs). In both cases a dense fluid (cement slurry) is placed over less dense wellbore fluids. In the case of kick-off plugs, viscous pills are commonly used, which can help stabilize this mechanically unstable situation. Abandonment plugs however are often set on top of the freshwater that is used to clean the well prior to abandonment. This is the current practice for many wells in Northwestern Canada. It is a mystery how such cement plugs are able to stay in place for a time sufficient for the cement to thicken and hydrate, but field evidence suggests they do. In this paper we explore the mechanically unstable scenario of a heavy yield-stress fluid placed on top of a less dense Newtonian fluid in a cylindrical pipe, dimensionally scaled to represent an off-bottom plug. We present details of the experimental setup and its calibration. We then explore the buoyancy-driven exchange flows that occur in transitional parametric regimes between flow and no-flow states, by using both computer modelling and physical experimentation. 3D numerical simulation, using a Volume of fluid method, is carried out to capture the interface between the fluids. The 3D model provides us with a more detailed analysis of the concentration and velocity profiles, along with comparisons to snapshots of the experimental results. The aim is to explore the phenomenology of these unstable flows and be able to estimate timescales of the destabilization. Preliminary results are presented.