2017-06-09 Engineering

The log of the Strider records cable lay operations during 5th June 2017:

Log of the Strider records cable lay operations
 

By 1:33 am on the morning of 6th June, the lay was complete, with NEC testing all positive and the Beach Manhole (BMH) sealed.

Strider was able to approach within about 500 metres of the shore for the landing. While not a fully-fledged cable ship, the Strider is an impressive vessel.

The close proximity of the jetty allowed excellent access to the whole work site, from the Strider to the beach bulkhead.

A heavy rope was used to establish a link from ship to shore.

Matt and Tom guided the incoming cable, supported on inflated inner tubes, to ensure that the cable was exactly on the path that had already been marked with string the day before.

The divers cut away the inner tube floats as they neared the beach bulkhead.

Mason Whipps made sure everything was right as the cable itself approached the first shore roller.

Finally, the cable had landed!

The shore team were now handing something a bit more substantial than rope – the double armoured cable for the PLSE weighs more than 2 kg per metre. A large digger was used to hold the first roller and also acted as a temporary anchor for the cable until it could be secured to the BMH.

The cable was coiled in a big figure eight and then fed into the conduits leading from the beach bulkhead to the BMH.

By 10:00am the cable was hauled into the BMH. The extra twenty metres was spooled in the BMH.

Meanwhile, the Strider was laying cable out through the West passage.

Cable laying continued far into the night.

Squalls were encountered.

But finally, the lay was completed, with a ground rope and a sinking chain attached, to be picked up from the sea floor and jointed to the cable that will be laid from the branching unit on sea-us by KDDI Pacific Link in August.

NEC testers went to work. While no one was surprised the electrical test results were good, it was still nice to know that all the work that had culminated in this big day ended with a perfect score! The cable armour at the BMH end was splayed and locked into place on the BMH anchor plates, and the BMH was sealed.

All that remains is to complete the installation of articulated steel pipe around the in-shore segment of the cable for additional protection. By Monday 12th June that should be completed.

Once up and running, best not to mess with the heavily armoured and insulated cable – it will be carrying 2000 volts to power the repeaters out to the branching unit (BU).