Numbers up at visitor information centre
WEST BAY – As anticipation builds for the planned power cable laying operation this fall, public interest continues to grow in the activity offshore at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE).
© Andrew Wagstaff - cumberlandnewsnow
Trials have been taking place all week at the FORCE site in West Bay for barge anchoring, cable recovery and deployment, while power cables are scheduled to be laid at the site this fall.
Visitor numbers are 40 per cent higher at the FORCE visitor information centre than they were at this time last year, according to centre manager Mary McPhee, who said she expects the overall numbers for this year to be up by about 25 per cent.
“People like seeing vessels on the water,” said McPhee. “Earlier today we had the barge on one end and the Vim (Point Vim, tugboat) on the other end of the site, so people could see they were on either border of the site, making it easier for us to show them.”
The barge anchoring trials have been taking place at the test site for more than a week, with the exercise in relation to the data cable laid at the site in December. This operation will be central to the Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) Platform, a recoverable instrument platform designed to monitor and characterize the FORCE site.
However, the operation is also helpful as preparation continue for the planned laying of the power cable, scheduled to take place next month and into October, according to McPhee.
“There are two main focuses: one is sensor technology and being able to go out and moor vessels, and eventually pick up the end of the cable and attach an instrument,” she said. “Then we’re focusing more on the power cables. However, these exercises with vessel control and station keeping are important for the power cables too.”