With Normandie 3 successfully off-loaded, the Cable Enterprise moved off from Grouville Bay to begin her journey to Rotterdam the day before we held a reception at the top of Mont Orgueil to mark her arrival and view her in the bay!
The reception was a great success even without the barge, with CEO Chris Ambler making light of the star attraction’s absence by saying in his welcome speech that our engineers were just so efficient, they’d finished the job two days ahead of schedule and we’d ‘literally missed the boat’.
The Marketing Team, meanwhile, missed a lift, having to get exhibition stands, a TV, DVD player, a telescope, 8ft-long mounted pictures and various other paraphernalia up over 150 stone steps to the Medieval Hall. Though aided earlier in the day by Sherpas Joey Quintal and Ian Le Marquand of the Facilities Team, they still had to make four ascents in quick succession to prepare for the reception, with Sally Coenen notching ten ascents over two days.
On a glorious evening, almost 80 guests enjoyed drinks and canapés provided by Jersey Pottery. They were able to view an exhibition of the Normandie 3 Project’s progress to this milestone week, a film of the installation from France and a glimpse of life on board the vast barge before they headed up one more flight of steps to the ramparts from where they enjoyed the magnificent view which included our impressive N3 beach works.
In his speech, Chris Ambler said: ‘The barge was always going to be a bit of a moving target around which to arrange a function like this. Her movements and the cable installation schedule have been subject to the vagaries of the weather, tides, rocky seabed, unexploded ordnance clearance as well as the usual technical issues that one faces with a mission like this. The fact she has, at times, been delayed by all these factors and then romped home in the final furlong is a credit to the expertise of our contractors, the Prysmian crew and GPC beach team working in conjunction with our own staff.
‘However, I am pleased the cable is still visible on the beach and I hope you’ll agree that the progress of this most challenging leg of the project is worthy of special acknowledgement. The pace of activity since we secured French Planning Permission has been tremendous, but there is considerable further work still to do.
‘Though this is not yet a celebration of the successful conclusion of the project, I’d like to thank all the Normandie 3 Team, including our contract partners Prysmian and GPC, on getting us safely to this hugely significant milestone.’