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IDCORE - Orkney Field Trip

The annual IDCORE field trip took place this week and saw the 2014 and the 2015 cohorts visit the beautiful Orkney Islands. It started off in a worryingly similar fashion to last year’s trip where the proposed visit to an offshore wind farm was cancelled at the last minute due to extreme wind and waves (why are we developing ForeCoast® Marine again?). Thankfully, we were able to re-schedule the ferry from Monday afternoon to the Tuesday morning and safely make it to Stromness.

On the Tuesday we received a lovely welcome and two interesting discussions from the Orkney Islands Council and the European Marine Energy Centre Ltd (EMEC). A brief but instructive trip to the onshore infrastructure at the Billia Croo test site was followed up by a fascinating visit to the Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd workshop and offices near Kirkwall.

The trip to Orkney was a perfect opportunity to meet with project partners EMEC to discuss the progress that has been made in the development of a complete ForeCoast® Marine system for operations at their wave and tidal test sites. It was great to put some faces to names and see the how well the project is progressing. Thanks a million to Andy Shanks and everyone else at EMEC for their hospitality and for a really productive meeting.

The timing was particularly ideal on the morning before this project meeting as the IDCORE students were taken out on a crew transfer vessel to visit the Fall of Warness test site. My classmates were amused at how excited I was to see all the islands and vessel routes that I know so well from working on the EMEC Mission Planner and Gamer Mode. I can assure you that, in comparison to staring at the digital maps on my desktop, the route feels longer, slightly windier but definitely more beautiful.

I’m writing this blog entry travelling back from Edinburgh to Skipton and planning ahead for the next few tasks when I get back to the office. The next major job is to produce my first IDCORE Annual Report. Almost a year down already – the time has flown!

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