The title was “The Submarine Cable Business – Boys with Toys”.
Submarine cables have been laid on the seabed since the 1850s. The first subsea cable was installed from Dover to Calais in 1850.
The first transatlantic cable was laid by the cable layer SS Great Eastern in 1860 and enabled telecommunication between Europe and North America.
A cable layer or Cable Ship (CS) is a deep sea vessel designed and used to lay underwater cables for telecommunications and electric power transmission.
The technology on cable ships has evolved and while bow working cable ships were characteristic in the past the newer ships use stern working with modern computer information systems on board.
John’s first command as master was on board CS Mercury in 1990 which had a mainly Spanish crew so that John had not only to learn the technical language about cables in English but also in Spanish.
Subsea Cables is owned by a consortium which operates or services submarine cables. Members include Telecommunications, Power, Renewable Energy companies.
Once the requirement for a cable system has been identified funds are raised to build it.
John then described marine charts and methods of identifying a safe route for cabling.
A well deserved vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Mike Taylor.