A Visit to Spike Island

IMG 1673On Friday 11th December, after some strong winds and rain, Arnaud and I visited the Sea-Fi installation on Spike Island, a small island at the center of Cork Harbour. Although it is only a short distance from the Sea-Tech office in Ringaskiddy (less than two kilometers in a straight line) we had to take two boat trips to get there. First we drove to Cobh via the cross-river ferry. Then having checked all our tools, test equipment, and spare parts, as possible replacements on the installation, we took the passenger ferry from Cobh to Spike Island. Before we left Ringaskiddy, I knew very little about Spike Island but it is steeped in historical significance.

Arnaud, who has done considerable work on Spike, has extensive knowledge of the island’s history, and the significance it has had to Cork Harbour, both in military and civilian terms. As we worked on the installation during the day, Arnaud recounted much of the history, and taught me many interesting facts – none of them related directly to high tech WiFi communications…! When we arrived on Spike, we were able to use the ‘cherry-picker’ that is on the island and is being used by Cork County Council for the refurbishment work ongoing on the island. This facilitated height access to the installation aerials and antennae we were working on. Arnaud explained the SeaFi radio link, and the network map for the devices that create the WiFi coverage for the Port of Cork - Irelands first wireless port – and the interaction between the various network components. On completion, we headed back on the passenger ferry to Cobh, secured our equipment and headed back to Ringaskiddy – the long way around through Cork city where Arnaud dropped me off. My thanks to both Chuck and Billy, who I met on the ferry and on Spike, both of whom are nice guys and were very helpful to me.

Jorge Tebar Perez

(Edited prior to publication as part of the english development program)

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