Today saw the continuation of Patricia's commissioning trials. From her 'anchor' point, we moved off to a location along side a mud hopper and then deployed the legs for dredging. As we were towards the centre of the canal, it was possible to set all the feet on the legs pointing outwards. Our great new 'C' spanner soon had the legs rotated 90 degrees.
After a few phases of boom movement, the feet settled firmly on the canal bed and dredging commenced. Over a period of a couple of hours, dredging took place over the complete swept area of the boom, including repositioning to a new dredge area.
With Dredger No.5 having suffered a serious hydraulic fault and likely to be lifted sooner than later, getting Patricia ready for front line service has become top priority. Today's experience was considered most satisfactory by the three operators that took the controls and enjoying a more prolonged period of dredging.