Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Bat-Boat

Squeezing in under the wire here in terms of my ambition to post once a month. Only about 3 hours left.
So yesterday after seeing a fairly cool outdoor acrobatics show, which I conspicuously forgot to take any photos of, we saw this Earthrace boat, anchored in the River Liffey near to the dock and the floating platform where the acrobatics had been performed. This boat looks like something from a sci-fi comic, specifically like the boat Batman would have if he was marinely inclined. It has a sharp pointed brow and large curving 'horns' which dip into the water. I did manage to take a picture of it but I can't yet upload it so I'll add that later. The boat was raising awareness (and presumably funds) before attempting to circumnavigate the globe, running solely on biofuel. Parts of it are also made of hemp, and some of the materials used in construction were reused by local schools, according to the info on display beside it. The amazing thing about this boat is how it responds in rough weather where it is designed to cut through the waves rather than go over them. It can have up to 15m of water above it without a problem. Apparently the main issue is not the tolerance of the boat but the tolerance of the crew, as it is very hard to keep sailing while being essentially underwater, tossed around in darkness, with the overpowering noise of water crashing onto the ship. So it has not gone into the depth of seas it could cope with but has been operated in massive storms off New Zealand. Also it has some designs on the prow and horns by a fifth-generation Maori tattooist. A particular snippet that stayed with me is that there is an axe in the front sleeping quarters. The 'procedure' for escape if the ship is sinking is to use the axe to cut a hole in the hull big enough for the liferaft to fit through and exit that way. Reassuring. But perhaps the hemp makes it a little easier to chop. Overall pretty cool, and when you see the picture I think you'll agree.


Post a Comment

<< Home