Looking at various ideas around the idea of building lived-with media and machines, I ended up going via Sara Jane Pell’s work through the Atlantica organisation who plan to live on the ocean floor full time. This is quite interesting and bizarre and part of a long history of planned attempts to live on and in the ocean which I have been following on and off since some flexible floating platform designs in the 1990’s that were a lovely part of what was happening in that wonderfully optimistic time. My current favourite is the Open Sailing group who are looking at various technologies, very DIY meets high tech meets open design.

About to seal the hatch on a DIY submarine.

But let’s not think about unbounded optimism of whole communities and living. Let’s think about crawling into a tube and letting it go underwater. I am not sure if I would trust the DIY attitude of this man’s efforts. The piece looks quite nice. But I know I do not like caves if I cannot see a clear path out – dive-throughs  (going through an underwater arch) are one of the most adventurous things I can do underwater and I have no intention of starting cave diving ever. I thought about and even started a wreck diving course almost 10 years ago, spending the first hour horrified by stories of people getting lost in the six square meter forward compartment of a sunken fishing boat with an open hatch that they could no longer see due to swirled up silt. phew! I didn’t go back. But crawling into a small tube, sealing the hatch and getting completely submerged with it.

Jiminy Crickets.

On the other hand, walking into a somewhat larger tube with several thousand liters of highly flammable jet fuel attached to the sides along with a few hundred other people and waking up on the other side of the planet is meant to be safer than driving to the beach, and that’s got to be nuts too.

Bring on the DIY subs, trash boats and all other assorted watercraft!