The Don Ho Solution
Now here’s a bit of interesting news. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Makers of great big ships among other things.) has come up with this cool, efficient, and dare I say, “fun” way to cut up to 25 percent of CO2 emissions from large cargo carriers. Heck, they’ll even go a bit faster as well! The big idea? Blowing bubbles!
The effervescent plan (Which i call the Don Ho Solution) involves putting an array of air pumps under a ship’s hull which will blow millions of tiny bubbles between the hull and the water. With less boat actually touching the water, there is less resistance. This means the ship is quicker and much more efficient. There’s probably some hovercraft designer out there somewhere slapping himself on the forehead and doing his best faux-shocked look about now… On the other hand, some would say the idea actually came from John Elfreth Watkins, Jr who in 1900 predicted in the Ladies Home Journal that these “air boats” would make the crossing from the US to the UK in 2 days.. Of course he also predicted that in the event of storms these ships would dive below the surface until fair weather returned.
According to Midwest Energy News, the air lubrication idea would be a dream come true here in the Great Lakes region where ships designed for the inland seas tend to have flat bottoms which happen to be a perfect fit for air lubrication systems. EcoGeek.org even predicts the systems will come to the great before the open ocean.
Of course, you can’t help but think about how to apply this system to sea kayaking.. Who wouldn’t like to make it even easier to move your kayak through the water. The problem is that I can’t readily imagine a system that wouldn’t involve self-appointed expert paddlers… or methane..
Reminds me of a story I once heard about a kayaker, a spray skirt and a bag of brussel sprouts… Ah, but we’ll save that for a rainy day on the beach…