Holy Moly, remember paddle boats? Where I grew up there was a lake, an artificial lake, mind you, built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1940’s because that’s just what they did, move from place to place building lakes and dams and bridges all the while singing the sorts of working songs that you find in JRR Tolkein–or so that’s at least how I imagined it–in reality, I guess they built it to control a flood plain. But the added benefit for the settlers of our little burb-clave was that it was integrated into a larger state park area that got a playground, some swings, and a boat house wherein you’d rent those hip 70’s style swingin’ paddleboats with space for three if you were kids and small and someone didn’t mind sitting on top of the rudder rod.
In any case, those days are long gone, but the paddleboats are still around. I wonder if this guy grew up with them as well.
Enter Ted Ciamillo. A machinist by trade, Ted, along with marine biologist Frank Fish (no, you can’t make this stuff up!), designed the dolphin fin swim assist device called the Lunocet that was all the rage on the Internets a few years back. Now, along with Fish, he has designed this pedal-powered submarine based on the same dolphin-tail configuration. And now, ostensibly to test it out, and also to mark one hell of a 40th birthday, Ciamillo intends to use it cross the Atlantic all alone. By his calculations, “To pedal the 3700 kilometres of open water from Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa to Barbados in the Caribbean should take around 50 days…”
“I found myself frustrated by how slowly you move under water, especially with a bunch of dive gear on your back,” Ciamillo says. “It’s like dropping someone in the middle of the forest in a wheelchair.”
Do yourself a favor and visit Ciamillo’s own website as well: The Subhuman Project.
(via the New Scientist)