Ever since I decided the oceans were interesting I’ve wanted to explore them. I wanted to know what lies beneath. I learned to SCUBA dive, and that was amasing, but anyone who has ever been under water, under ground or into a dark place where the unknown is just out of reach will know there are are two types of people in the world – those who turn and get the hell out of there and those who are drawn forward, into the darkness. I am definitely one of the later.
I’m also an engineer by aptitude and ancestry, so it was only logical that I would eventually arrive at the idea of building a submersible, something that go go deeper than I ever could on SCUBA.
About 25 years ago I started toying with ideas, working out how to make all of the bits work together. I came up with idea after idea, all of which required a significant investment in time or money, neither of which I had. I was also victum to a certain amount of inertial procrastination. Nothing happened for a very long time.
Enter long-time friends, Andy and Quentin. One day I happend to mention my dream of building an ROV. Inspiration struck and never ones to let a little thing like a plan get in the way of getting things done, they simply said ‘let’s do it’. No more procrastination. So in January 2016, we started.
This blog series follows what we’re doing, our achievements and or failures. And I hope, our eventual triumph.
So why is this different to every other plastic-pipe and bilge pump submersible out there? Simple, or goal is depth. A lot of depth. The deeper the better. We have a two stage goal. The first stage is to build an ROV capable of operating at a depth of 100m. Stage two is to increase that to 1000m.
A small number of DIY submersibles operate up to 100m, but when you talk about going deeper still, you immediately remove almost all other DIY submersibles from the landscape because everything gets a lot harder and there’s not a lot of payoff unless you’re after sunken treasure. For us it’s as much about the engineering challenge as being able to do anything useful at those depths. Fortunately, we’ve got a 2000m deep trench on our back door step waiting to be explored.
Or other goal is to keep or costs to a practical minimum and share what we’re doing to encourage others to go further. I hope you enjoy following our progress and are inspired to take on the challenge for yourself.