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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

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Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Survival Boat

In this morning's dream offering, I apparently joined the ranks of the Doom Prep'ers. I decided to build an apocalypse survival boat - in my back yard. There were some very nice features, a solar powered water desalinization and recycling plant, Solar heat exchanger, photo electric panels that provided about two hundred watts during the day, and then via another heat exchanger I could drive a little 5 watt turbine at night or I could open up the mast stacks and let the wind generate energy as well. There was also a fifty gallon methane digester on the poop deck.

The wind stacks were airfoil sails but with a yard and a fabric sail on both sides of each stack (so it looked like I could run with four sails and a spinnaker as well as the wind turbines. There was a small electric motor, but I can't imagine it would generate enough horsepower to make more than a couple of knots. (I believe this was salvaged from Little Red, my Honda Insight.)

Because my back yard is "L" shaped, the boat had a bendy section in the middle! The aft portion of the boat had the wheelhouse, kitchen and fold out solar arrays as well as a back deck with two feet of potting soil arranged around one of two water treatment features. The main cabin was just below this deck. and had a Jefferson bed/desk, a visitor's lounge, and diagonal pane windows looking out from under the poop deck. This deck was the black water treatment area, so was appropriately named, with water/waste entering a compost pile/ methane digester, and then flowing through the soil field below the planters. There was a way to rig plastic sheeting up over the entire deck to turn it into a greenhouse during the winter.

The forward section of the boat had the more complex water desalinization and grey water treatment plant, essentially long rows of rock and soil and sand filled tubes that the water flowed through until it flowed into the storage tanks below decks. This was also the section with the heat pumps. Every horizontal surface of the deck was home to planters or hydroponic runs, and I had in the cargo hold an inflatable raft which could hold even more hydroponic runs once I was out on the water. In addition to the ton of water storage, the ballast area was set up to hold many cans of food, spare parts for the boats critical electrical components, and some spare tires and axles, and the materials to turn the bendy section into a fixed section before being launched into the ocean.

Because I live about 16 miles from the ocean, the entire boat was built on a pair of lowboy trailer frames. I was actually living in the main cabin during the dream, it was a nice red patterned fabric and gold and cherry wood accents. My computer and monitor were set into the Jefferson desk, leaving room for several paper books, mostly the ones needed to maintain my shipboard systems, as I didn't want to rely on the computer if something went wrong with the power systems.

As the dream ended, I was sitting at the computer, adding the canned goods I'd just stowed to the inventory and recalculating my survival times. The boat would have been comfortable for two people for nearly a year, easily support four people with rationing and supplemental protein, by fishing, scrounging or hunting, and, if you slept in shifts, could probably accommodate six to eight people. The water and waste recycling systems would most certainly be over taxed, and there would be no way to feed that many people for more than a few months, not on the supplies from the gardens I had built in, even if you could grow food all year long by putting up the greenhouse covers. I turned off the computer and looked out the window over the yard, the grapes were coming along, the lemon tree had a dozen lemons, and the mulberry looked like it was healthy. I suddenly realized that I hadn't finished the rudders yet, and that might be pretty important some day.

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Blogger Fermius Firefly said...

As I pondered getting out of bed to feed the cats, I couldn't help thinking about the dream. It had been so realistic in many ways. I have no idea how I planned to haul the thing out of the back yard, as you would need a huge truck to pull the thing. (Maybe I planned to sail it out?) On the other hand, once you pulled the ladders up, you would be pretty safe from wild critters, so maybe it didn't need to go anywhere. Rather than fishing, I could catch the rats from the ivy in the back yard. My other thoughts while waking were that I should have built this on a large bus chassis, and made it an urban survival vehicle, sort of a mobile vegetable garden/Gypsy vardo. If I really needed to desalinate water to survive I could drive to some cliffs overlooking the ocean and run a feed pipe down to the water. That way when the ocean got stormy, you could just pull up and move inland until it passed.

10:23 AM  

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