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Oceanic Gardens

Add a touch of beauty to the deep blue sea...
 
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Basically, this idea provides a means of making good use of old, decommisioned maritime vessels, like old passenger liners and outdated warships.

Simply put, the ships' entire upper decks would be covered in tropical plantlife. Flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, etc... The outer hull covered in fast-growing hanging vines. As much of the middle and lower decks would be filled with soil as bouyancy (sp?) would allow. There would be hundreds, possibly thousands, of old, mothballed ships that would otherwise be left to rust and sink, and eventually demolished, that could be given the Garden Mod.

Each ship would be refueled exactly once, then set to drift freely on the oceans. Windmills on the ships would store enough energy for minor course corrections to keep the Gardenships from running aground. This would be handled by automated contol systems linked to a GPS. Each ship's progress would be monitored by GPS, and if the ship got dangerously close to land or icebergs or reefs (the locations of which are marked on nautical charts) the ship's automated control systems would activate the engines and steer a course away from (or parallel to, if there's a town within viewing range) the shore.

These magnificent, autonomous floating bastions of wildlife would provide much joy for sailors, cruise passengers, and inhabitants of coastal towns, as well as beginning a new sport - Garden Spotting.

Volunteers could fly helicopters out periodically to the Gardenships to fertilize the soil, if needed. Who knows, maybe some new form of intelligent life will evolve on these ships.

Note (not part of the main idea, so please don't bone it based on this not being feasible): People might even be able to live on these ships, if they were inspected and deemed safe enough. They'd be self-sufficient, with power provided from all the wind on the ocean, food from the garden itself. Fresh water could be provided by an onboard desalinator (sp?). Nice place for the homeless to go. What do you think?

21 Quest, Oct 25 2006

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       Have you been watching Silent Running?
skinflaps, Oct 25 2006
  

       No... doesn't sound familiar. What's it about?
21 Quest, Oct 25 2006
  

       Wow... that looks like an amazing film... is it easy to find these days, or do you have to go to a special site to order it?
21 Quest, Oct 25 2006
  

       You'd have to use salt-resistant plants and program the ships to stay at latitudes that suit them.
squeak, Oct 25 2006
  

       There would have to be some kind of security system in place to prevent (dare I say it?) pirates from taking possession of the vessels for illicit purposes. One of these lovely Gardenships could quickly become the SS Cannabis Grow-op or HMS Meth-lab, or at the very least a base of operations for seagoing scoundrels.
Canuck, Oct 25 2006
  

       The UN could send people to check on them periodically.
21 Quest, Oct 25 2006
  

       Artificial reefing as someone else mentioned is better, just clean the toxic elements off the boat and sink it. It has been fairly well documented on how these sunk ships provide protection for underwater critters and can help revitalize a portion of the shallow ocean. The return of value is much better.
nustada, Oct 25 2006
  

       With the ever more populated hurricane season, how could an underpowered vessel ever hope to get out of a storm's way ? Even if you overlook the problem of having all those purdy trees ripped up from their roots and falling in Kansas, what about spray ? You'd need plants much, much more than salt resistant. Have you ever been on a boat before ? In light winds a great deal of salt water can still be brought up to the deck. Not to metion leaking into the soil ! Deposits over the course of a year would require a complete replacement of the soil onboard.
Raithah, Oct 26 2006
  

       I like big boats, I can not lie
You other bakers can't deny
When a ship comes in with a floating garden place
And 'round the globe it will pace
You get buns!
Zimmy, Nov 02 2006
  

       I suspect anchoring them might be better than letting them drift, but otherwise - a bun.
  

       If you had a huge flotilla of them all close together, the safety aspect wouldn't be so significant: if one was going down, people could escape to one of the others nearby. Add to that, those in the middle of the group would be somewhat protected from wave action and salt spray.
Cosh i Pi, Jun 02 2007
  
      
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