15th June 2013 - New Physics in Fiji

Jon & Carol Dutton
Sat 15 Jun 2013 10:22

15th June 2013 - New Physics in Fiji

We’ve been here a day or so and most enlightening it has been.  We are witnessing the birth of a revolution that will transform the world’s energy problems.  OPEC, your days are numbered.  You are toast.

We dinghied ashore to the establishment that is Savusavu Marina who own the mooring we now occupy – a bit up stream from the main mooring area.  We met the lovely Lela who runs the office and – as usual here – were made to feel massively welcome.  Bula, bula!

That done we met Leon.  He has a wonderful shed behind the office which houses all the James May boys’ toys you could dream of.  Digitally controlled lathes, drills, milling machines, la, la, la.  Whoa – a chap could spend many a happy hour here.

In the centre of the workshop was a curious structure consisting of a couple of sort of elliptical wheels about 5 feet in diameter welded to a steel framework.  Off to one side were a number of similar looking wheels which were looking a bit forlorn and discarded.

We were given a most enthusiastic description of what this was all about.  Big picture: this whole mechanism is designed to produce power using gravity as energy. Because, apparently, gravity is the most abundant form of energy on the planet.  At this point we all were beginning to feel that we may have misunderstood something pretty fundamental in our science education and, moreover, so had Isaac Newton who ‘invented’ gravity - as a force - in the first place.  For a while Jon feared that his various teachers had failed to drive home to him the fact that force and energy were precisely the same thing.  In fact, they’d beaten it into him that they were not. 

Anyway, what it all boils down to is that what is under construction in this Fijian workshop is a perpetual motion machine.  There have been one or two issues in getting this thing to work but Leon is confident that, with a bit of a tweak here and there to the precise shape of the elliptical wheels, all will come right.  And then, all the worlds’ energy problems will have been solved.  You read it here first.

At least you know where to go for the authoritative stuff.      

Then we got onto the subject of moorings.  The mooring to which we are attached is made of 3 two meter long steel screws screwed into the sea bed.  The 3 screws are then joined up to a massive swivel to which a riser is attached.  Connected to the riser are the rope and mooring buoy to which you attach your boat.  That, it has to be said sounds pretty secure.  But, a bit labour-intensive since each screw has to be screwed in using a couple of divers and a long pole to exert the necessary leverage to screw it down.  Jon asked why, given the difficulty of doing it that way, they didn’t just use concrete blocks – as in the UK.  The answer was, Numpty, that concrete floats.  And, if you sink it really deep, the air is forced out and therefore it floats more.  At this point we all felt that we were completely losing it.  What we’d been taught at school was physics.  This was ‘new physics’ and it was pretty different.

But, this is important stuff, folks.  Much earlier on we mused about the fact that La Palma island in the Canaries will, at some stage, lose about half its mass into the Atlantic Ocean in a sudden collapse.  When that happens the tsunami that results will probably wipe out much of the US eastern seaboard.  Well, OK, but how irritating it would be to have survived that as a yottie at sea and then run into hundreds of Manhattan skyscrapers bobbin’ about in the oggin.  Not a happy thought.

On that note we bid you a peaceful night.