This is kinda bizarre.
I’m reading this novel by Clive Cussler. I normally like the Dirk Pitt novels, and this one is pretty good. I picked it up at the airport in LA, and I’ve gotten through about 2/3 of the novel. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten older, but it seems like all the principals in these novels, and even some of the less central characters, are fabulously wealthy, world renowned experts, exceptional people … I don’t know. Nobody lives in that kind of world. But suspension of disbelief is a wonderful thing, and it’s a pretty well written story and a fun airplane read. I’ve got to fly again this weekend, so maybe I’ll be able to finish it on this trip.
But I didn’t set out to review a 2-year-old novel.
One of the early scenes in the book involves saving an opulent floating hotel from the worst hurricane ever recorded.
I can’t find anywhere to excerpt it from, but basically, an evil unthinkably rich guy builds this floating hotel. Spas, shopping, and dining above the waterline, guest rooms below. No engines to get it out of the way of the monster hurricane.
Ok … it’d be a bit of an engineering feat, and you’d need a team of divers working full time just to clean the ports so the guests could see the marine life. But what ever.
So today, in the Beaches Leader, 1A below the fold, I see this headline:
“Hotelier Proposes Semi-Submerged Resort to NB”
“NB” being Neptune Beach, where I live.
Now, some challenges immediately come to mind when I think about this leviathan anchored off our little beach. First, it needs 32 feet of water. You don’t have to go too far offshore here to be in 32 feet of water … but there’s nothing to see. Unless they build artificial reef to attract some reef fish and other marine life, it’s all flat, beige sand. An occasional whiting or little bonnet-head shark, but it’s really flat and featureless. So the scenes they show on the website of people gazing out of a viewport at spectacular reef fish and colorful coral ain’t gonna happen off Neptune Beach. Not for a lot of years, anyway.
Plus, the article says they’d like to build a floating pier or skywalk from the beach to the boat. Anybody who’s been to the beach during a decent nor’easter knows that the seas build up to a point where you’re not going to want to walk over a floating pier in 7 or 8 foot surf, though the pilings of a skywalk might make for some decent fishing, and the surfers would probably love it.
Honestly, this is kind of like the floating nuclear power plants GE proposed to build here in the 70’s. An interesting idea on paper, but in practical terms, maybe not so much.
But it does make for an interesting scene in a novel. I wonder if the Undersea Resort folks are Clive Cussler fans …