Contacting Us

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2 thoughts on “Contacting Us”

  1. I was wondering, if travel to the mainland is truly an issue for the denizens of Hopeless, why a solution was not attempted. I am not talking about the haphazard attempts at “rafting over”, as even a successful one would not offer a solution for the populace as a whole. I was thinking about a solution more suitable for the condition, one with a more lasting effect, one which would benefit all, one more commonly used in such a situation – building a bridge.

    Now, obviously, constructing a conventional support bridge is out of the question. Setting aside the required materials, simply laying out the necessary support in the treacherous waters of unknown depth around Hopeless would be impractical at best, and impossible at worst. There is, however, a more elegant solution which would bare very small resource requirements and should not be beyond the engineering level of the island folk.

    Utilizing the very buoyancy of the water for support, a modular system based on buoys and bridge parts can be employed to create a bridge that is dynamic and very resilient. Each buoy would essentially be a box, an air-tight crate floating on the water, while the bridge parts would essentially be wide planks laid on top of the buoys. They would not be attached via nails, as a rigid structure is a fragile structure, instead pole on the buoys would fit into slightly larger holes carved into the bridge parts. This would allow the bridge parts to move back and forth with the current, as well as up and down with the waves, resulting in less wear-and-tear from oceanic forces. The top of the poles would be capped to prevent large waves from unhooking a part of the bridge. This would also safeguard against the unlikely event of a single bridge part sinking (wood doesn’t generally sink, but still…), since the remaining parts would keep it at least half-way aloft, and give enough time to replace it. Optional railing could be added to all parts for extra safety. Attaching the final piece to land can be done in any number of ways, although having well-rooted poles sufficient deep within the shoreline would probably work best.

    As for resource cost, the construction only requires wood and some nails, and even those are only needed in short supply. After all, the main ingredients of the bridge are air and water. A mile of bridge should not require more than the wood and nails required to raise three barns. As for construction time, a single buoy-and-plank part could probably be crafted by a single dedicated worked within a week. With a few volunteers (or perhaps a few orphans), several miles of bridge could probably be constructed within a few months. While the distance between Hopeless and the mainland is unclear, with no other venue of transport, even if the project was to last for several years, it would still be beneficial. As said, this is completely within the engineering capability of the people of Hopeless, and one would expect a large turn up of volunteers for such a project.

    The benefits of having the bridge are obvious. Even barring mass exodus, even such a shifting bridge, which can only be traversed on foot, would still allow trade of low-weight goods with the mainland, providing Hopeless with much-needed resources, as well as finally creating an import-export economy.

    Of course, the main advantage in a bridge of such a modular construction is its durability – short of a single part being cut clean through, quite a task even for the larger beasts in the waters around Hopeless, any damaged part would not instantly undo the bridge’s overall integrity, and could be easily replaced.

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News for the residents of Hopeless, Maine.

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