The weather is here

22 December 2012 by Steve Blum
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A stormy morning on Monterey Bay got me thinking about Blueseed, a plan to anchor a high-tech haven twelve nautical miles off the San Mateo County coast, in international waters.

It looks like a floating city in conceptual images, but if it actually puts to sea version 1.0 would have to be a converted cruise ship. If it takes off, then maybe enough capital will be there for custom ship building. For now, they’re working with a six-figure seed fund.

Days like today would be the most serious natural challenge to the project. Half Moon Bay, the nearest landfall, is home to Mavericks, “a winter destination for some of the world’s best big wave surfers.” Maneuvering capability would be essential, unless Blueseed accumulates enough experience and baseline data to figure out how to keep something stationary in a far from benign environment.

A ferry connection is planned, weather permitting. A rough ride at times, but probably as predictable as any other commute along the U.S. 101/I-280 corridor. Not particularly, in other words.

Internet access would be a challenge, for the same reason. A microwave link from shore would have to shoot through 12 miles of muck occasionally. That’s a lot of signal attenuation. A submarine cable might be the ultimate solution, if a regulatory nightmare can be avoided.

The stated purpose is to provide a location within day trip distance of Silicon Valley that doesn’t require foreign nationals to get a work visa. On board, the laws of whatever flag of convenience it flies will apply – the Bahamas and Marshall Islands are given as examples.

It’s crazy enough to work.