I never did properly thank Doug Brown, a classmate and friend, from hanging out on the North Saskatchewan waiting for me and Jan to paddle by on May 13th.
Doug and I have a few things in common. Most notably, our sanities are often in question. Mine for, well, obvious reasons, and his because he’s a submariner. Cmdr Brown is also very handy with a sextant and quite capable of pumping out a three-body fix in less time than it takes to rise from periscope depth. Moreover, he sends text messages like they were meant to be sent. Here’s his text to me staring his intentions to intercept us at Horburg
ACK EST SOA 3 kn RV Horburg. My ETA 1320
Being an engineer, Doug likes to know how things work. Being a Maritime Engineer, Doug likes to make things work better. To these ends, he asked what I had dome to Karta to make pulling a 200lb load some 600km over the continental divide child’s play. Like I said, Doug likes to know about these kinds of things. Here’s what I wrote back when he asked.
Great to hear from you! Right you are sir about the mods to Karta. It took a bit of figuring, but I got most of it right before I left, Much trial and error, and (sadly), wasted expense. For the record, details to follow:
When the canoe was built, I had the manufacturer install positively ionized hydrophilic closed cell UHMWPE foam in the bow, and negatively ionized foam of the same type in the stern. Of course, rowing in the northern hemisphere where Coriolis forces are always cosine theta, I didn’t have to worry about swapping ionizations when crossing the equator.
The next trick was to get the manufacturer Ito use only right-hand lay warp fibrres in the Kevlar.cloth on the starboard side and left-hand lay on the port. Maxwells right hand rule for electromagnetic fields meant that if I could create an exotbermoc reaction in the charged flotation chambers now and stern, I could basically turn the canoe into a large DC battery.
I created the reaction by adding hydrocarbons to the chambers. Any hydrocarbon will do, gas being the obvious choice. Not needing the BTU’s in gas, I got away with used coming oil.
Last but not least, I painted the forward faces of the spokes on the wheels with a super-conducting neo-molybdenum purple film that was positively charged with a lithium battery while drying and the reward faces with the same material but reversed the charge. The net result, as you guessed, is that when the exotjermic reaction fires up the DC battery, a large voltage is induced and current begins to flow around the canoe. If I start to pull the canoe while on Karta, the super-conducting spokes (insulated from ground by the rubber tires and from me by the non-conducting solid fibreglass pulks) width the positive and negative faces produce a pulsating turning moment that propels the cart. As long as I supply some initial force to overcome static friction and there is sufficient fuel to create the DC current,I get a very substantial boost, especially when going uphill.
Hope that answers your question as to why the spokes on the wheels were purple and the pulks white.