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Futuristic Gateway

Dry Dock

Futuristic Gateway

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The port of Gateway Florida as envisioned by me for the year 2025 in a letter written to the local newspaper - Florida Today some years back. The port as it exists today ( area in blue ) can easily be recognized just below, or south of the large square envisioned complex. It was an exercise in subtle seed planting, thinking the movers, and shakers of the area would see some merit in it. Sadly, they don't read this newspaper, or it wasn't given much thought. I was on a kick, thinking how heavy industry, and it's benefits had slipped from our grip. Anyhow, there's no harm in storing these ideas in this home gives me something to do other than sit, and watch the grass grow.

Click Here for large, detailed graphic of Port Canaveral, with some photos.

                                                141700Z JUL 95
Dear Sir/Madam:
    Gateway, capital of Florida and seat of Brevard County, is located on
central Florida's east coast.  The population is 1.5 million ( 2025 census ).
    A transportation, distribution, and industrial center, the economy is
based on the areas aerospace/maritime industries, education, and tourism.
    Gateway is the prime port for orbital space stations and inter-planetary
travel, and is the main maritime link of the nations southeastern quarter,
providing high-speed submarine cargo services to Europe, Africa, and South
America, and surface pleasure cruises to the Caribbean area.
    Home to the world's highest institution of applied technology, students
from all over the world avail themselves of the re-vival of industrial
vocational trades of all kinds. Gateway Vocational Institute - GVI - is free.
    Since its inception back in the latter part of the last century, Gateway
absorbed the hamlets of Cocoa, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral,
which can still be remembered by some of our 'old timers'.
    Awakened by the potential of their combined areas, leaders, in an
unprecedented move, with voters approval, decided to consolidate.
    The two major salt water lagoons, which were at one time called "rivers",
give the city a priceless charm, interrupting any monotony which is common to
large industrial cities.
    In order to midigate the expansion of the ports and industries into portions
of these lagoons, no expense was spared in restoring them to pre-settlement
days.  Today these lagoons are major attractions to non impact water sports, and
wildlife.  Marine biological and zoological institutions grace the shores.
    Adjacent wildlife sanctuaries also soften the harshness of industry and
    Today, space flight passenger terminals stand linked by strands of high
speed monorails connecting all points in Florida, large monumental white
buildings enclose giant cargo submarines under construction, miles of cargo
and passenger terminals, ship yards, and refractories line the expansive
deep water port, all landscaped and treed to blend with the surrounding
homes and nature.
    Gateway has no crime or unemployed.
Note to Dotty,
    Happy story...for a change. May be too large to print, but you do have
a large paper.

Dry Dock
sextant_with_webs.gif Imagination relayed doesn't always work, not unless it falls on ears tuned into making a buck, and have the resources to get the ball rolling. It's hard to find such ears, they surely don't travel in my circles, or vice versa, rather. I was on a letter kick with the newspapers back then, and it spilled over to the Capital. It ended after this transmittal, thank goodness...I found the Internet.

                                                131348Z FEB 96
Dear Sir:
    I have been retired for some years now from the U.S. Navy's Military
Sealift Command. I retired as Captain, being in that position for 21 years.
My total time spent at sea was 37 years.
    Being rather unique, especially now-a-days, I only worked in one (1)
vocation, and that of seaman.  Fortunately, years back, a young fellow could
do that, and retire from it too.  Here are some thoughts from an apolitical,
non-apathic, sea dog:
    One might say, that, with the NASA complex, and all the ancilliary
businesses related to and supportive of it, that this is a rather hi-tech
area, and be right. Though there are many who work at hi-tech jobs, there
are also many who work at the lesser mechanics of such a state, the ones
with the "right stuff" of the past age - the industrial age.
    Remember when "hard ware" meant just that - tools, fittings, etc.?
It still means that, though to more and more of us it means computer parts.
Different meanings from different ages.
    We fool ourselves with these "ages", thinking the transition from one
to the other negates the former, saddly, demeaning it.
    No industry more aptly reflects this than ship building and repair,
which belongs in the category of heavy industry.
    Such an industry now has the stygma of a toxic waste dump...not in my
backyard. Here's where our "hi-tech-conditioning" obfuscates reality.
Because we haven't seen a state of the art shipyard, only our idle and
left to die relics, do we have this apathy.
    A modern, state of the art shipyard is comparable to airplane manuf-
acturing plants in esthetics, and environmental impact.
    Large ships are actually constructed inside buildings, under
environmentally controlled conditions, each completely finished section
emerging as the vessel gets longer, until finally, when the last of the
vessel is shoved-out, making its debut by smoothly slipping gently into
its awaiting environment and sailing majestically away.
    Such a structure, and a ship is a structure, is a very complex and
demanding work of art, requiring the expertise of legions of tradesmen,
craftsmen, designers, engineers, technicians, laborers, and yes - computer
types for control systems, etc..
    It is a labor intensive endeavour, employing literally thousands,
scanning all levels of ability and aptitude.
    We seem to forget that to lose the industrial edge, we put ourselves
at the mercy of others to fix or build things for us.
    Aside from military vessels, we have done just that to ourselves.
Merchant (civilian-type) vessel contstruction in this country has literally
ground to a halt.
    The reason for this can be simply explained. Foreign built ships are
cheaper to buy, for now.  I say for now, because, if our ship-building
technology was up-dated, or given a chance to up-date, like the automobile
industry, we could build ships faster, better, and cheaper, then any other
country on earth.  With automation, which we never applied to ship-building,
new modular technology, and new materials we hadn't had before, and lastly,
the computer design and planning concept used in air-craft manufacture, we
could beat any competition.
    We need to get back to the previous age, the industrial age.  We need
to revive this age in order to meld our high tech advantage with it.
    Why, it's not just for ships.  It is estimated that we are facing a
$3 trillion repair bill for our highway infrastructure - bridges, tunnels,
    That's not to renew it, just fix-up what's there.
    Here we will have to high-technize our heavy industry, or, call in some
other country to do it for us cheaper.
    That's ridiculous!  With all the young people we have in college today,
and most of them facing un-employment upon graduation, so the media tells us,
what are they being taught?  I have a gut feeling that most of them have
gotten some bum guidance.  It looks to me like alot of youngsters are being
groomed for dream jobs in business management, advertising, marketing, and
the ultimate attractions of entertainment, and sports.  There's nothing wrong
with these, except, these fields are saturated.
    We need to graduate engineers, technicians, hands-on construction type
professionals.  Those short of college, and many still in college pursuing
dream jobs, need vocational schools, and training.  Bring back the
apprenticeship concept.
    With the condition this country is in structurally, we shouldn't have any
unemployment.  There shouldn't be any kids hanging out on street corners, or
in bars.  This country should be so busy, most of us would be in bed by nine.
    In fact, with the brains and technology we have, we should be building
ships, bridges, buildings, etc. for export.
    I believe, if we wanted to, we could outdo anybody in manufacturing
anything better, cheaper, and faster...right here in this area.
    So, it behoves us, if we care for our youngsters, to provide them with a
realistic education they can sink their teeth into.  Start considering, and
setting apart a heavy-industrial park, so to speak, contingent with our port
facilities for maximum support and to the to
the world.
     Pretty soon, we are going to have three of the world's largest ships
home-ported here. They won't be built here, unfortunately, but there is no
reason we can't fix or maintain them here.
    Here's my proposal. Listen up Uncle Sam.  I need the north end, and
the west side of the Navy's trident basin. I will also need about $300
million.  Well, not me personally, the not yet established Maritime Refractory
Administration - MRA - will.  I want to built a graving-dock ( dry dock ) into
the north end large enough for the Phoenix World City, and a wet dock along
the west side of the trident basin.  I will need a minimal of property
encompassing the docks for shops, lofts, cranes, etc., required in this
    Once built, the MRA will lease the dock to the Port for $1 per year.
    The Port will administer the dock, using revenues realized - to maintain
the facility - by sub-leasing to qualified contractors.  Contractors will
be selected using a bidding process, with the first right to refusal given to
local contractors. Local contractors means a bonified resident business with
resident employees. No fly-by-night out-of-towners.
    The dock (graving dock) will be kept dry while engaged or not.  Topside
repairs/maintainance will be done at the wet dock. Tasks requiring drydocking
will be executed promptly.  The graving dock will never be used as a wet
    National defense interests take preference. Emergencies will get serious
consideration. The port's resident cruise lines will get top priority in
scheduling and repairs, if...they remain loyal to the port.
    Now, all I need to do is establish the MRA, get $300 million from Uncle
Sam, convince the Navy to release the property, and get the port to accept
the challenge. That's all. Nothin' to it.
    Remember that old song? -  We did it before, and we can do it again.

square_knot.gif Dear Reader,
So, I once knew eighty different knots, and could navigate a ship around the world, but I don't have diddly funds, and know no one important. I think I have a handle on what this world, and nation needs, as you do, but I'm either too chicken to speak out, or haven't been "called" yet. Ha Ha. I did get a favorable response to my letter above, it being passed on to a senator, who passed it on to the Maritime Administration, who frightened the daylights out of me intimating it was possible, and how to get the money. Anyways, I don't think the Navy would have released that property, and I have too much fun just thinking about things. Note in the upper-most drawing where the "drydock" still exists...I named it after myself - "Carl II".

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OAR...get it? - OR...

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