Monday, November 19, 2012

Eco Project: The build

As a capstone of the first DMT course of the year, the four of us are responsible for designing, creating, and installing a piece of artificial reef near one of the wrecks in Khao Lak.  Last year, the first DMT class dropped a giant concrete pyramid that could act as a fish nursery.  This year, they're trying to have each DMT class install their own piece to create an artificial reef habitat, since most of the area around Khao Lak is sandy and inhospitable for fish aggregations.

We spent all morning studying the different materials used in reef construction. Porcelain, untreated wood, untreated metal, and some concretes are very good for artificial reefs since they don't leach many chemicals and can last a long time. Painted and treated materials are often toxic, and shouldn't be used.

We found an abandoned toilet bowl near the storeroom and some old concrete blocks, so we created our own version of the Wicked Throne (to the porcelain gods).  We're going to sink it tomorrow and tie it off to the original concrete structure, fashioning the backboard to create a comfy seating area for fish who need to take a rest. We're hoping a moray eel lives in the toilet bowl :)

While we were trying to tie the toilet bowl to cement blocks, two Thai men stopped cleaning their yard and came over to help us. They basically took the rope out of our hands and showed us how competent people tie down toilets... it was hilarious because they didn't ask why we were trying to tie down a toilet bowl, they just helped us do it better. Amazing. This country is full of the most remarkable, friendly, and helpful people!
Getting taught about knots
This is how a professional ties knots! 
Making a Wicked symbol to tie to our toilet installation
Check back later for photos of the underwater installation! We're taking it out on a longtail boat, which tends to tip when even I walk from side to side, so it'll be very interesting to see how we manage to get it in the water without tipping the boat. WOO ENGINEERING!
Creating the headboard for the toilet throne
We did it. Wicked.
Finishing tying off the toilet after the Thai men left us to our own devices. 

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