And breathe. When every hour feels like a day, every minute feels like an hour and every second that ticks by seems to get longer and longer. These are normally the feelings one has when waiting on some important news, normally an exam result or the penalty shootout in the cup final. In my instance, it was waiting on news about a bit of plastic and some foam. To you they may sound like ridiculous reasons but I can assure you that without this piece of plastic and a block of foam, the submersible project would not happen. And indeed this time a couple of days ago I was debating postponing yet again, the date of the launch. Below is blog post #1 defining hero #1 who provide the foam – the next one will chat about hero #2 providing the plastic.
The story about how I acquired the foam is proof that every connection you make or relationship you build in life, no matter how long ago it formed you must never, ever burn your bridges behind you and you should ensure you give everyone a reason to be appreciated.
2 years ago, I phoned up engineered syntactic systems and spoke to Thomas. I was completely honest as at the time I had no idea if I even needed syntactic foam (let alone knowing what it was!) but I thought it would be useful to make contact and just see if they might want to collaborate with the submersible project, should it be necessary.
Thomas’s enthusiasm stuck with me and I made a note of our email exchanges and the website and archived the information for when I was further along into the submersible project.
And then, just a few days ago, the JoshingTalk ethos was put to the test. Trident Sensors rung me up and said they needed some syntactic foam to give this submersible the best chance of being recovered. They knew it was a long shot. I took a deep breath and muttered a few naughty words under my breath. Syntactic foam is a composite material synthesized by filling a metal, polymer or ceramic matrix with hollow particles called microballoons to give it resistance under extreme pressure, temperatures and forces. In other words, you wouldn’t find this at your local stationary shop. And if you did, then a) let me know where it is and b) it would set you back a healthy 4 figure sum of money.
2 years, almost to the day, I picked up the phone to Thomas and after catching up on the previous 24 months, I told him the situation that had occurred. He said that he would have a look out the back of the warehouse and see if they had anything suitable for my project.
Unfortunately, they had nothing ‘off the shelf’ that would be a perfect match for my submersible BUT they had a similar foam, that would do the same job and one that was originally built for one of the most famous submersibles known to man.
As I breathed a sigh of relief and the second hand on my watch resumed normal pace, I was in a state of pure appreciation for Thomas and Engineered Syntactic Systems. The foam should be with us halfway through next week and I am truly grateful for yet another saviour of the JoshingTalk Submersible project.