Futurists have all sorts of fascinating opinions on the sea, travel across the oceans and how the coming years will shape its role in human society. Of course, the ocean is swiftly becoming a place of leisure. Apart from massive cargo too large for a plane, most transporting of goods and people is done by air. If people step onto a boat, it’s to go fishing, or on a luxury cruise.
Alison said that she’s done a bit of research, and oceans might not even exist in fifty years’ time. We’re going to gather up all the water and place it in massive orbiting silos for easy desalination, and then we’re going to build roads across the dry land so we can more easily travel between countries. Not really sure how your friendly local anchor winch specialist is going to feel about that, since they need to find a new calling. But then a) I really don’t think the oceans are going anywhere and b) Even if they did dry up, that would create thousands, if not MILLIONS of jobs filling in all that infrastructure.
In any case, I prefer my ocean scenario, where we build massive land bridges lined with hotels, boat rental places and restaurants, for road trip experiences like no one has ever seen. Boat travel will therefore be accelerated, as you can easily traverse massive distances with much, much smaller boats. There will be pit-stops, you see. If you’re halfway across the Atlantic and you need outboard motor repair, you just follow the signs to the nearest boat mechanic and it’ll be a maximum half an hour before you get there. Not to mention, the coastguard profession will certainly take off since they now have to patrol basically every inch of ocean all across the Earth.
In any case, I’m talking about expansion, rather than the shrinking of outboard motor services. Melbourne will be one of the first to trial the ocean-bridges, of course. Finally, we shall be united with our Tasmanian and New Zealand brethren.