3. Some Questions Part I

Some Questions of Impact to the Design

      I wonder why Verne chose to make the Salon one chamber of a different height than the rest.   After reviewing submarine designs from all periods, including his; 1865 to 1870, it was standard to have the decks run straight for the length of the vessel.   I believe that gaps in a deck, like an odd sized compartment such as the Salon, would have caused some consternation for both the designers and the builders.   This may be another case of ‘artistic License’ just to allow the inclusion of all the art work and other amenities.   Regardless, I did use the Salon dimensions as stated by Verne.

In Ch 14          If Nemo and Aronnax are on deck at noon for Nemo’s sextant sighting, why would the sun’s “disk touch the horizon?”  The sun on the horizon would be dusk or dawn.


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        Has anyone else ever mentioned the Aronnax statement that he could hear footsteps on the platform…  from his cabin?   That’s 61 feet aft of his cabin and, below 3′ of hull and 4′ of water!     Sorry, M. Verne, this is not possible.     Even with his cabin door open, he’s separated from the platform by Nemo’s cabin, the  Salon and the Wheelhouse corridor.   This is one case where this description may lend itself well to the story, but can not be reconciled with the environments reality.  I expect more “Artistic License”.

In the Ice.        There’s no exact crew count in the Verne text, only vague hints.  For example;

        Aronnax and Conseil see ten divers from the Salon window.  One is Nemo himself and one is Ned Land.  That makes eight crew members on the march.  How many were left on-board to man the boat?  Ned estimates a crew of ten early in the novel.  I allowed for eight in the Crews Quarters, but bunks could be stacked tighter like on a real real naval ship and handle ten to twelve.

In Ch 45          “About fifteen sailors stood around the captain.”

So the true count is at least 15.  Extra bunks could have been applied to the Initial Cell, but on a wall so the three survivors didn’t notice them on their arrival.

With at least two shifts, the traditional Navy practice of “Hot Bunking” may have been in place.  This would lessen the required number of needed bunks for the crew.

            Where did Nemo hang his “black flag”?

Included in Ch 45 was the statement that Nemo displayed a black flag in preparing for the final ramming.  This flag notation is mentioned twice, but no reference to where it was placed.  There simply was nowhere on the hull to hang a flag.  Not on the Wheelhouse, Searchlight or handrail.  I suppose a hole could have been included in the platform to accept a stored flag pole.      I did not include one.

In Ch 46          What kept the sea water out of the dinghy?

When escaping in the dinghy, there is a description of removing the bolts that hold the dinghy in its ‘socket’ on  the boat.  When removed, what kept the sea water from entering the dinghy?  And how would the cover be constructed to withstand the deep pressure and water until on the surface?  The dinghy presented some interesting issues.

            Small thing;               I noticed in the Disney film at the start of the squid fight, Nemo calls; “Use the AFT hatch”.  But he and his crew come out on deck from the FORWARD hatch in front of the Wheelhouse.  Funny.


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            Small thing #2;          In the 1916 film, sometimes the cable railing is up, sometimes down.  It is shown being lowered in one scene, but in all cases, the item is only about a foot high and flimsy.  It also shows up similarly in two of the Riou drawings, and in a third it is only about knee high.  I made it tall enough to be useful as Verne described it in Ch 45, and not something to trip over.

            Small thing #3;          Never dreamed I’d need to research desalination procedures and equipment for the Nautilus.  But it’s right there in Verne’s text.  Amazing!

Desal 2

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Desal 1

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Left = My interpatation                           Right = Actual system Nemo could have applied