Colin sez, "40-year-old Mikhail Puchkov decided to design and build a personal submarine during the stifling era of Leonid Brezhnev's regime when he was barely twenty years old. He built it secretly in an attic in Ryazan, about 120 miles southeast of Moscow."
Smallest Russian Submarine: Officially Registered as Boat
“I was not satisfied with the fate that was laid out for me. I wanted to satisfy myself and to have some respect for my life. If I learned to respect myself, I felt it would be easier to find my niche in life. I didn't know it would work. I just hoped.”
His family, particularly his father, condemned him and his submarine flights of fancy, and the longer the construction took, the more he complained. The first test of the sub came in 1984 and it “sank like a stone,” in Puchkov’s own words, breaking a rudder in the process and setting a climate for the early dives, which were always a bit tense. He said of those times:
“I was so distracted watching for leaks and checking all the equipment, that I didn't have time to enjoy it. You don't remember a thing afterward.”
It took three years before he was able to get the submarine to dive and surface. In 1988, he put the reinforced plastic sub in a box on a truck and shipped it to the Tosna River about 15 miles south of St. Petersburg. There, he continued his nocturnal voyages and in 1994, he took to the open sea on a secret cruise to the island of Kronshtadt, a closed military base in the Gulf of Finland.
I’m touring 20 US cities (plus dates in Canada and the UK!) with my forthcoming novel Walkaway; the full tour hasn’t been announced yet, but I’m delighted to reveal that the NYC stop on May 3 will be at the New York Public Library, where my interlocutor will be the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tickets are […]
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Meyer Lansky was an infamous and ruthless gangster — albeit one so personally charming that his life is chronicled in a book called But He Was Good to His Mother — and no friend of New York State Judge Nathan Perlman; nevertheless, as the Nazi-supporting German-American Bund staged more and more toxic rallies in New […]
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Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]
Not all hackers are malicious information thieves—white-hat ethical hackers work with technology companies to ensure the security of their computer systems and user data. With all of today’s high-profile data breaches, ethical hackers are in considerable demand. To learn these critical skills and break into the high-paying cyber security field, try taking the courses in this […]