Each OpenROV kit comes with a red beanie embroidered with OpenROV on the cuff. This is both practical and symbolic. The practical is obvious. A knit acrylic watch cap keeps your head warm whether you are headed to the bottom of the ocean in a manned submersible or making the morning coffee at home.
Then there is the symbolic reason.
For some the ocean is a mirror: a reflective surface on which we sail and swim and occasionally catch dinner. My father, an avid waterman, had me bodyboarding shortly after learning to walk and surfing not far behind that. It wasn’t until I was 10 or so, when the family piled into the station wagon, drove to Key Largo, and joined the other tourists on a snorkeling charter, that I realized that the ocean isn’t a mirror - it is a glass. I counted the days until I was old enough to get my SCUBA card. Looking through that glass has become the focus of my private and professional life.
The hat is an homage to Jacques Cousteau. There have been many great sea explorers and adventurers, but nobody has done more to make the barrier between sea and air transparent as Jacques Cousteau. For him it wasn’t enough to explore, he wanted to share what he was doing and why it was so important. Through a series of books and documentaries such as The Silent World and The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau he fundamentally changed the way a generation related to the sea and set the stage for how scientists and explorers relate to an audience.
The hat also means you are part of the club. OpenROV is trying to extend this to the next group of explorers. In the same way that Cousteau brought the sea to our living rooms, you and I and our community can now bring the sea to everyone’s fingertips. To put it more simply: DIY Cousteau.