Friday, June 15, 2012

Mariana Trench....

Don Walsh, Dr. Bob Ballard (who located the Titanic) and James Cameron

March 25, 2012

"At noon on Monday, local time, (10 p.m. Sunday ET) James Cameron's "vertical torpedo" sub broke the surface of the western Pacific, carrying the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker back from the Mariana Trench—Earth's deepest, and perhaps most alien, realm." National Geographic

The National Geographic Society honored the late Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and Austrian alpinist Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner at "Evening of Exploration" with awards being presented by James Cameron and Oceanographer Don Walsh who with Piccard became the first people to reach the planet's deepest point - the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. 

The evening was presented by Rolex.

The backdrop for the pre-reception was fittingly "Titanic: 100 Year Obsession" an exhibition which opened on March 29th.

James Cameron: 

“I love diving,” said Cameron.  “I’ve been underwater on scuba about three thousand hours, about 500 hours of diving, about six hundred hours in subs and I’ve built robotic gear.  I love every aspect of it.

I won’t say that on these particular dives, which were quite deep, that there wasn’t a little higher apprehension factor maybe the night before the dive; but, once we’re on the run up to the dive - getting in, closing the hatch and launching the sub - for me it’s all business. 

You have to be a pilot. Once you’ve committed to yourself that you’re doing it, it’s pointless to worry about it.  You have to be very analytical about specific hazards that may manifest themselves on a given operation; the weather is very high for example, or the sea state is big.  Then I’ll do a different briefing with the diver crew because the divers have to prep the sub while it’s still at the surface. 

So, I’ll talk to those guys differently.  It’s really about evaluating the specific hazards of the dive.  You have to forget about the fact that there may be some fundamental flaw in the engineering because you can’t do anything about it.  You’ll find out the hard way.

I think every expedition changes you in your sense of perspective in the world.  Every time I go out and see more I realize how vast it all is and how futile it is to think you have explored anything even at the end of a rich exploration.

It has to be done by an army of explorers and that is especially what I like about coming here - to see these kids who are emerging explorers that are still so passionate about it and it is all in front of them."

The Guests:

The Scene: