Diving Hiatus

“Is the book good?” I ask, as I look over at Karl, who has this expression of pleasurable horror on his face. “Yeah, they just had to stab their last dog to death because they got rid of the gun, and now they’ve boiled it whole and are taking turns sucking out the brains,” he says smiling. He’s reading a book about Doug Mawson who led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition back in the early 1900’s. alone on the iceDoug and his team were dropped off in the Antarctic and left for a full year to explore the area. No ship would come to check on them, just to pick them up at that same location 365 days later. Little did they know that this point on Earth was home to the highest wind speeds on Earth (at sea level). Where’s Trip Advisor when you need it?

Team members died, sled dogs perished, limbs were lost, soles of feet sloughed off, but hey – they did a lot of exploring! It was unlike any expedition undertaken; the sheer number of days spent out there allowed them to cover an area that would otherwise have remained unexplored.

In a moment of epiphany, Karl looks up at me and says, “I think we should do longer dives. Multiple days.” The thought of sequestering myself in a four and a half foot sphere for more than six hours did not immediately appeal to me. I nod, deep in thought, “Well, why don’t we start out with 12 hours and work our way up.” I have to agree – we would see a lot more…

Rest Stop 1 www.whennaturecalls.com

Rest Stop 1 

Other than the space issue, deep sea exploration is pretty cushy. Karl is striving to make it even more comfortable for his passengers by modifying the bench seat. At the present moment, he’s got the window off of the passenger sphere and is putting in a backrest plus arm rests to make the whole experience a bit more pleasant. Aside from physical discomfort, the only other factors are cold temperatures, which can drop down to 50 degrees, and of course – natural urges. I’ve had my fair share of experience with Rest Stop 1 (sold by a company whose slogan is “Where Fecal Matters”). They’ve even made it female friendly and splash-free: the product turns liquid into gel upon contact.

In the mean time, I’m doing some serious dive training by sitting in a chair for hours at a time. The height of the tutoring season is here with fall SAT and ACT tests just around the corner. Fourteen students plus a prep class mean lots of time in front of the computer; I’ve perfected the slouch posture, and my fingers have become lithe and toned from hours of typing. Camera operation, I’m ready for you.

Karl and I imagine that we’ll be back in the water by the end of September or early October. During this time of year, his dive schedule is relaxed as the days become an endless parade of rain for weeks at a time. Needless to say, not a lot of tourists come to the island that month.  We’re looking forward to building our video catalogue and capturing footage of the more elusive creatures we have yet to encounter such as the chimaera, rough shark, and sixgill shark. For now, check out the short highlight real from our last dive in July!


~ by twonakedapes on August 28, 2013.

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