I miss being able to see serious wildlife every time I look out my window. Nothing against the crickets and domestic cats of North Carolina, but an occasional penguin would be super. Anyway, I’m posting a photo to quench my own nostalgia:
Jacques Piccard and Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh, in the Bathyscaphe Trieste, were the first and last to journey into the trench. That was in 1960! Since then only two robotic missions have made it. We’ve sent humans to the Moon more often and more recently than we have to the Challenger Deep.
Cameron, however, is not the only one with a bid for the Deep. A handful of private endeavors have built or commissioned submersibles in the last couple years. Among them is Richard Branson, the billionaire papa of Virgin Records (and Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Airways, to name a few), whose goal is to dive into the deepest point in each of Earth’s five oceans this year – including, of course, the Challenger Deep in the Pacific.
We have perhaps arrived at a new age of exploration, in which Private Company 1 and Private Company 2 race each other to distant frontiers. Whether you think it a noble motive or not… if a movie mogul and Branson want to spur each other towards the first live video feed from the darkest pit of the sea? I say bring it on, y’all! Scientific discoveries and incredible technological advancements often go hand in hand with competitive exploration.
Read more from the New York Times here.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of six-foot wingspans before. Heck, there are folks on UNC’s basketball team with wingspans much wider than that. I don’t think any of them have big, pointy beaks, though, and I’m also pretty sure none of them have ever eaten a penguin or seal. Meet the Giant Petrel: closest thing I’ve ever seen to a pterodactyl.
Today is a nice, cozy, indoorsy kind of day – as in it’s blowing 45 knots with gusts of 55. King Neptune is having a great time blasting sea spray into faces and teaching lessons to the idiot who tried to carry her open coffee mug between buildings. So, after a quick trip to the laundry room, I’m huddled in the galley, with a fresh vat of caffeine safely in hand. What to do with my spare time? How about string together some mellow video clips of sea ice rolling in on the changing tide: