Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meet the Man, See the Watch

It has been 49 years, 364 days, and 5 hours since a living human being has been to the deepest, darkest chasms of the Mariana Trench, a feat that has only been accomplished once. The Saipan Tribune reports today that Representative Greg Sablan (I-Northern Mariana Islands) is helping to plan a number of 50th anniversary commemorative events for the dive in both Washington, DC and Saipan.

Rolex is getting into the mix with an event in California tomorrow where you can meet one of the men who traveled to the bottom and see the watch he strapped to the outside of his submersible before descending.
COSTA MESA, Calif. - (Business Wire) Retired US Navy Captain Don Walsh is one of only two people in history to have descended to the earth’s deepest ocean floor. Only one very special timepiece can make that claim. On Friday, January 22 at 11am, people across southern California have an exclusive opportunity to see both.

Rolex South Coast Plaza* will host a celebration of the historic 1960 exploration known as the “Deepest Dive.” Company executives and officials will gather to pay tribute to Capt. Walsh and unveil – for the first time ever in public – the authentic Rolex Deepsea timepiece that survived the nearly 36,000-foot descent inside the submersible bathyscaph TRIESTE piloted by the naval officer.

The public is welcome to visit the store throughout the day, and pictures and autographs will be permitted. Once inside, guests can meet Capt. Walsh and view the prototype Rolex watch that managed to survive a crushing 8 tons of pressure per square inch as it plunged to depths of the Mariana Trench – more than 7 miles beneath the ocean’s surface. The steel-encased timepiece made the dive strapped to the outside of the bathyscaph.

The event commemorates a trip that revealed the existence of marine life at depths many in the scientific community then considered impossible. Underscoring the degree of difficulty and risk, a dive of that scope has never been attempted or achieved since.

*Rolex South Coast Plaza is located 3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, Carousel Court, Level 2. For more information about the anniversary celebration, please telephone the store directly at (714)241-8088.
It would be cool to meet this guy.

I have read that James Cameron, the director of Avatar, is going to attempt the dive sometime this year. The Nod Blog quoted him as saying, “My next goal is to dive to the deepest place under the sea in the world. It’s called the Mariana Trench and it’s in the Pacific Ocean, near the Philippines. It may take a while as we are still building some technology to help us get down there. It’s about 11,000 metres deep.”

Naturally the quote appears nowhere else on the planet besides that blog, so who knows if he really said it.

The Sun, a newspaper with probably less credibility than a blog, quoted him as saying, "We are building a vehicle to do the dive. It’s about half-completed in Australia."

So I guess we'll see if it's true. If it is, can I be on the boat?

Pretty please?

And while we're on the boat, can we swing up to Maug?

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