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Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record 84

An anonymous reader writes Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, plans to spend 31 days underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. He has already spent 3 weeks in an underwater laboratory called the Aquarius, and hopes to break his grandfather's record of 30 days in an undersea habitat. "There are a lot of challenges physically and psychologically," said Cousteau, 46, who grew up on his grandfather's ships, Calypso and Alcyone. Cousteau added: "We'll be able to do Twitter chats, we'll be able to do Skype sessions, we'll be able to do Facebook posts and Instagram posts and all these things that we take for granted on land, but up until now it was impossible to do from down below."
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Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2014 @03:32PM (#47299903)

    Am I the only one who read "grandfather's underwear record" while skimming the page? That was a bit odd. I thought the record was about wearing the same underwear for 31 days.

  • by cruff ( 171569 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @03:50PM (#47300029) Homepage
    My cousin served on an attack sub years ago, and he told me about the "diving parties" they had to break in the new junior grade lieutenants on their first patrol. When said lieutenant was standing watch, the diving party call would go out. The party members would all run to the rear of the boat, and the Lt would call for the necessary trim changes. Then the party would run to the front of the boat, repeat as required until the Lt figured out what was going on. Good training for the newbie.
  • by Jjeff1 ( 636051 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @05:15PM (#47300589)
    Their compression setup makes absolutely no sense to me. The wikipedia article is either wrong, or someone doesn't know what they're doing. When you dive, your body absorbs gasses into your bloodstream. You have to ascend slowly to let the gasses out. Ascend too quickly, and it's like opening a soda bottle in your blood. With a deep dive (say 300 feet), that could take hours. The longer/the deeper you go, the more gasses you absorb, up to a certain point. This is what is meant by a saturation dive. Your body is fully saturated with as much extra gasses as it can hold at whatever depth you're at, working there longer doesn't make you absorb any additional gasses, so the ascent takes the same amount of time, no matter how much additional time you spend at depth.

    So, in a saturation dive, you exit the water to a chamber which is at THE SAME pressure as the surrounding water. Which means from a pressure perspective, you don't ascend. You're just getting out of the water. You sit inside the chamber, have some lunch, get some sleep, whatever. You can go back and forth between the chamber and the water without waiting for any decompression.

    But with their setup, you exit the water into the moon pool, then go into the Entry lock, where the pressure is adjusted to surface level pressure (ascending). But remember how this can take hours? You're stuck inside the Entry lock, and no one can go in or out of it until you're done.

    80 feet isn't horribly deep. You can stay down for 40 minutes and ascend directly, without having to decompress at all. But 8 hours at 80 feet puts you at almost 6 hours of decompression time. seriously [noaa.gov].

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler