On June 29, 2014, Jim Toomey had the honor and privilege of participating in Fabien Cousteau’s groundbreaking ocean exploration, Mission 31. The ambitious 30-day living experiment in the Red Sea succeeded as the first effort in saturation diving, proving that it could be done without suffering any ill effects. Jim Toomey visited the Aquarius lab and was able to witness firsthand what the ocean explorers at the helm of this ambitious expedition were setting out to accomplish.
It’s ironic that we know so much about the moon, and yet, so little about the deep ocean. Contrary to the popular image, the bottom of the ocean two miles deep is actually teeming with life: tube worms, clams, all kinds of fish, crabs, and coral. In Sherman’s Lagoon, I recently took my characters to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, where I just dove in Alvin, to introduce readers to some of these incredible animals that live in this alien world.
This Friday, June 5, 2014, the NOAA research vessel (R/V) Atlantis will depart Gulfport, Miss., with 23 scientists and myself onboard, bound for a deep sea expedition in the Gulf of Mexico for 10 days.
I have been chosen as the “artist in residence” on the DSV Alvin, a U.S. Navy deep submersible vehicle. Alvin has a storied history, being used by the Navy to recover Cold War era Soviet subs and nuclear weapons, as well as being used by Nat Geo Explorer Bob Ballard to take some of the first photos of Titanic.