Back to The Challenger Deep 1960–2020
60 years ago, my dad and Jacques Piccard took the Bathyscaph Trieste (submersible) to the Challenger Deep- seven miles below the surface of the Pacific.
In 2012, James Cameron manned the first solo dive to the trench, and I was honored to be on that expedition and view it from the deck of a ship. It took 52 years to return to the deepest place on the planet, a sad commentary on our understanding of one of Earth’s last frontiers for human exploration.
Last year, Victor Vescovo and his team at Caladan Oceanic, EYOS and Triton Subs returned once again, and not only made the trip to Challenger Deep –four dives over eight days– but they also dove to the deepest places in all five oceans. Multiple, repeatable dives. It’s the only manned submersible of its kind that can dive to full-ocean depth, anywhere in the world, over and over again.
Victor has invited me to return to the spot my dad visited, six decades prior. Seven miles down, seven miles back with another generation of Walsh returning to the abyss. Hopefully we can find some interesting things down there, and add to the emerging body of knowledge about the deepest parts of our oceans. We know more about the moon and outer space (and more have visited the moon) than we do about Earth’s life-giving circulatory system. It will be an incredible experience for me personally, and a culmination of over 40 years of travel with my dad- something that continues to this day. It will certainly give us something to discuss over dinner! The first father and son to dive to the deepest place on the planet.
June 05, 2020