July 9th, 2014

Snapshots From My Dive Aboard Alvin

by Jim Toomey

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.

JimToomey

Being chosen to dive aboard Alvin is almost like being chosen to go to outer space. It’s an opportunity to visit a place very few people have been to — the bottom of the ocean, two miles down. It’s pitch black, freezing cold, the water pressure is enormous, and you are utterly dependent on technology, preparation, and a well trained team to get out of there alive.

Alvin_GulfMexico Alvin_WoodsHole

We dove the Florida Escarpment, about 3300 meters deep, 150 mi west of Tampa Fla. It was an incredible experience.

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