Famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau spent 30 days under water and now his grandson Fabien Cousteau is hoping to beat that record. The 46-year-old will head out Sunday for a record 31 days under the sea.
"It is symbolic for me personally, because my grandfather (and team) spent 30 days under water in the Red Sea 50 years ago," Fabien Cousteau said during an interview in the Florida Keys.
While under water Cousteau will work with documentary filmmakers and conduct experiments in an underwater lab called Aquarius which is located off Key Largo. The lab features internet, air conditioning and portholes as well as "higher-than-normal atmospheric pressure." These are things Jacques Cousteau likely didn't even dare dream of during his days of exploring the ocean.
Fabien Cousteau isn't looking to break his famous grandfather's record out of disrespect, but to honor him instead as well as to honor "his aquanauts and all the previous aquanauts who have done such fantastic work".
The younger Cousteau recalls something his late grandfather--who died in 1997--was famous for saying.
"In order to film a fish, you have to become a fish," Jacques Cousteau used to say.
"And what better way to film the unknown and the final frontier on our planet, than to actually become a fish for 31 days," Fabien Cousteau says.
Fabien is taking both his and his grandfather's comments very seriously. Every day he and his fellow researchers will dive for about 12 hours until 10:00 P.M. At that point they will rest for about eight hours before resuming their work.
Cousteau started diving when he was just four years old. He spent years growing up on his grandfather's vessels--Calypso and Alcyone. He acknowledges the many changes made to underwater exploration since his grandfather passed away.
"It's the first time that a Cousteau expedition has ever been able to invite the world in real time" thanks to the Internet, he explained, also noting that he and his teammates would be able to speak to students during their explorations.
— Kari Sherrodd (@karisherrodd) May 28, 2014
"My grandfather must have dreamed of this but didn't have the technology to do it," Cousteau said. "It is like living in a very small apartment with five of your new best friends." He also mentioned they'd all be living "with very high humidity."
"We will miss things like family and friends, in my case my dog," he also said.
Fabien Cousteau and his fellow explores can be followed at www.mission-31.com.
Do you think he will break Jacques Cousteau's record?
Image via Wikimedia Commons