I consider myself a very fortunate guy and sometimes this seems to shine through in more vivid colors than I could ever have imagined, revealing to me a true magical life and wondrous experiences.
Recently, I had the great opportunity to go to the Bahamas to aid in the support of the sea trials of the new Triton 3300/3 submarines from Triton Submarines, Inc. Those who know me also know that I one of my big passions is that of scuba diving and you may also know that I work with a South Florida based dive equipment manufacturer called Brownie’s Marine Group. It is via my association with Brownie’s Marine Group that I got the chance to be part of the Triton Submarine event and I might add I have actually be fortunate in participating in such event on several occasions. But let me tell you more about this last time.
In December 2011, Triton Submarines, Inc. invited numerous potential clients to experience for themselves the very unique submarines, the Triton 1000/2 and the Triton 3300/3, while they were also going to have the official sea trials of the newest model, the Triton 3300/3. This model will take 3 passengers in great comfort to depths of up to 3300 feet (hence the name 3300/3).
The Triton submarines are very unique for a number of reasons that also make them probably the best choice for your personal submarine for your personal pleasure, for taking friends, family or guests to unexplored realms or for research and exploration purposes. Like I say, there are a number of reasons that these submarines probably would make the best choice, so let me just note a few of them here. First of all, the submarines have a size that make them relatively manageable to be operated from a decent size private yacht or you could of course get one of the support vessels that Triton Submarines, inc. also offer. Most submarines are vastly bigger, which then require also vastly bigger support vessels, vastly bigger davits and involve a myriad of other complications.
For the days of these sea trials Triton Submarines, Inc. had engaged the support vessel Atlantis II. This is the same vessel that Robert Ballard used when he discovered the wreck of Titanic back in 1985.
No other research vessel has covered as much of the ocean as the Atlantis II . During its career the ship sailed more than 1 million miles (1,006,912) on 468 cruises and spent 8,115 days at sea in every ocean of the world conducting marine research and engineering projects. Atlantis II visited 112 ports in 78 nations and hosted thousands of visitors from many nations, from school students and local residents to scientists and government officials at all levels, including Vice President Hubert Humphrey in 1967 and Japan’s former Crown Prince and now Emperor Akihito in 1987 during a visit to Tokyo. Read more about Atlantis II. Getting onboard this vessel with all its history and eating in its galley instantly added to the experience of being part of something very unique and something that most people probably won’t ever have the chance of doing.
A great feature of the Triton submarines is that you can easily and safely exchange passengers on the surface. Most submarines would require you to hoist the submarine up and out of the water in order to exchange passengers safely, but the Triton submarine can rest safely on the surface even with the hatch open, so they have a huge advantage there, saving loads of time, manpower and expenses. This is great for when you wish to take several guests to the depths and thus would have to do this in turns and the efficiency of such operations really shows during days such as the days we had during these sea trials, when the submarines were carrying out dives non stop during full days taking several groups down to see the sea walls of these Bahamian waters.
The advantage of diving in a submarine are manyfold, but include the fact that you can go to depths and stay there for as long as the life support system will safely allow you and then just exit the dive with no decompression schedule to follow. When scuba diving this is vastly different and even just a brief few minutes at for example a depth of 300 feet would incur long and tedious decompression schedule to follow. Another benefit is that you do not have to be an accomplished scuba diver or having even done any diving to be a passenger in a submarine. Instead you can sit dry and in climate controlled comfort and just visually take in the whole dive as it takes place while you can chat with the captain about what you are seeing etc.
And what views. The Triton submarines afford you probably the best views of any submarines and it comes using the grand acrylic sphere in which you are sitting. Also they have designed it in such a fashion that all the gauges and various controls are placed behind you so as not to obstruct your view in front of you. In fact you almost have a full 360 degree view as well as almost full top view and quite a bit of view towards the bottom and once you are under the water surface it really looks and feels as though the acrylic sphere completely vanishes and you are just in the midst of the water column and the life around you. Chris Welsh (see below) described the Triton submarine like this: “If Hawkes subs are Ferraris, Triton’s are four door BMW’s – spacious, comfortable, and clean. The most memorable part of the Triton experience is the sub’s competency – you experience the sea, and don’t think of the sub – it just quietly does its job, and does it very well at that”.
It is very fascinating and mesmerizing as you can see from the face of the passenger of the video below.
Now I did not myself get to dive in either of the two submarines during this particular trip, but my friend Robert Carmichael, CEO of Brownie’s Marine Group had arranged for this to take place as an event instead of the typical stag night last year before I got married. I wrote about that under the Brownie’s Marine Group blog back then and you can read it here, and here and here – loads of photos and some videos to see.
I spent two days in support of the sea trials, documenting and recording and video filming from under the surface while scuba diving and I got to hang out with loads of interesting people and some great friends. Naturally there was all the friendly people from Triton Submarines Inc. and some great people from Brownie’s Marine Group. Then there were loads of reporters and TV crews from all over, including Discovery, CNN and I believe some foreign crews among others a Japanese crew. Chris Welsh, Sir Richard Branson’s partner with their Virgin Oceanic efforts in their race to the deepest part on the globe, the Challenger Deep, was there and several other billionaires. You can read Chris Welsh’s report on Virgin Oceanic website. Look for /Welsh Dives The Bahamas. An “insane” and funny Australian friend of our group with whom we childishly had a little drag race on the Bahamian roads and another one truly interesting character who is a true treasure hunter. They all added to the excitement and the special atmosphere of being there. Thanks to Bruce Jones owner of Triton Submarines, Inc. and Patrick Lehey and all the other Triton guys and thanks to Robert Carmichael and Brownie’s Marine Group for letting me be part of this unforgettable experience.
After the day on the ocean of the second day of my visit, 4 of us were so hungry that once we steps ashore we drove to the nearest place we could get some food. This place happened to be the Bahama John’s Rib Steak House located right on a beautiful Bahamian beach and consisting of a simple wood plank open building, or should I say it really is more of wood plank floor, some wood posts and wood railings holding the wood plank roof to shelter you .
The place is run by Bahama John or Big John, a retired basketball player, a guy with stories and not least great spirit. I will probably write about this some other day. At Bahama John’s Rib Steak House, they let you write a little greeting from you on the walls, post, ceilings and everything, so you can leave your mark for everyone else to see that you were here. Below is my little “Kilroy was here” message.
We had a great day and not least was my day extra spectacular as my wife had texted me an image to my phone as can be read from my personal note that I left on one of the most prominent beams of the Bahama John’s Rib Steak House. The image? You ask, well here it is:
As the caption reads this is an image of the first scanning of my second baby, which unfortunately took place on one of the two days I was away in the Bahamas. But how wonderful it was to receive such a wonderful message and seeing how much I completely adore my first born, my son Gabriel, then this can only be an absolutely fantastic extra addition to my little family.