Pacific Abyss

Hi All

Just returned from a 2000mile voyage across micronesia by boat. The purpose of the mission (other than siezing every lunging opportunity) was to discover new species of fish in the 'twilight zone' - which is at a depth of 60m-150m( yes metres). Great success all round with Richard Pyle and his two henchmen, otherwise known as the fish nerds, finding 25+ new species. This is a page from many about this trip.

The journey started in Chuuk and an opportunity to dive some of their amazing wrecks, mostly Japanese from WW2.  From Chuuk we headed boldly forward cos we couldn't find reverse towards Pulawat. An amazing little spot where the locals still practice traditional navigation. Mostly chants and songs devised to help them remember stars and landmarks. Their ability is extraordinary and the skill involved in building traditional vessels and sailing them unforgettable. We took the vessel to sea for a spin- they use seven sailors to stabalise the craft and sail. Their knowledge of the sea is second nature and every angle I wanted to use I'd just move there and they would stabalise the craft around me. From there we sailed to Fais, the home of the shark hunters, a 2day 17hour journey across open seas with a frightening amount of rum . A beautiful rugged island and an opportunity to do a deep dive and look for new species as well as a local feast. We also tried out 'The Marlin-Hunter' a hydro-glider I designed. It attaches to a 3 chip Tosh, which you attach lures to and tow it behind a skif. Great frontal tracking shots of Marlin, dolphin, wahoo etc.

Then off to Ulithi and on the way the crew dove Greyfeatherbank Atoll, which has never been dived before. Unfortunately the sea, which should have been overflowing with life, was eerily silent. Any large schools of fish had been caught in Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese trawlers- a theme for the entire trip. And only experiencing it first hand allowed me to see how dramatic the effects fishing has had on our oceans-they have been raped. We arrived in Yap to dive with Mantas and they didn't dissapoint utterly magnificent! From there we headed for Palau-amazing diving and the location where the nuyt suit would arrive. The Nuyt suit is a one man submarine capable of diving to 300m. Needless to say the shoot was an amazing success powered by highly talented people. Look out for it on BBC1 around Sept.


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