Cameron recalls historic dive
Guam - "The impression to me was that it was a very lunar, very desolate, very isolated and my feeling was one of complete isolation from all of humanity, and I felt like I was literally in the space of one day had gone to another planet and come back", said James Cameron hours after surfacing from his history-making dive down the Marianas Trench. And in a way, the Hollywood filmmaker did actually go to an alien place, somewhere only two other pair of human eyes have ever seen.
Descending like a vertical torpedo seven miles down, Cameron said he could feel the intense pressure - but when he finally landed he felt a soft featureless plane and was surrounded in darkness. "There had to be a moment where I had to stop and took it in and said, 'This is where I am, I'm at the bottom of the ocean, the deepest place in the world and what does that mean?'" It meant fulfilling a lifelong dream, a culmination of planning over the last seven years.
What didn't go as planned, however, was the plan to stay at the bottom for six hours. Instead that was cut nearly in half due to technical difficulties with the submersible's manipulator arm. "So when my manipulator kind of froze up on me when the hydraulics ruptured, I saw a bunch of hydraulic oil going in front of my window, so I knew things weren't going so well in the hydraulic systems. I couldn't take the rock samples that I needed, so that just means that I need go back and do some more," he recalled.
Although most of the sediment course collected washed out of the sample door once the hydraulics failed, what he was able to collect may just be enough to learn more about a possible new species.
Meanwhile, Cameron took time last night to honor two of his crew members that died a few weeks before the historic dive during filming in Sydney, Australia. "What they stood for was a sense of living your life was boldly and by your own rules and with a spirit of exploration and not turning away from the things you love because they might be risky," he shared.
Cameron had planned to do twelve dives but the window of opportunity now brings it to about three or four, which he plans to do in the next few weeks. Cameron last night said this is not a one-time deal, adding that sometimes the ocean gives you a gift and sometimes it doesn't. He hopes that his historic dive will inspire young children to take an interest in ocean exploration.
So where does the first person in history to complete a solo dive to the deepest place on Earth do next? For now, Cameron says he's off to London for the premiere of Titanic 3-D. He added that once the expedition is completed, he plans to start work on the sequels to Avatar.
The teleconference was conducted on board the megayacht The Octopus, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. And while Cameron didn't make his way back to Guam, The Octopus did dock back at hotel wharf at the port early around 2am but left shortly thereafter