Last year saw the passing of a legend, Jacques Piccard. Along with Don Walsh, these two trailblazers forged an era of deep-sea exploration that no other person has been able to supersede. Don and Jacques manned the Bathyscaphe Trieste down 10,916 meters to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, a place now known as Challenger Deep. There they witnessed firsthand life in the deepest part of ocean as flatfish scurried away from the descending vehicle, sealing the fate of the possibility for a lifeless deep.
My good friend and deep-sea colleague has produced an art print to celebrate the 50th anniversary this year of this unheralded feat (reproduced in part above). In the words of project co-founder Peter Batson – deep-sea photographer, biologist, author of Deep New Zealand and coauthor of the recently released Into the Deep:
“We started the Trieste print project four years ago, when Jacques was still alive. A limited edition art print seemed like a good idea – guys like Edmund Hillary and the lunar astronauts had been doing signed art prints for years. It seemed crazy that the defining moment in deep ocean exploration was not being similarly commemorated – Trieste’s Deep Dive really is mind-boggling when you look into it.
Captain Don Walsh worked on the print with us, helping us out with acquiring Navy structural plans and other technical advice. It was a very interesting project to work on, as you can imagine, and as a fellow deep-sea nut I don’t need to explain how amazing it was spending time with both Trieste divers. I knew who these guys were when I was a kid.”
Please visit their well-designed website, DeepestDive.com, dedicated to preserving the memory of the Trieste. There is a lot of great information there. This is a rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors and the asking is not cheap, but you will own a valuable piece of ocean exploration history, including a signed print by Walsh and the now deceased Piccard.