Daily Log Report for
8 May 1997

Submitted by Richard Pyle

We had originally planned to go out for an early morning dive today, and then join up with the film crew for a discussion of how the rest of the expedition will play out. However, two things led to the alteration of this plan: 1) I got less than four hours of sleep for the fourth straight consecutive night (these daily log reports take quite a bit of time to produce); and 2) the Discovery Channel film crew, along with my wife Lisa, arrived much earlier than we had expected.

Along with the film crew (of 3 people) came 25 pieces of luggage with everything from a digital Betacam and associated underwater housing (not unlike the sort that Ken had thought he had in his hands yesterday at 300 feet), to surface-powered lights, to underwater communications gear from Cis-Lunar/DiveComm (not to mention dive gear and other personal effects). After loading this gear in the marine lab along side our other huge heap of rebreathers and other dive equipment, we unanimously decided to have the team meeting this morning and scrub the dive plans for today.

We discussed the project plans at length, described to the film crew what our typical dives were like, and considered options for different dive sites. We all agreed that, for the sake of optimal ambient light at depth for filming purposes, we would plan our dives to occur around mid-day. Unfortunately, this meant that we could only conduct a single deep dive each day; rather than our usual pattern of one early morning deep dive, and a second deep dive in the afternoon. All things considered, however, this will not significantly impede our abilities to conduct exploratory dives.

We spent this afternoon unpacking gear and setting various pieces of equipment up. Dr. Bruce Carlson and his team from the Waikiki Aquarium, who were here collecting live Nautilus, spent the day packing up for their departure this afternoon. The film crew interviewed Bruce about Nautilus for the documentary, since these ancient animals ascend into Twilight-Zone depths at night.

If this afternoon and evening are any indication, the entire project team will have an incredibly good time during this expedition.

Every participant on this expedition has a wonderful personality, and having just met each other, we already feel like old friends. Pictured above is our team, which includes from left to right, back row: Tom Lucas (film producer), John Earle (exploratory diver), Dr. John E. Randall (Ichthyologist extraordinaire, and my Ph.D. advisor), Dr. Pat Colin (Co-director of the Coral Reef Research Foundation and 25-year veteran trimix diver), Adam Ravetch (cinematographer), Nathan Morris (mechanical genius of CRRF); front row: Richard Pyle (me), Lisa Privitera (authority on reef fish behavior and reproduction, and my charming wife), Lori Bell Colin (Co-director of CRRF), Ken Corben (rebreather diving underwater cinematographer), and Meredith Eder (sound/audio master).

It's now just after 1am. Everyone else has long-since gone to bed, and we have a big day planned for tomorrow, so it's time for me to get some sleep. Stay tuned.....

Toshiba AmericaThese daily reports made possible through the generous support of Toshiba America.

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