Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inspired by The Deep

Matinees, i was lucky enough to sit down with the Navigator at a very salty sea shack, drinking old rum, lounging in hammocks, soaking up briny winds and learning secret dolphin handshakes. I begged knowledge of the Tucson Aquatic Enthusiast Society (TAES) and now you shall reap the treasures of my little foray into the deep. Excerpts of our conversation highlight this week's "Inspired by..." so that you effectively plan your next maritime adventure.
The Navigator not only noted that The Deep is a bit lacking in musical score, but has personally selected one for all you lucky scuba groupies. This gorgeous soundtrack will augment your journeys...or as the Navigator puts it, "Don't forget your own, like the movie did!" Settle into your scuba mask, take deep stokes of your breathing tanks and listen...(click on each track to download)
The Deep Soundtrack by TAES Navigator
Sunday Matinee (SM): After seeing how David and Gail splish splash all over late 1970s Bermuda in their righteous threads---what would a TAES diving expedition in Bermuda require?
TAES Navigator (TN): Essentials include...
Red Hat and Correspondence Stock
*Issued between U.S.P.S. and the then Soviet Union's Ministry of Ports
Short Shorts
TN Note: "These are actually far more practical than the ones they wore in the film, but I love them. They are short, 70’s stylish swim shorts and they come with me on every aquatic adventure."
“The magnification of a monocular is indicated by the first number of the optical specification of the instrument. The objective size of the monocular is given by the second number in the optical specification. The magnification number indicates how many times larger an object appears with the monocular than with the naked eye. The objective size is the size of the front lens, given in millimeters. While increased objective size yields better optics it also makes the monocular heavier.”
Big Dive Knife

TN: I carry a knife everywhere (for eating snacks mostly ;), but an underwater knife is surely on my wishlist. For divers it is a safety must.

SM: I like the sexy little belt you strap on to your leg to hold it.
TN: *While several of the characters in this film ignored this rule, it is my recommendation to bring a swimsuit
SM: I've dug up some TAES worthy skins to check out---fitting for Gail v. Henri Cloche showdown.
Audubon Fish Guide
TN: Depending on where you are going, there is an app for that, only $9.99
Tote or Large Fab Beach Bag
TN: I have a serious luggage obsession (prob from working at the airport for many years) and I think you gotta have the right bag for the job. Large and durable are a must for the beach. I couldn’t find anything that really looks like Gail’s, awww.
SM: I know, her bag is legend. But here are some possibilities? And a few Benchley essentials for the beach to thrown in.
SM: Arrow & Arrow offers, "Wear them normal...or wear them TIGHT."
I think you know what the Matinee Projectionist recommends.
*Hand brakes cost extra. Ergo, not necessary.
SM: For a fancy cocktail party before the aqua shit goes down?
TN: All white, preferably linen outfit?
SM: An apt homage.

SM: Now, to the heart. How are the TAES members trained to deal with abnormally gigantic eels?
TN: Well each member has his or her own specialty skills, so we would surely have highly trained animal experts on each dive team. We prefer to preserve aquatic life so we would utilize a trained marine animal specialist to deal with any abnormally gigantic eels. Dr. Rachel Vincenza Ratner, Marine Behavior and Psychology Specialist of the Seattle society is an important resource. Of course, our diver’s safety is paramount so if the gigantic eel became too aggressive we have the option to bring in some other experts such as Majed S. Akhter, Nautical Enforcement or Zach Sugg, Safety Expert.

SM: How many TAES members have seen aggressive marine life?
TN: Very recently our own Manuel Jose Prieto, a Chango Freediver was spear fishing in Chile when a very large jellyfish stung him. He was in a seaweed camouflage wetsuit so it was likely the animal was not being aggressive but just didn’t see him.
The Secret Beneath the Sea
SM: Are any of those members still living to share their yarns?
TN: Although Chango Freediver came out of the situation in good health, he does have a large scar on the back of his neck.
SM: Would TAES members create secret handshakes with marine life?
TN: We are not opposed to attempting communication with marine life. In general though it is not a good idea to fondle any underwater flora or fauna. There are several noninvasive hand signals we utilize underwater to communicate with divers and animals. I did once hold a small octopuses hands while cleaning trash from the beach in La Paz, Mx.
SM: How many have?
TN: Unknown

SM: What marine life?
TN: Jellyfish and Octopi
SM: Can you show me a secret handshake?
TN: I can! Maybe I can record it in on video.
[SM Aside: The Navigator and I were able to practice together and even brought the Safety Expert in to practice]
SM: Or at least how a fish would wave to me?
TN: Fish are always waving. Whales too. It is always difficult to establish to whom they are directing their greetings though. I just always wave back as to not be rude.

SM: More thread ideas from the cast. Louis Gosset, Jr.'s Henri Clouche is a straight talking bad guy who you may end up siding with...
Robert Shaw's Romer Treece is salty seaman de rigueur with mad scientist skills
Earl Maynard's Ronald (a.k.a., "Handsome"), and Robert Tessier's Kevin, both with a penchant for tight shirts and a romantico dance of death. Particularly with each other..awwww.
(awesomely awkward model included)
SM: Choosing between blowing up your own lighthouse or selling WWII grade morphine, what would you advise TAES members to choose?
TN: For a long time now the Syndicate of Aquatic Enthusiast Societies have been dreaming of an international headquarters. If we had a lighthouse on the coast of Bermuda I don’t think there is one of us that would demolish it over a few drams of medical grade morphine.
"Lighthouse" by The Roots
"Your body's part of the maritime museum..."
SM: What is the dream shared by every TAES comrade?
TN: Aquatic Revolution.
Many thank yous to the TAES for the movie collaboration, twas truly two beautiful ships skimming moonlit waters~i anticipate our next voyage...and i am going to leave you with a beautiful piece of TAES correspondence.
SM: Is there favorite salty seaman yarn from the TAES treasure trove?
TN: We have an archive of correspondence from our members on aquatic location. Here is the text from one of my favorites:

Eric Refrew Ferguson, Sea Dog
Tucson Aquatic Enthusiast Society
The Pier
Simons Town
South Africa

Just completed a Great White Shark diving expedition. While np scientific research was completed due to the various & necessary permits not being granted, the time in the water was amazing.
- Left pier @ 7am & headed towards Seal Island in False Bay, SA; as the sun was beginning to rise the water was still very dark and ominous.
- The first our was spent observing natural predation; a spectacular event.
- Single seals were easy prey for the Sharks & our vessel saw five occurrences of natural predation; Amazing & terrifying at the same time. Our captain remarked that he had not yet seen five n.p.s [natural predations] this season yet as well.
- Next we towed a decoy seal behind the boat (called “breaching’); this produced six sharks to take the dummy for the real thing. I have to believe that the sharks did/do not like being teased like this.
- Lastly, it was time to slip into the wet suit & enter the cage. As I was in the last group, there were only two of us in the cage.
- The boat hands drew the sharks in using the dummy & a little bait. Entering the cage was tense; as I entered two sharks showed up to see what was going on.
- The female was HUGE (bigger than my rental car!) & took a number of curious turns around the cage. So close that I could have reached out & touched her; decided against this for fear of losing a limb.
- The sharks blend in so well w/ their natural environment. Most times it wasn’t until 10-12 ft. away that I noticed the shark making a straight line for me!
- At full speed going in for a kill, the seals can’t match the sharks speed but they have better agility which enables them to survive 65% of the time; the other 35%, well such is life in the sea.
- Having lunch at the Salty Sea Dog by the pier. Rather ironic!
- Wish TAES (and more importantly, you Kate) were present; everyone would have enjoyed!
I look forward to the next TAES meeting to share my aquatic adventure w/ everyone. All the best.
Sea Dog