In June we unveiled the submarine in Salinas, Kansas, Scott's hometown and where the team has been working for 2+ years. Hundreds of people (including 17 of my family members!) witnessed a tarp dramatically pulled away to reveal the bright-green beauty and reveled in her story.
- Why this Kansan bought a deep-sea submarine
- Kansas man rebuilds a deep-sea submarine
- Summary in my blog post "SUBMARINES IN KANSAS? YES! PISCES VI TO BRING DEEP SEA RESEARCH TO THE MASSES"
After a refit, she is now ready for sea trials, which the team is conducting in Vancouver Canada alongside Aquatica submarines (who launched ScUber in Australia earlier this year!). Aquatica's chief pilot is fellow National Geographic Explorer Erika Bergman. She piloted Fabien Cousteau and Richard Branson to the bottom of the Blue Hole earlier this year! We're lucky to have one of Pisces VI's original technicians and pilots as Crew Chief for the project, Vance Bradly. The team also includes engineers who have built other submarines (River Dolfi, Steve McQueen), excellent mechanics (Carl Boyer, Ryan Brax Johnson), an Emmy-award winning media specialist (Mick Kaczorowski), and airline pilot (Ben Fosse). More on the crew here!
Transforming Pisces VI into a modern, state-of-the-art deep sea research vessel is a monumental effort from a team of dedicated volunteers. Although the sub is now "unveiled", our work has just begun. The goal is to revolutionize ocean science by making deep sea exploration more accessible and affordable to the broader scientific community. We're sifting through prospective research projects, each with the potential to unlock the mysteries of the ocean and further its conservation. I'll post more on upcoming expeditions over the next several years.
One of the highlights of the event for me was finally meeting an incredible marine geologist I'd only previously met over the phone, Professor Aida Farough from Kansas State University. She had just landed from a trans-Atlantic flight and was super excited to get back to her office because another researcher sent her boxes of rocks. If someone sent me boxes of rocks I'd think they were pulling a prank! But not Professor Farough, who studies minerals and microbes on the ocean floor that reveal the origins on life on Earth. Last year she spent three weeks aboard the research vessel Atlantis off the coast of California, where she dove in the submarine Alvin to a depth of 2,500 meters (1.5 miles).
I'm psyched to welcome Aida on the Pisces VI team as Science Advisor!