The heat coming off the electronics system pushed the temperature to 102°F (39ºC) inside the sphere. Humidity was 100 percent. For three hours, Jim was swimming in his own sweat.
The team is getting better. Yesterday it took five hours to run the checklist; today things are moving faster.
At 11 a.m., the sub hanger fills with men whose task is to make sure the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER is ready for her first manned dive.
Last night, while the city slept, a large flatbed truck carried the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER out of the shop and down narrow and twisting streets to the Garden Island Naval Depot in Sydney Harbour.
From decades of exploring oceans, I know that in big seas, launch and recovery is the riskiest part of the dive. If the sub swings out of control it’ll destroy itself, damage the ship, and turn the pilot into pink hash.
“I expected to find pieces; I didn’t expect to find your vehicle almost operational,” said 81-year-old Don Walsh as he looked at the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, the most sophisticated deep-sea submarine ever built.