This morning the Mermaid Sapphire was two degrees south of the Equator and steaming north toward Guam at 11 knots.
On ships, people fall. They trip on steel combings and tear up an ankle. They tumble down a stairwell and rip open a knee.
A sprawling gray raincloud moves in from the west and hangs over the bay for most of the afternoon. The intermittent rain—more like a Scottish mist than a tropical downpour—brings welcome relief from the sun and the heat. After the rain, slim ghosts of steam rise out of the dense green hills.
The first 24-hour period after Jim’s 7-hour dive to 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) is filled with intensive debriefing sessions in which the technical and operational truths of the dive are revealed.
I’ve spent the past year thinking about the risks inherent in a complex expedition like this. On a working ship testing a new sub there are 50 ways to be hurt or worse.