Expedition Titanic 2012 - An Untitled Titanic Documentary Project
For many years since its discovery in 1985, both researchers and private persons alike have had the rare privilege of visiting the wreck of the RMS Titanic. Have you ever wondered what it's like? Have you ever wondered how one of these deep dives works? What about the Titanic herself. How is she doing lately?
It's those questions and more that I hope to answer in a as of yet to be titled research/documentary book in celebration of Titanic's centennial year. My book will chronicle two weeks on board the MIR's (the submersibles that will dive to the wreck) support ship. Along with that, I'll be documenting an extensive dive down to the wreck itself, along with Titanic-based lectures and the science of deep diving. Additionally, I hope to interview both experts and other divers on the expedition.
Although there are already many books on Titanic's history, this may be the last time the public has access to the wreck so I plan to make it count.
The documentary will be segmented into each day of the expedition with extremely detailed notes and photographs. I plan on creating a separate book with images not included in the research book as well. Permission pending, I hope to also have the chance to take video, which will also make its way into the project in some manner. An audio version of the book as read by me will also be released in the future.
Deep Ocean Expeditions, who will be handling the logistics of the expedition, have detailed a brief schedule - the entirety of which will be the focus of the project and what I will be reporting on while taking extensive notes:
Day 1: Arrive St. John's, Newfoundland
Expedition participants arrive independently into St. John's,
Newfoundland throughout the day.
Day 2: St. John's/At Sea
Enjoy most of today in the quaint town of St Johns,
Newfoundland. Mid-afternoon board the support ship and set sail on the
exciting journey towards the Titanic wreck site, lying in international
waters 380 miles to the southeast of Newfoundland.
15:00 Meet with DOE staff in the hotel lobby for complimentary transfer to the support ship..
17:00 Support ship departs the port of St Johns.
Day 3: At Sea, en route Titanic site
While at sea, you will have time to explore the support ship, and
meet the explorers, scientists, submersible pilots and other staff. You
will be introduced to Dr Anatoly Sagalevitch, Head of the PP Shirshov
Submergence Unit and Chief Pilot.
Lectures and briefings by on-board experts will help you prepare for
your upcoming 12,500-foot dive (approximately 3,750 meters) to the most
famous shipwreck in the world. You will board the submersibles for an
orientation session to become familiar with the surroundings. On deck there are good opportunities to observe many species of
seabirds, and possibly dolphins and whales.
Arrival at Titanic site/Dives to the RMS Titanic
Sea conditions permitting, we arrive at the Titanic site in the
morning of day 4, and the dives will commence. Your dive to the Titanic
will be made aboard either the MIR I or MIR II submersibles. These
vessels are capable of reaching ocean depths of 20,000 feet (6,090m).
Each of these exciting dive days (subject to weather
conditions) submersible dives are planned (in each MIR there are two
participants and a pilot) with time allotted for a rest period. Please
note that the Captain and Expedition Leader will determine the sequence
of dives and rest periods.
Prior to the actual dives, participants will attend a final
briefing with the pilots. Launching of MIR I and II will be staggered,
however it is expected that they will both be at the wreck site
together. Dives can take place both in daytime and night time depending
on prevailing conditions. Group members will be able to observe and
photograph the operation from a good vantage point and will be updated
regularly on the progress and route of the submersibles, and they will
get a chance to visit the Navigation
Room to hear the communication with the submersibles.
Dives involving expedition participants are interspersed with
dives for the on-board scientists at the discretion of the Expedition
Leader. There are ongoing post- dive celebrations, and time for informal
socializing. Enjoy lectures and discussions with deep ocean explorers
and scientists, and take advantage of the ship’s library and video facilities.
Departing Titanic site, en route St Johns, Newfoundland
Our final day at the Titanic wreck site. The support ship will
depart the wreck site bound for St Johns, Newfoundland later today
En route St Johns, Newfoundland
As the support ship sails back in the direction of St. John’s,
enjoy informal discussions and recaps with expedition leaders, tour the
laboratories to watch scientists at work, and reflect on your incredible
diving achievement. Weather permitting a farewell barbecue with your
fellow divers, the MIR submersible team and the crew of the support ship
will be held on the outside deck.
Arrival St Johns, Newfoundland and Disembarkation
A morning arrival to St Johns Newfoundland. After breakfast on
board, disembark in St. Johns. (B) 08:00 Disembarkation of the support
ship and independent arrangements begin.
So as you can see, everything is laid out nice and timely. For higher tier backers, I plan on making daily updates through the project's website, which will be added to this page shortly. You'll be able to follow my progress each day as I write out my impressions of the experience.
WHY BACK ME?
I shouldn't have to explain this for those who know me, but for those who don't... Titanic is my passion.
To quote Walter Lord's The Night Lives On,
'...the Titanic must surely be the greatest news story of modern times:
the biggest ship in the world, proclaimed unsinkable, hits an iceberg on
her maiden voyage and goes down, taking with her many of the best-known
celebrities of the day.
Add to that glamor, all the "if onlys" - if only she had paid more
attention to the warnings she had received... if only the last warning
had reached the bridge... if only the wireless operator hadn't cut off
one final attempt to reach her... if only she had sighted the ice a few
second sooner, or a few seconds later... if only there had been enough
life boats... if only the water tight bulkheads had gone one deck
higher... if only that ship on the horizon had come... if only, if only.
She has something for everyone.'
It's true that the lost liner holds a unique fascination for me for some of those very reasons. I've studied Titanic and her history for nearly 16 years and my goal in this project is to share my own experiences to perhaps a new generation of readers. Having written several personal papers on the subject, I want to bring the experience of seeing Titanic in person to everyone else who cannot. I want to bring a younger, newer perspective to the Titanic literary table that has never been done before and I feel this project can help me do just that. This may be my only chance.
Currently I write for a video games related website, specifically covering the RPG genre. You can see a good majority of my work over at www.rpgsite.net where I reside as the US Senior Editor. Over the past two years I've covered events such as the Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, worked with the creative minds at Square Enix, and written lengthy thoughts on their games. My most recent adventures can be found here: http://www.rpgsite.net/games/280-final-fantasy-xiii2
WHAT DO THE FUNDS COVER?
The majority of the funding will cover the expedition itself. Diving to bottom of the Atlantic isn't exactly cheap. The bulk of the cost (about $60K) will pay for my inclusion in this summer's expedition which will allow me to take part in research as well as the science of Titanic's wreck. What that means is I'll receive access to the research ship, one dive on the Titanic site (both bow and stern sections), and be apart of lectures and other scientific materials available during the voyage. I've set a goal for funding within two weeks due to time constraints, with the ultimate goal of being funded the day before the Titanic actually sank.
The remaining funds (around $10K) will go to the creation and self-publication of the books including time spent during the writing process, as well as the cost of mailing them out to backers. As with any Kickstarter, if the project fails to reach my funding goal of $70,000 you won't owe a thing. That being said, I'd love to see this succeed. Again I must stress that I don't think I'll ever get the opportunity again, and given time I hope to provide everyone with an interesting read.