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Ripples #41

Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck

Ripples art--smallJames Cameron Makes Solo Dive
To Bottom of Mariana Trench  

Blockbuster-film director James Cameron (“Titanic,” “Avatar”) has set a record for making the world’s deepest solo dive in a submersible craft: He plunged 35,800 feet into the Challenger Deep area of the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean near Guam. It is believed to be the lowest point in any of the world’s oceans.

The entire dive took approximately seven hours, including some two and a half hours just to descend. CNN.com quoted Cameron as saying after he returned to the surface, "I felt like I literally in the space of one day have gone to another planet and come back."

Cameron said he did not encounter any large life forms at the bottom of the trench. "We'd all love to think there are giant squid and sea monsters down there,” the adventurer noted. “We can't rule it out, but my bet is there aren't. What you're going to find is these very, very interesting animals, the likes of which we've never seen before, that have adapted to this extreme environment."

He made the historic dive in a specially constructed, vertically configured, spherical vessel with 2.5-inch-thick steel walls. The 24-foot-tall vehicle, named the Deepsea Challenger, took eight years to build; it reportedly is capable of withstanding up to 16,000 pounds of water pressure per square inch.

In early 1960, two men together — Jacque Piccard and Don Walsh — made the same dive in the U.S. Navy bathyscape Trieste, but up until now the feat had never been accomplished by an individual person.

Video: To watch a post-dive report on the event, click here.
Information: To learn more about the Deepsea Challenger submersible, click here.


Reality TV Star Claims Husband
Once Tried to Drown Her in Pool

In her recently published memoir, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Taylor Armstrong reveals that her late husband, Russell, once attempted to choke and drown her in the family swimming pool. The title of the book: Hiding from Reality.

A report on dailymail.co.uk says the Armstrongs were entertaining another couple at their home several years ago when the incident took place. The Web site relates the following details:

After pretending to have left the group, Russell … became furious after hearing Taylor tell her friends: “Just take care of Kennedy if anything happens.” Taylor — who has talked about the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of Russell — was referring to their young daughter. But her remarks to her friends incensed Russell, and he sprung out from behind a bush in the garden and confronted Taylor. A source told RadarOnline: “Russell was in frenzy, and he had a wild look in his eyes. He hit Mark and threw Jennifer [the other couple], her dog and Taylor in the swimming pool and tried to drown Taylor.

The guests, who also were injured in the altercation, had to pull Russell away from his wife. No charges were filed. In August 2011, Russell Armstrong committed suicide by hanging himself.


The Luxury of Your Own Private
Indoor Pool at Malaysian Resort

Most hotels and motels have one swimming pool; major resorts may have several. But the Grand Lexis Port Dickson (formerly called The Legend International Water Homes) in Port Dickson, Malaysia, boasts a whopping 240 indoor swimming pools — one for each of the hotel’s rooms (or “water chalets,” as they’re called). The hotel also features a huge outdoor pool with slides and fountains.

The small resort town of Port Dickson is on the Straits of Malacca, a narrow body of water connecting the Indian and Pacific oceans. The town is approximately an hour’s drive from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The small, private indoor pools are what make the hotel particularly appealing to families, says an article on nst.com (New Straits Times). As the piece points out, “Parents don’t have to change into something decent or watch over the kids at the common swimming pool. And for the kids, the indoor pool means splashing fun round the clock.”

The recreation possibilities don’t stop with the private pools. Nst.com says there also are “bicycle and KMX Kart rentals, Segway fun ride, an archery range and a huge, well-equipped games room. There is a karaoke room complete with state-of-the-art AV technology, a gymnasium with sauna rooms and a spa.” Still, the private indoor pools — each with a large clay frog spewing out water — are what make the hotel truly special.

Photos: To view images of rooms at the resort, click here and scroll down.


Irish Swimmer Competes Fifth of Seven
Segments in Ocean’s Seven Challenge

An Irish swimmer has come one step — or one swim stroke — closer to his goal of conquering the Ocean’s Seven Challenge, which involves finishing seven of the world’s most difficult ocean swims. If 46-year-old Steve Redmond succeeds, he will be the first person in the world to achieve the feat.

Redmond recently swam 26 kilometers (16.15 miles) across New Zealand’s Cook Strait. As nzherald.co.nz reports: “Mr. Redmond set off from the northeastern side of Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds about 7 a.m., arrived at Mana, 12 hours and 19 minutes later, but did not get into Wellington until about midnight because the support boat had to move slowly in the dark.”

The other segments Redmond has already completed are the English Channel, the North Channel in Ireland, the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco and the Catalina Channel off the California coast. That only leaves the Moloka'i Channel in Hawaii and the Tsugaru Strait in Japan to go.

After he completed his latest swim, Redmond posted the following on his Facebook page: "Just back in hotel having a nice chat with death who is standing next to and smiling we became close friends today. Without doubt the hardest swim so far weather just went crazy after 4 hours and spent two hours getting in 400 meters at the end the water was trying to kill me."

To learn more, click here.


GPS Help for Distance Swimmers
Taking on the World’s Seven Seas

Planning on swimming from Tokyo to Sydney — or even just taking on your basic, average grueling triathlon that includes traversing a nearby body of water? You chances of success may increase because of the introduction of the Hydro Tracker GPS, a new device by FINIS, a California-based water technology company.

According to the tech e-newsletter Gizmag, the Hydro Tracker attaches to a swimmer’s goggle straps and “uses GPS technology to create a map of where they've been, while also recording performance data.” The configuration places the device on the back of the head, facilitating a strong, stable GPS connection while in the water.

A rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack powers the Hydro Tracker for up to 16 hours on a single charge (depending on the data-sampling rate, which can be adjusted). Information gathered by the device can later be downloaded to the swimmer’s PC or Mac. Gizmag adds the following:

[T]heir route can be viewed on Google Maps, in map or satellite settings. Information such as speed, distance traveled and accumulated time can be obtained from any point on that route map, and can be compared with the user's data from those same points on other days. Users can also keep track of their performance stats and set training goals on the FINIS Streamline Training Log, which can accessed for free online.

The device costs $129 on the FINIS Web site, Gizmag says.

To learn more, click here.


Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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