While we call the Ocean State our home, the Island Nation is at the heart our humble beginnings.
The island nation of the Bahamas lies at the center of a long and impressive maritime history, stemming from ancient civilization as one proposed site of Atlantis. Centuries later, Columbus first set foot in ‘The New World’ on the island of San Salvador. In the 20th century, the region was explored by Cousteau and other early pioneers in diving and exploration – inspiring continued work by Forfar, Birch, Benjamin, Palmer, and others. In the 60’s and 70’s, the Bahamas served as the testing ground for a number of innovations in advanced manned diving systems. This includes the work of Perry, Link, and Starck with work on both manned submersibles, and undersea habitats. This pivotal work lead to the formation of NOAA’s Undersea Research Program, and a half century legacy of productive marine science on Lee Stocking Island – where we were born.
Lining the margins of this island nation are deep flanking vertical walls which plummet into the abyss, providing the gateway from our terrestrial world to a new frontier for humanity.
“Spooky,” is the conclusive and quite fitting term used by David Campbell to describe these deep vertical walls in his 1978 book, The Ephemeral Islands. Today, this ‘Bahama Deep’ continues to capture the minds and imagination of many, as this environment is just beginning to reveal the secrets that perhaps created our calling to the deep.
Today, we return to the region to continue with training and proficiency in experimental diving techniques, while incubating a number of deep science interests of our collaborators.