Today in my diary, I want to talk about a parallel journey I’ve experienced reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, a novel by Jules Verne, who back in 1870 described quite accurately the nature and geography of deep-sea areas. Captain Nemo and his crew sail on-board Submarine Nautilus, where, through the aid of fishing lamps, his motivated and naturalistic crew discover and recount in detail and charisma ecosystems and related species.
It was especially moving for me when the Nautilus crosses the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal and submerges between the north of Tunisia and Sicily. These are the same waters we are researching with the Ranger! Discovering underwater mountains similar to the ones in Maltese waters as well as long reefs, white corrals, sponges, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea slugs, ringed worms, crustaceans, plant-like animals and molluscs. Our work with the ROV and its thousand-metre long cable, together with the observations the scientist make and my own notes I´m taking along the way, could be considered a parallel journey to the one in the novel – and we could even call it ‘A Thousand-Meter Underwater Journey’!