The end for Calypso


Apr 27, 2005
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IIRC, the ship has flooded and sunk at it's mooring at least once, destroying the electronics and most equipment aboard. C'mon, this is a rebuilt WW2 mine sweeper or something like that. Which that kind of exposure and neglect, she might better serve Cousteau's memory as an artificial reef, laden with remote video cameras and temperature/salinity/encrustation measuring tools for students to access over the web.
 

Inger Sheil

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Sadly, the Cousteau family feud has been going on since before Jacques's death - this is just another permutation of it. He and Jean-Michel fought a legal battle over use of the family name when Jean-Michel built his eco-resort (in Fiji, if I remember correctly). It was finally settled, and the word in the diving community indicated that there was some sort of rapproachement before Jacques's death.

Cousteau's voyages helped inspire many of us our love of the sea and of the 'silent world'.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I grew up watching various episodes of "The Undersea World of Jacque Cousteau" notably that special they did on the Britannic. It's a shame to see an important part of that legacy rot away in some remote anchorage without remedy and all over family squabbles.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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Mmmmm.... I'll probably catch He__ for this, but let's not be in too great a hurry to put Jacques on a pedestal. Phillippe was his favorite son, and the two of them had distinct plans carved out for the "empire". Sadly, Phillippe was decapitated in a seaplane crash. Jean-Michelle Cousteau, who was out of favor with his father, was brought in to fill the void for both his father and himself. It was a reconciliation of sorts. I really didn't catch on, with both men having their own idealized vision for the Cousteau Society. Jacques died and it became a corporate battle- ugly one, too.
As a side note, when I was in University, studying Marine Invertebrate Zoology, our professors warned us time and again about not talking about ongoing research to anyone from the Cousteau organization. They were reputed for getting wind of fertile research, going out to the location and filming it, then presenting it on television as though it was their own. I am not saying this was the case, but it's what we were told by our professors. Being more blunt (how could anyone be more blunt?) the "Calypso" is a boat, not an icon. If she is shot, worn out, etc., perhaps it's time to let go?
 

Inger Sheil

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I think you raise an important point, Richard. Jacques Cousteau inspired many with his passion for the sea - to cite my own case, most of the docos/books were a bit before my time, but they had a flow-on effect and helped bring about a receptive climate for the docos of my childhood that were a major factor in my decision to take up scuba diving. He was tremendously influential in the development of the sport of diving, and also in various branches of marine sciences...not always through his own direct discoveries, but in introducing so many to the concepts involved and evoking interest in the underwater world.

However, he - and his family members - were/are very human to say the least. The bitterness of the family infighting is apparent to anyone reading the many articles published about the subject and news reports. I'd say more about my impressions of what has gone on and certain approaches they family have towards aspects of marine science and conservation efforts, but am a bit hesitant to do so in a public forum, given that I work in a related field.

I do think the Calypso is held in great regard within the scuba community at least (and by some marine biologists and others in related areas) - for some she is merely connected with happy childhood memories, for others she represents the man and the team that launched them on their own career and life paths. I don't have that same emotional investment in the vessel, but there are many others who do. If it means that much to them, I hope they are able to resolve these issues and save her.
 

John Clifford

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I, too, hope that the current situation with the Calypso can be resolved, and that the ship will enjoy many more years, especially for anyone who wishes to visit it, and perhaps take tours.

Jacques Cousteau was held in high regard by many, while also criticized heavily by many of his contmporaries, but that happens with every endeavor that an individual pursues.

I especially remember when the late John Denver accompanied Cousteau on one of his expeditions, and afterwards he wrote the memorable CALYPSO Song, with the lyrics that many of us will always remember: "....To live on the land we must learn from the sea...." and "Aye Calypso! I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you, so long and so well".

If the ship is deemed to be too prohibitively expensive to restore, then I think it should be scuttled, so as to be part of a reef somewhere, and perhaps a commemorative plaque issued with the lyrics of the John Denver song, especially ""Aye Calypso! I sing to your spirit".
 
Jul 9, 2000
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From The Star:

Centennial of birth of Jacques Cousteau, pioneer marine explorer, marked by ship restoration
quote:

PARIS - The widow of legendary marine explorer Jacques Cousteau said Tuesday she is trying to relaunch his iconic ship the Calypso – sunk, badly damaged and now in rehab – in time to mark the centennial of his birth.
Two page story begins at http://www.startribune.com/world/95884019.html

Comment: At least now we know that somebody is trying to do something with this vessel.​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Jul 9, 2000
58,666
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Easley South Carolina
From MSNBC:

Cousteau legacy still making a splash
quote:

Ever since "The Silent World" hit movie screens around the world in 1956, Jacques Cousteau (1910 — 1997) and his red cap have been synonymous with ocean exploration.

Sailing around the world on his iconic ship Calypso, Cousteau captivated audiences with the unknown ocean and inspired future generations of ocean explorers. Friday marks the 100th birthday of Jacques Cousteau, whose legacy still lives on in the quest to unravel the ocean's mysteries.
More at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37642730/ns/technology_and_science-science/
 
Jul 9, 2000
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From The Cousteau Website:

Restoration of Calypso
quote:

Francine Cousteau, President of the Cousteau Society and sister organization Equipe Cousteau, has accomplished what may be Calypso's most challenging voyage. Under Mrs. Cousteau's direction, the mythical ship of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau has arrived at the Piriou Shipyard in Concarneau (Brittany, France), where she will be completely refurbished. Calypso will sail again as an ambassador for the seas and oceans, carrying the legacy of Captain Cousteau and the Cousteau flag all around the world.
More at http://www.cousteau.org/about-us/calypso-restoration
 

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