Your friends are looking for unexplored, unheard of places for their next suave holiday destination. They’ll then boast about their trip by showing you a picturesque memorabilia of them trekking an unpronounceable mountain peak or watching rare animal species on a safari.
What if we tell you there is a way to beat their extraordinary vacation with an ‘out-of-this-world’ exploration trip that will leave your friends bloating in envy? With companies such as Triton, you can buy your own private submarine and go on sci-fi expeditions into the underwater world. While your friends will be on a safari on dusty roads to see the odd snake or leopard, you’ll be driving underwater for 10-12 hours, observing the unexplored ecosystems as you feast upon fried chicken and cherry pie.
This US-based company has a wide range of submarines with its most popular model, Triton 3300/3, a three-seater that can take you to the depths of a kilometre at 3 knots, or 5.5 kilometre/hour in land terms. At Rs 280 million, you can own the same submersible that took man to his first encounter with the Giant squid in 2004. It has a sophisticated design that stretches 8.5x9.8 feet in height and width.
Another jewel in Triton’s crown is its 7500 series, which is the world’s deepest diving acrylic-hulled submersible. Starting at Rs 480 million, it has a luxurious leather sports triple seating and powerful air conditioning. It is 4.4x2.6 metre in length and height and can dive to the depth of 7,500 feet.
However, its most expensive model is the Triton 36000/2, which is a full ocean depth model, but will cost one Rs 2.3 billion. Unlike other submarines that have a single viewport, this model has a triple wide-angle installation. This means you don’t have to peak outside to catch a glimpse of a whale swimming by you; your submarine bubble will look like a television screen displaying a school of feasting whales from a Blue Planet II episode — the same episode that has also been shot in a Triton. Ray Dalio, US billionaire investor and a proud Triton submarine owner, is the founder of OceanX, an ocean explorative initiative that has filmed the popular BBC series on marine life. The submarine has an array of 10 electric thrusters to provide motion in all directions, which means you get to drive the vehicle and feel like you’re in an action hero movie.
The 36000/2 is currently being used in the world’s first manned expedition to the deepest points in each of the five oceans – called the Five Deeps Expedition. “The submersible promises to change our relationship with the deep ocean in a profound and fundamental way.” said Patrick Lahey, co-founder and president of Triton, at the submersible’s launch in 2018.
“With 97% of the sea floor unexplored, guests on a Triton will encounter specific vistas never seen before by anyone on the planet. And there is the added benefit of increasing appreciation of the oceans and promoting environmental stewardship through direct experience,” adds Bruce Jones, co-founder and CEO, Triton.
When it comes to safety, Triton is one of the most reliable companies among its peers. The company implements a number of back-up safety systems, such as manual overriding and direct air injection to ballast tanks in case of an unexpected situation during the expedition. Furthermore, the vehicle’s subsea location is continually tracked and monitored from its host vessel, and each sub contains life-support and emergency battery power for an extended 96 hours.
If you think some exquisite-looking corals and fishes are all you’ll see if you dive underwater, you’ll be pleased to be proven wrong. The underwater world is home to some man-made, and many mythical and mysterious sites. Man has touched the grounds of deep-water seas and oceans, built museums, forts and even a statue in commemoration of the Christ.
Among the few man-made sites are the Christ of the Abyss, installed in 1954 in the Mediterranean Sea and The Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park in the Caribbean Sea. You can also witness one of the 100,000 unexplored seamounts in the ocean, spewing hot, mineral-rich water, or watch the resting places of the wrecked ship vessels that lie beyond the divers’ reach.
“A Triton buyer becomes a hero with friends and family for providing a rare opportunity to visit a foreign world and to encounter amazing underwater scenes, remarkable profusions of marine life and even mysterious shipwrecks,” says Jones.
So, put your Indiana Jones hat on the next time you’re planning your vacation and plumb the depths of life underneath!