At first they traveled together, in later years they divided up the employment. It was with Philippe that Cousteau firstly explored the leading edge of Antarctica. It was Philippe who hovered his seaplane to the upper reaches of the Nile. And when Philippe was killed in Portugal in 1979, crashing his airplane into the irrigates of the Tagus River, there was no supplanting him, really.
Throughout the 1970 s, while Cousteau became a grandiose old person, his son Philippe appeared as the heir to his fame and his causes. Philippe was a very young of the two children Simone bore Cousteau. But his lyrical temper, his drive and ego and interests all pushed him to the prow in his father x27; s activities. He had a good sense of his generation x27; s environmental preoccupations and a infatuation with gadgetry like hot air bags and seaplanes. He pushed the edge of the envelope to keep in the Cousteau cinemas the feeling of excite and detection that ever mounted them apart.
Which is one reason the narrative about Simone x27; s demise was so especially perturbing. Cousteau told it with plain candor, as if he was puzzled by what it intend. It x27; s not surprising for a genius to be filled with oblivious self-fascination. In France, at least since Diderot, the enlightened have rationalized comfortably the toll that the truly bright take over those close at hand.( “He is a tree which has stunted some others originating near by and extinguished flowers growing at its hoofs, but it has raised its heading to the heavens and its diverges have spread far and wide, ” as the philosophe would have it .) Still, ego alone did not quite show what Cousteau was alleging. There was something on his thinker that was missing from his account, and manifesting farther I pondered about Simone x27; s motivatings.
In the last 15 years Cousteau has espoused the role of a visionary, even a revolutionary, preaching mainly to the young. As one generation would lose its fascination with him and move on from the world of true-blue adventure to the obligations of adulthood, the next generation would detect his undersea nature, sometimes at odd hours, often in reruns, and be hypnotized. There is no place he is not known. One biographer claims there are questionnaires that demo Cousteau grades second only to the Pope as “the worlds largest” familiar appearance on the planet. But that may banalize the skipper x27; s popularity, so singular and universal, so grandfatherly and benign is his image.
Before I congregated Cousteau for the first time five years ago, I retrieved from a long-unopened bundle box my yellowing transcript of , a Scholastic Book Business publication decaying now with a smell of cheap mushy that accompanies back the perfervid daydream of junior high study halls. It was first are presented in 1953 and about certain parts of Cousteau x27; s firstly 40 years–the discoveries, the excitement–there is no better note. During and after World War II, Cousteau and Simone and their chums were experimenting in an utterly brand-new surrounding, using themselves as laboratory rats. They twiddled and investigated, desegregating discipline with pleasure, tribulation with mistake, almost at romp as they became, in Cousteau x27; s word, “menfish.”
The fun stopped merely a few months later when Maurice Fargues, a longtime member of Cousteau x27; s crew, lost it, his air hose and their own lives somewhere around 400 feet.
“At 200 feet I savoured the metal flavor of compressed nitrogen and was instantaneously and severely struck with rapture . … My mind was jammed with self-conceited thoughts and antic joyfulnes. I struggled to fix my brain on actuality, was trying to mention the color of the sea about me. A race took place between navy blue, aquamarine and Prussian off-color. The dialogue would not resolve. The sole knowledge I could comprehend was that there was no roof and no flooring in the blue room.” Cousteau reached 297 feet that day, a record for the time. Fifty fathoms deep, “in my bisected brain the satisfaction was balanced by sarcastic self-contempt.”
Simone was almost always there in those days, whether moving like a guardian angel on the shimmering surface during Cousteau x27; s first aqualung dives, or waiting helpless near the entryway of a cave in the Vaucluse, know … … if her husband had died in his descent to the source of a mysterious spring.
The Diving Saucer Of Commander Cousteau. Cote d’Azur, Marseilles- July 23, 1959 – The first assaults at the diving saucer designed by Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau: he sat before the plans of the saucer, inhaling a cigarette in his office.
In the summer of 1947, Cousteau and his unit began experimenting with the purposes of nitrogen narcosis or “rapture of the magnitudes, ” and his accounts of those trials, the majority of members of which he foisted on himself, expose a great deal more about “the mens” than about the molecules and capillaries that were his scientific concern. Cousteau and my honourable colleagues knew from earlier ancestries that as they started deeper health risks of hallucination and disorientation proliferated dramatically. They gasped compressed breath, which includes nitrogen as well as oxygen, and the actual capacity of gas they were inhaling increased the lower down they disappeared. A person 100 paws below the surface was subsisting breath four times denser than at sea level. The nitrogen built up in the intelligence, and eventually began to alter its functions.
Even in his early eighties Cousteau x27; s vigor appears inexhaustible, and he always seems a bit puzzled by those around him who were not sanctified with such vigour. He sounds unaware of the toll his boundless ebullience might take on others. His schedule is relentlessly kinetic. As I x27; ve tried to plumb his ideas and his personality we x27; ve wound up talking here about Paris eateries, in his Monaco apartment and driving along the Cote d x27; Azur; in Washington inns while he lobbied Congress, and in his little office off the Faubourg Saint-Honore. We x27; ve communicated by fax and by satellite phone.
In December 1990, Simone croaked and in June of 1991, as it happens only a few periods after our lunch at the Brasserie Lorraine, Cousteau remarried Francine Triplet, the status of women in her 40 s, and introduced to the world their two young children, Diane and Pierre-Yves. Cousteau x27; s older enduring son and long-time heir evident, 56 -year-old Jean-Michel, has since gone off to haunt other interests, starting the break-up of a non-profit territory he and his father have improved during the course of 20 times. “It has not detriment our tendernes, ” Jacques told me this spring. “There is nothing else to pronounce but Jean-Michel is gone.” This is not all that Jean-Michel has to say. But perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves. The old person of the high seas is full of secrets, and there are some basic ones to be learned near the surface before we move deeper.