By Rod Macdondald
A gripping and exhilirating voyage into the silent darkness of the depths on the innovative of technical diving.
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Additional resources for The Darkness Below
So the aqualung again cleverly feeds a diver air that is compressed to five times atmospheric pressure (5 bar). Again the air pressure in the diver’s lungs is kept exactly the same as the surrounding water pressure and the diver’s lungs remain exactly the same size as on the surface. Boyle’s Law – the law of inverse proportions – governs this effect. When scientists were trying to work out what happened to air underwater, some brave hardy men would sit in an upturned barrel cut in half, which was lowered into the water.
I felt waves of narcosis sweeping over me. In the all-consuming darkness I felt my heart rate accelerate and a gnawing fear and apprehension started to sweep over me. Suddenly 3–4 metres below me, the sandy seabed materialised out of the gloom and I landed beside our anchor and chain, which was sitting on clean furrowed sand with a solitary starfish beside it. Dave’s torch appeared out of the darkness above me and he landed on the seabed beside me. Two solitary specks of humanity standing in pitch darkness, 50 metres below the surface of the sea, 3 miles offshore looking for a large shipwreck which we knew was towering over us – but which was tantalisingly out of sight.
22 Evolution is a slow process Tankers like the Inverlane are extremely strongly constructed compared to ordinary steam ships. The Inverlane however sat broadside on to the massively strong current that charges up and down Burra Sound with the eternal ebbing and flooding of the tide. It couldn’t last forever and sadly in the winter of 1996 the Inverlane collapsed in a storm. She didn’t go completely without a fight as part of her fo’c’stle remained sticking out of the water for a few years. It too however collapsed and sadly nothing of the Inverlane remains proud of the water today.
The Darkness Below by Rod Macdondald