Sylvia Earle:

No Hanky Panky on the Reef," the Real Story Behind the Tektite II

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www.iamecowarrior.com in partnership with youtube.com/user/missionbluecoalition Visuals are used by permission of (c) Kip Evans, Mission Blue. Legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle recounts the story of the Tektite II, Mission 6, an all-female research expedition led by Dr. Earle herself in 1969. Transcript -- In 1969, I was at Harvard, walking down the hallway. There, on the bulletin board, a piece of paper caught my eye. It was an announcement about how would you like to live u...

www.iamecowarrior.com in partnership with youtube.com/user/missionbluecoalition Visuals are used by permission of (c) Kip Evans, Mission Blue. Legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle recounts the story of the Tektite II, Mission 6, an all-female research expedition led by Dr. Earle herself in 1969. Transcript -- In 1969, I was at Harvard, walking down the hallway. There, on the bulletin board, a piece of paper caught my eye. It was an announcement about how would you like to live underwater, or some words to that effect. And, huh! So I pulled it off and read it, and in a sense it said, "To apply for an opportunity to conduct a scientific experiment living underwater for two weeks, send in your application to the Smithsonian Institution and it will be considered." So I did. When applications started to come in from scientists, not just in the United States, but outside the country as well, and some of them were from women, it came to a surprise, it was a surprise, but the head of the program, Jim Miller, made history when according to legend he looked over the credentials, looked over the proposals and he had to decide, would there or would there not be women included in this? And he said, "Well, half the fish are female, I guess we can put up with a few women." And so I got the call. But the call included this caveat: they would consider women, and they really were interested in having me participate, but the idea of having men and women living together underwater for two weeks, the words that were used were actually these: "Hanky panky on the reef was a concern." Hanky panky! Well, anyway, they decided to have a team of women and they asked if I would be the leader of the team. There was such a crazy way of thinking that women wouldn't get along, that we would fight, that we couldn't handle the equipment. It was just the ideas that people had. But we got along great; the equipment was no big mystery. We had a wonderful time actually. Imagine, being able to stay day and night, to swim outside of this underwater laboratory, four rooms, air inside, it was compressed air, so about the only handicap, if it is a handicap, is you couldn't whistle, because the atmosphere was 2.5 times greater pressure than at the surface. That means, when you try to whistle, it just wouldn't work. You could practice and finally make it work, but it took some effort. And your voice gets a little huskier because you are working against the gradient. But to eat, sleep, in a warm, dry, container habitat, to take a hot water shower, fresh water, no problem. We could cook, we could use microscopes and books. It was really an underwater laboratory and sleeping quarters, eating quarters and a place where you had this little round swimming pool, actually it was access to the big swimming pool, the ocean beyond. And we spent eight, ten, twelve hours a day and night actually outside and only a minimum amount of time inside to dry off, eat, rest and then go back out again. It was such a treat. Find your eco Inspiration www.iamecowarrior.com Directed by Roger Moenks

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