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Emmanuel Perrier-Bardou, researcher. “I learned more about underwater life in three days than in fifteen years”

Women by immersion 1/5.- Explorer, filmmaker, deputy submarine commander… These exceptional pioneers work below sea level and tell us about their lives in this deep world.

In his first novel. Ultramarines (1), writer Mariette Navarro portrays a cargo captain, a captain’s daughter, for whom living on land has never been an option. The professional who “belongs to the water, like others, has a pride of distant origin”, he writes. In this short and magnificent piece of fiction, he shows through a female character the rigor, precision and attention needed to take on this role. But also what the immensity of water, sea, ocean can offer in terms of freedom, horizon and even escape. Taking Aristotle’s quote, he makes it his own. “There are the living, the dead, and the sailors.” Madame Figarowanted to share the fate of women working in their profession underwater, below the waterline, “under the dioptre”, according to the expression of one of them, the first female captain of a submarine of the French Navy.

There are the living, the dead, and the sailors

Mariette Navarro

What are they looking for there? Inaccuracy or departure? Mission or duty? Beauty or shelter? Did they spend their lives there, or did they go one day to look for water resources? It is not by chance that you appear in a duet with such elements. All of them have a special relationship with the sea. The first testimony in our series dedicated to these women, explorer Emmanuel Perrier-Bardou.

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The school ship

At the age of 6, in Champagne, one Sunday, he discovers a documentary about Commander Cousteau. “I was worried because I didn’t see any female divers Calypso “. The show at age 12 Scanrepresents a school boat on which children sit and learn on the water. “My parents were strongly against it, but they let me apply, thinking I had little chance.” At the age of 13, he spent six months on this ship between France, England, the Canary Islands and Morocco. “I realized that it was not a fantasy. I didn’t know how I would dedicate my life to it, but I was sure that I felt good when I was in the sea.

In the fall of 2019, Emmanuelle Perrier-Bardoux and her husband created the Capsule, a low-tech marine environment that supports Rolex’s Perpetual Planet initiative, allowing for three days and three nights underwater. Frank Gazzola

underwater life

In 2007, at the age of 30, she left with her husband. Under The Pole, a 47-day expedition is underway on the ice, this icy world is more and more endangered every year, which they bring the underwater evidence of with pictures. Their submerged “ice temples” travel the world. After two years in Greenland, a boat and two children, they make this observation: time is running out during scuba diving (maximum three hours). In the fall of 2019, they created the Capsule, a low-tech marine environment with the support of Rolex’s Perpetual Planet initiative, which allows you to spend three days and three nights underwater. Emanuel sleeps there, works there, eats there. The light that filters in every morning, the visit of the same turtle, the trumpet fish he knows and names; jazzmen… “It’s like a developing city, whose activities we understand, as if the capsule is our home and the reef is our garden. I learned more about underwater life in three days than I did in fifteen years.”

Water, tomorrow

“The challenge is that most people don’t have the opportunity to dive and don’t realize that their actions on land affect them underwater.” At the age of 40, he realizes that his children will not see a coral reef. “However, nature is quite resilient. some species that we did not see there are found in the areas of Northern Norway, others migrate to the bottom… The concept of refuge, refuge is revealed. The question is how are we humans going to delay this nature to allow it to adapt…”

(1) Published in August 2021 by Éditions Quidam.

Source: Le Figaro

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