If nothing else, check out the images. They’re stunning. But the story is pretty amazing too by writer and photographer Laurent Ballesta:
Without dry suits we’d die in as little as 10 minutes. With our improved equipment we could last up to five hours.
I mean, just imagine if something malfunctioned…
When at last we’re ready to topple into the freezing water, we’re wearing and carrying 200 pounds each. It feels like we’re learning to dive all over again. Moving is a struggle, swimming almost impossible. The cold quickly anesthetizes the few square inches of exposed skin on our cheeks, and as the dive wears on, it intrudes into our suits and gloves, biting harder and harder. It’s unbearable, but we must bear it. Toward the end, as we’re pausing on our ascent to decompress, we search for anything to distract us from the pain.
When we finally crawl or haul ourselves out of the freezing ocean, I lie prostrate on the ice, my brain too dulled to think about removing my gear, my skin hard and wrinkled, my lips, hands, and feet swollen and numb—then, as my body warms and the blood starts to flow again, the pain is at its worst. It’s so intense I find myself wishing my extremities were still frozen. After four weeks, I can’t feel my toes anymore, even in the warmth. It will take seven months after our return to Europe for my damaged nerves to recover.
Again, the images are worth it. Including an blue-blooded octopus! 💙🐙