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Deep pockets, deeper ambitions
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Deep pockets, deeper ambitions



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While jet skies and motorbikes satisfy the average bloke's need for petrol-powered thrills, the uber-rich are sinking to greater depths to get theirs.

The recreational submarine has become the boy-toy of choice for a swag of adventure-seeking Forbes rich list fellas including Sir Richard Branson, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and the Silicon Valley mogul Tom Perkins.

Branson has turned his attention away from racing into space to exploring the mystery of what lies beneath. The Virgin founder plans to take his self-piloted mini-sub 20,000 leagues down, to the deepest part of each of the world's five oceans, beginning with the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic, later this year.

Hollywood royalty is in on the act as well. The Titanic director, James Cameron, first went below the waterline in 1997 in a former Russian military submersible to film his blockbuster. He returned to the watery depths in March this year to complete the first solo voyage to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a 10-kilometre deep ditch off Guam in the western Pacific.
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For some others, the sub is an add-on purchase; something to throw on the back of the super-yacht before setting sail on the high seas. On Abramovich's $1 billion super-yacht Eclipse, the world's largest at nearly 170 metres, the submarine jostles for room with two helicopter pads, two swimming pools and bunks for 20 guests.

Submersible prices start at about $US750,000 ($724,900) for entry-level craft and soon rise into seven figures for customised models; a snip compared with the nine- and ten-figure price tags of the big boats.

The editor-in-chief at Britain's online charter service SuperYachts.com, Ben Roberts, said the inclusion of a private submersible could give luxury voyages a fillip.

"Vessels with submarines on board often receive a lot of attention on the charter market and it's understandable as to why.

"Super yachts offer an untold amount of luxurious freedom to their owners ... but imagine having the ability to travel both across the sea and under it; exploring the abyss of an unknown world, like Jacques Cousteau with friends or guests, on the perfect personal cruise."

For the octogenarian venture capitalist Perkins, a former Hewlett-Packard board member and one-time husband of the romantic novelist Danielle Steel, it's this sense of liberty that keeps sending him down for more.

Perkins's latest yacht, Dr No, has been retrofitted as a carrier for his DeepFlight Super Falcon submersible, which he has already tested off Mexico, the Virgin Islands and in the South Pacific. "I love scuba diving, however scuba does not allow you to cover the depth and range of the DeepFlight Super Falcon submersible," he says."The fact that [it] is flown like a plane gives you a marvellous freedom of accessing three-dimensional space that you cannot get otherwise."

Designed to dive to between 100 metres and 300 metres, recreational submersibles offer a relaxed view of the depths.

Perkins says his sub has research as well as recreational functions - he plans to use it to study the behaviour of whales and other large ocean animals.

For those whose budget does not stretch to a personal submarine, a super yacht to store it on, or the four-person crew needed for launch and recovery, a San Francisco submersible designer provides the chance to get in the pilot's seat for a fraction of the price.

Hawkes Ocean Technologies offers one, two and three-day underwater "flight schools" in locations including the Bahamas, Mexico, Jordan and Lake Tahoe on the California/Nevada border. The three-day course costs $US15,000.

"The owners we have sold submersibles to have been interested in piloting the sub themselves but they also train their boat crew or resort crew to pilot the sub so there are multiple pilots," the Hawkes marketing chief, Karen Hawkes, says.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/motors/deep-pockets-deeper-ambitions-20120424-1xirz.html#ixzz2C7a18YGD


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  1. Deep pockets, deeper ambitions - Sydney Morning Herald

    www.smh.com.au › Executive StyleMotors
    27 Apr 2012 – While jet skies and motorbikes satisfy the average bloke's need for petrol-powered thrills, the uber-rich are sinking to greater depths to get ...
  2.  

    Deep pockets, deeper ambitions - Worldnews.com

    article.wn.com/view/2012/04/24/Deep_pockets_deeper_ambitions_t/
    24 Apr 2012 – Click for more photos Undersea dreams The DeepFlight Super Falcon submersible. While jet skies and motorbikes satisfy the average bloke's ...
  3.  

    Deep pockets, deeper ambitions - AllVoices

    www.allvoices.com/.../12028138-deep-pockets-deeper-a... - United States
    26 Apr 2012 – Story continues below Hollywood royalty is in on the act as well. The Titanic director, James Cameron, first went below the waterline in 1997 in ...
  4.  

    The Sydney Morning Herald - Deep pockets, deeper ambitions

    www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/viewer.aspx?...
    19 Apr 2012 – WHILE jet skies and motorbikes satisfy the average bloke's need for petrol-powered thrills, the uber-rich are sinking to greater depths to get ...
  5.  

    Frankenstein, Chapter 15

    www.boutell.com/frankenstein/chapter15.html
    It impressed me deeply. ... Soon after my arrival in the hovel, I discovered some papers in the pocket of the dress which I had taken from your laboratory. ... their sweet looks directed towards me with affection was the utmost limit of my ambition.
  6.  

    Deep pockets, deeper ambitions Likes | StumbleUpon.com

    www.stumbleupon.com/content/2LCtZs/likes
    30 Apr 2012 – Find out more about Deep pockets, deeper ambitions, like comments, which Stumblers liked it, how many Stumbles it got, who added it and ...
  7.  

    Sunday Dialogue - Giving All Citizens a Voice - NYTimes.com

    www.nytimes.com/.../sunday-dialogue-giving-all-citizens-a-voice.ht...
    2 days ago – Organizations representing those with deep pockets vastly outnumber ... More ambitious would be an educational system that delivered as well for the less ... Inequality of political voice has long been with us and is deeply ...
  8.  

    Invitation to a Dialogue - Political Inequality - NYTimes.com

    www.nytimes.com/.../invitation-to-a-dialogue-political-inequality.ht...
    5 Nov 2012 – Organizations representing those with deep pockets vastly outnumber ... More ambitious would be an educational system that delivered as well for the less ... Inequality of political voice has long been with us and is deeply ...
  9.  

    China's Equinox play part of deeper strategy in Africa - The Globe ...

    m.theglobeandmail.com › ... › Energy & Resources
    23 Aug 2012 – China's Equinox play part of deeper strategy in Africa ... s plan to take over Canada's Equinox Minerals Ltd. marks a turning point in China's ambitions to create a world-class mining giant, ... First, China has deep pockets.
  10.  
    [PDF] 

    Hoping for one big fish in Chester - Vermont Institute of ...

    www.vtica.org/uploads/vtica_bfp_082811.pdf
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
    ... Sarly and Abby Raeder, two people with deep pockets and perhaps an even deeper ... And they're positive that now is the time to create an ambitious rural ...


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