For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words
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Thread: For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words

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  1. #1
    DOXA forum moderator
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    May 2005

    For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words

    Tales from the Calypso –

    Bruno Cappello was a member of Jacques Cousteau’s team aboard the Calypso in the 80s. He has graciously provided his DOXA SUB (a gift from Jacques Cousteau himself!) to the DOXA museum. He was kind enough to share some of his story with us.

    My time with the Cousteau team and life on the Calypso

    My friend Michel told me that he was going to try out as a Cousteau team diver.
    I told him if you can do it, so can I. Dan Phan and I were later welcomed as the newest divers on the team.

    My first mission for the Cousteau team was aboard the Calypso and we went to film the USS Monitor. I recall meeting Harold Edgerton – or "Papa Flash" as Jacques Cousteau called him.

    Albert Falco, Jacques Cousteau and I were going over some pre-dive items, just the three of us.

    Falco asked if I had a reliable dive watch. I was a caught a bit off-guard, not sure what to say. Then Mr. Falco uttered a phrase I have always remembered:
    “A decent man must have a decent watch.” And then it happened - Jacques Cousteau handed me his very own DOXA Sharkhunter – he gave his watch to ME! And from that moment on I truly felt as though I were a part of the Cousteau team!

    It turned out to be a night dive by the time we got there. We all grouped at the surface and held on to each others tank. It was like a human grape vine going down to the monitor. I saw the biggest shark that I've ever seen that day.
    I was relieved to know that I was not the only one who saw the shark, Marc and Raymond saw it as well. Maybe the Sharkhunter was an omen. This proved to be a very memorable dive as we continued to investigate the USS Monitor, and the rest, as they say – is history!

    My duties aboard The Calypso were varied and numerous. Perhaps my favorite chore was loading the film into the cameras as the film cabin was the only place on The Calypso that was air-conditioned! In addition to this I filled the divers’ tanks before the dives. During the dives I held the lights for the cameramen - usually either Bernard or Raymond. I helped Bob as often as possible with the helicopter maintenance. I was usually in the water to help place "Denise" (the SP350) into and out of the water, as well as to follow it around during its dive as best I could using the transponder. I never got to dive with the SP350. This was one of my greatest regrets while working for the Cousteau team.

    I seemed to find myself more often than not on watch duty. This was when I really got to know the Commandant, Monsieur Cousteau. For some reason I was on watch with him more than I was with any of the other confirmed navigators! I was always afraid to disturb his sleep, but I often did need to go and get him. I know it sounds dumb now, but this was Jacques Cousteau after all, and I was anxious to prove myself!

    Of course he usually took his time and arrived a few moments later than I did when we were on watch, and as a result these were some of the longest "short" moments of my life! I never really knew if JYC simply trusted me alone with the ship as Navigator, or if I simply was not knocking loud enough to wake him! Looking back, I suspect that this was his way of saying, "Look stupid, if you're going to wake me up, then just do it and make more noise next time!" The time we spent together while on watch were filled with what you might expect - Atlantis, mixed gas diving physiology, satellite navigation and perhaps what fascinated me the most of all, the Tibetan book of the dead and the life of the spirit. I was always eager to share thoughts on this, and it was fascinating to hear his idea of the meaning of life.

    Jacques Cousteau was, in my opinion, a perfectionist. He was also very demanding to work for, but never asked for, or expected anything more than he was ready to give himself. The gift of his personal watch truly underscored this spirit of commitment and camaraderie to me, and likewise in other ways to everyone else he and the Calypso touched.

    Despite the demands, (or maybe because of them) working for him was always a pleasure. One day in Canada we were passing some whales and everyone was on the deck looking for vents. We drew closer to the whales and he said, "Watch... the mother will show her calf how to jump out of the water soon." I thought to myself, ‘You may know a lot about the water but that kind of prediction is impossible!’ Sure enough, about two minutes later, out of the water came the big whale followed by the small whale. I never again questioned what he said.

    As told by Bruno Capello.

    So the answer is:

    JYC - Jacques Cousteau!

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  2. #2
    Sinn Moderator gaopa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    NE Georgia

    Re: For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words

    Thanks for sharing! Cheers, Bill P.

  3. #3
    Member chas1133's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    S FL

    Re: For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words

    Great story...I want that watch!

  4. #4
    Member arrenegado's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Portugal, in a a small town in the middle of the country

    Re: For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words

    Great reportage, and a delightful clock, I want one to


    J Vargas
    My watches
    - Aurex Shockproof, Hand Wind. 17 Jewels (no diver)

    - Rado Purple Horse 25 Jewels 1970 Automatic (no diver)
    - SEIKO-Kinetic-Sports 200 Mts
    - Vostok Amphibian Movement 2416b, 200 mt

    - Vostok Amphibian Ministry, 200 mt
    - SINN U1, 1000 mt, Tegiment Clasp
    - El Buzo, n.º 79 - 500 mt, by Reloges Especiales & Crepas
    - SEIKO Marine Master 300mt
    - Type RE Flight chronograph, n.º 36, vintage style, by Reloges Especiales&Crepas
    - Orient Saturation Diver, 300mt
    - Seiko Sumo Prospex Diver's 200mt
    - Squale Tiger 300mt Last Edition Black dial


    I prefer not to remember

  5. #5
    Member RainMan 777's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Orange County, California

    Re: For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words

    Great story,
    Main Collection: |Rolex GMT Two tone116710, GMT Pepsi 16710, Cellini 4243 Black Dial | Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Geographic World 146.8.83 Stainless Steel |Omega Speedmaster ’57 | Girard-Perregaux Ferrari 250 TR Testarossa 8090 Limited Edition | Tudor heritage black bay blue | Doxa Sub 750 GMT Sharkhunter Diving Watch Limited Edition| Cartier Santos XL 100 Chornograph|Chaumet Dandy XL Chronograph | Tag Heuer 6000 Professional Casio GW4000-1A, TC-600, Tough Solar WV-M120, And AE-1200WH James Bond| Citizen Custom 7 4-520751 Automatic | Boss by Hugo Boss 1110|

    Chopping Block: | Jaeger LeCoultre Amvox5 World Chronograph Ceramic Titanium Limited Edition | Bell & Ross Vintage Officer Silver Pilot Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch BR126 | Ebel 1911 Senior Automatic with Big date XL Model #: 9125250 | Zodiac Sea Dragon (Green, Purple, Blue limited) |SevenFriday M1-1 & P1-4| Locman Ref: 014 | Invicta Speedway |Christopher Ward C9 Limited |Need to save up for the my white whale.

  6. #6
    Member kraftee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Pompano Beach, FL

    Re: For those who missed the Calypso story, in Bruno Capello's own words

    My wife and I met Captain Cousteau in about '84 or '85. Calypso was at the Allied Marine Yard in Miami for a refit and the Cousteau Society was throwing a cocktail party for JYC. A very gracious man who took time to talk with everyone and even signed my dive logbook. I was, however, amazed at just how small Calypso actually was. Here are a few pics from that event. I was rockin the 80s 'stache and JYC was rockin the blue leisure suit! ERIC KRAFT
    Attached Images Attached Images

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