urdin sakonean, the great blue, le grand bleu    Everything becomes equal there. It’s another domain. The great blue domain.

Jacques Mayol
Jacques Mayol was born in Shanghai in the year 1927. His parents worked in an aqua park and little Jacques, with the help of his friends the dolphins, soon mastered the secrets of the submerging in water. They say he spent more than half his life in water. That seems a bit of an exaggeration. But, as they say, myths actually become myths because of these little “lies”.

There is no doubting his watery blueness all the same. Underwater, his pulse rate dropped form 70 beats a minute to 20 – an instant drop that would kill any of the rest of us. His incredible lungs would leave the most resistant of cyclists in tears. Scientists baptised this ability “bradycardia”. He swam to depths of 110 metres (aged 55) without the aid of any of the technical gadgetry available nowadays, and he could stay underwater for almost 8 minutes without having to come up for air.

Jacques spent his youth with several companies that carried out underwater work. The world of diving turned professional and that’s when he started his competitive rivalry and companionship with the Italian Enzo Mayorca. But he was a loner and difficult to get along with, so he soon quit the competitions and returned to his childhood friends: the dolphins.

The last time we read about him in the papers was when he was 74 years old. He was living on the island of Elba, the very same isle Napoleon had been banished to, and he hung himself from a rafter. His few friends saw to it that his last wishes expressed in his suicide note were obeyed and is ashes were lost in le grand bleu, at one with the waters, lost in the great blue, just like an underwater Ikaro.