Fabien Cousteau: How to Pack for an Epic Underwater Adventure


Fabien Cousteau, who intends to top his grandfather’s underwater record. (Courtesy: Fabien Cousteau)

In June, Fabien Cousteau, a grandson of the famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, will attempt to live in an underwater laboratory the size of a school bus eight miles off the Florida Keys, for 31 days—one day longer than his famous grandfather resided in an underwater village on the floor of the Red Sea in 1963. Here, he reveals what he is packing to get him through his adventure, which he has named Mission 31.

1. A waterproof journal to document the experiences for 31 days.

2. All of my favorite snacks, including pistachios, sunflower seeds, and chocolate. I can afford to eat it all since we will burn three times as many calories underwater.

3. My Nokia Lumia 1020, customized to take pictures in the briny deep and share them on social media.


Fabien Cousteau, shooting under the water. (Courtesy: Fabien Cousteau)

4. Good headphones. The habitat is tight on space, and I’ll be living with five housemates.

5. A painting that a 3rd grader from Texas recently created for me showcasing Mission 31.

6. Licorice sticks, because they might be strong enough to taste down below and they have natural antibiotic properties.

7. A bronze medallion of my grandfather Jacques Yves Cousteau in commemoration of his exploits around undersea habitats.


Jacques Yves Cousteau’s bronze medallion. (Courtesy: Fabien Cousteau)

Fabien also let us know exactly what he will miss during his month underwater:

1. My dog, Heidi, because she has been my best friend for the last 13 1/2 years.

2. Working on my vintage motorcycles.

3. Good food since freeze-dried food for 31 days is a Frenchman’s worst nightmare.

4. My girlfriend and family.

5. My bed. The bunks on Aquarius remind me of Calypso’s WWII-style sleeping arrangements.

6. My favorite summer wines from Provence. Alcohol is really not advisable during saturation or any kind of diving for that matter.

7. The sun.