The legend of space exploration discusses his passion for the world beneath the surface of the sea
“Looking around me and then glancing upward at the surface of the sea, there is a strong realisation that I’m in the one place where I’m secluded from all the daily troubles and problems that the world has. My son gave me a birthday present of a weeklong cruise in the Galápagos Islands. On that trip I encountered a whale shark and was photographed swimming along just above its fin. It was 35 to 40 feet long! It’s one of my screensavers and always gets a reaction from people. Arthur C Clarke wrote an epilogue to a book entitled First on the Moon which started me in the book writing business. He was into diving himself. I remember Arthur telling me he knew where there was a chest full of gold that he wanted the two of us to go diving for sometime. It wasn’t one of those remarks in jest, he was deadly serious about it, but it never happened.”
“It is one of those strange coincidences,” explains Buzz Aldrin, “that my mother’s maiden name was Moon.” We are sat across the kitchen table in Villa One at the breathtaking Soneva Fushi resort in the Maldives and Aldrin is setting off on a morning scuba dive, his second great love after space exploration. We have been brought together for The Gathering, a retreat organised by Tilda Swinton, the theme of which is “space”. Forty-five years ago Aldrin became the second man to walk on the moon. Today however, his sights are set on the colonisation of Mars by 2035. “I want to be remembered not as someone walking on the moon, but as someone who enabled humans to visit another planet.”
This article features in the A/W14 issue of AnOther Magazine alongside AnOther Thing I Wanted to Tell You... with Gia Coppola, Patricia Clarkson and more.
Words by Caroline Lever