Adventure, Exploration, & Scientific Research! Three of our favorite things all happened during our Expedition to Golfo Dulce. MV Undersea Hunter and the DeepSee Subersible departed on May 11th for a 7 day special research trip with the University of Costa Rica's CIMAR - Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología to Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.
The desire to explore the Golfo Dulce region is based on its unique biological, oceanographic and geological nature. As one of only four tropical fiords in the world, researchers believe this area is off-the-charts unique and might just possess some truly incredible things!
What are these things? Well, that is exactly what this trip was all about. Could there be Prickly Sharks down there, or maybe a new type of coral?
The features of the gulf itself are quite fascinating; its depth exceeds 200 meters in the inner basin and is sheltered against the open Pacific by a shallow shelf (60 meters) at the southern end.
This means that the gulf goes from shallow to deep very fast, so deep in fact that it is ranked as the 10th deepest gulf in the world. This makes it the perfect place for the DeepSee Submersible.
With DeepSee the researchers will be able to visit places never before seen or studied. An even cooler thing to keep in mind is that DeepSee is equipped with all the bells and whistles a scientist could ask for, like a video camera, computer, and robotic arm. This offers scientists the tools they need to document their research, collect samples, and maneuver their instruments at depth.
Heading up this expedition is CIMAR's Helena Molina Urena. As the Chief Scientist, Dr. Molina is leading a team into the field that includes researchers and graduate students from CIMAR's Biology, Geology, Geography, and Chemistry departments. The project is sponsored by Pronature, an NGO that sponsors many of CIMAR's current projects.
Inside the DeepSee
MV Undersea Hunter
Our owner/DeepSee pilot, Avi Klapfer, will expertly guide the DeepSee operation. Avi has been working on this project for several years and he hopes this is the first of many research expeditions to Golfo Dulce. Avi believes that as one of the last remaining unexplored underwater environments in Costa Rica, Golfo Dulce could hold a significant amount of diversity that needs to be explored, documented, and shared in order to ensure its protection. Through this preliminary expedition, the hope is to officially document the distinctiveness and treasures that make Golfo Dulce such an environmentally significant place.