Here at Chipola Divers we have been leading exploration projects in Florida and Mexico for several years.
One such project has been in Cozumel, Mexico.
In 2011 we began exploring a system named Sistema Dos Coronas. Over the following couple of years we expanded the length of Sistema Dos Coronas to over 8000′ of passage. We noticed it was coming close to another system named Cueva Quebrada, the longest underwater cave system on the island of Cozumel. We began focusing our efforts on the areas of Dos Coronas that were coming close to Cueva Quebrada. In the summer of 2014 we were finally able to find the connection, a short passage that requires removing both sidemount tanks and pushing them in front to get through but is still tight enough to cause anyone passing through it to get stuck. We had just added over 8000′ of passage to the 29,0000′ of length in Cueva Quebrada. Here is a recent video of a dive in the Dos Coronas section
We continued our exploration efforts in Cueva Quebrada and in 2016 we found a completely new, unexplored section of Cueva Quebrada that we have appropriately named la Sección Escondido. La Sección Escondido itself contains more than 30,000 feet of passage that had never been explored prior to this. Keep in mind, the original exploration of Cueva Quebrada resulted in 29,000 feet of lined and surveyed passage. This one discovery more than doubled the known length of Cueva Quebrada. Here’s a video of a part of that new section.
Since 2016 we have continued exploration in Cueva Quebrada and have the current length of the system at close to 85,000′, making it the 9th longest cave system in Mexico. We continue our exploration efforts and continue to expand the known system and expect to break the 100,000 foot mark at some point soon!.
Here is another video of some of the passage found in la Sección Escondido.
We have also done extensive exploration in Aerolito, the most well-known cave on the island of Cozumel. We have replaced thousands of feet of broken line and resurveyed the original 20,000 feet of passage that was explored back in the 80s and 90s. We have also added line to more than 5,000 feet of passage previously unexplored, bringing the total length of Aerolito to over 25,000 feet. And we are still actively exploring the cave! Here’s a video from one of the prettiest rooms in Aerolito that we found back in 2018.
We’re still working on the Cueva Quebrada and Aerolito exploration and resurvey projects. Once we have completed those projects we will add maps of both systems.
Here is a video from a cave in the southern area of the island. This cave is very different than any other cave explored on the island. It is deep (shallow passage is 120 ft/35 m deep and deep passage is 180 ft/60 m deep) and colder (74F/22C). The passages also look very different. Studies are currently being conducted in this system and 4 new species have been discovered.
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We began surveying the Bozel Spring System back in 2011 as well. The existing line was resurveyed as well as some additional passages that had not been previously found. In 2014, a full on effort to explore and survey Bozel began. At that time Bozel had about 2500 feet of lined passage. We found several passages off the main line, including some very large passages and rooms and an additional sink hole! Today, the Bozel system has almost 5800 feet of lined passage! Here are a couple of videos from that system, including one with the Blue Room, which we discovered in 2014..
We have other ongoing projects in Cozumel, Florida, Georgia, as well as France. We will post updates as we can on those projects as well.