BLUE was approached by a donor who wanted to fund a scientific expedition to southern Chile. Here, the skippers, Keri Lee Pashuk and Greg Landreth of the Saoirse explain what they found:
‘Chilean Patagonia is a remote, windswept wilderness, a labyrinth of islands, fiords and channels. In spite of being the world’s largest fiord system, visited by Robert Fitzroy and Charles Darwin in HMS Beagle in the 1830s, the region remains underexplored.
Since 2012, we have been supporting Dr Vreni Häussermann, one of the few scientists dedicated to this region, and her dive team with our sailing vessels, helping her to reach obscure and difficult to access areas of coastal and fiordal Patagonia.
Our latest excursion in September aboard our sailing vessel Saoirse, was our fourth marine benthic dive expedition with Vreni and team. Two weeks were spent sailing and diving the southernmost point of continental South America, producing hundreds of samples and thousands of photos, all in areas where no scientific diver has been before.
Thanks to the Blue Marine Foundation, we were able to make this voyage a reality and help Vreni achieve yet another successful gathering of knowledge to aid in the decision making process to protect the waters of Patagonia.’
To keep up to date with this project, please read Keri’s blogs here: www.expedition2016.wordpress.com.
Alternatively you can see their website here: www.patagoniaprojects.org.