Blue Hole Belize 2018
Stacking up 22 dives in two weeks, our groundbreaking expedition to map every inch of the Great Blue Hole has reached its conclusion with great success. Working from the Research Vessel Brooks McCall, we operated two subs, the R.I.D.E. submersible Idabel and our own Stingray 500 on tandem dives daily. Thanks to the generosity of our partner Kongsberg Mesotech we conducted high resolution sonar scans using a dual axis sonar deployed from our support vessel, as well as multibeam and scanning sonar data collection using equipment mounted to the front of the Stingray 500 . In the coming weeks and months we’ll be sharing stunning media and a full 360 sonar scan with the 1 scientific community and the world. We provided a unique dive into the Blue Hole for people who care deeply for the Belize Barrier Reef including personnel from MarAlliance, UniteBVI, the Virgin Group, the Empire Group, Weeks Abroad, and many more. Between the two vehicles, 35 individuals set eyes on the stalactite walls and eerie anoxic bottom of the Great Blue Hole. The expedition was a resounding success, but don’t take our word for it: Read Sir Richard Branson’s Blog.
Launch of the Aquatica Foundation
Launched in October 2018, the Aquatica Foundation was established to support and promote Ocean Exploration, Restoration, and Education The not-for-profit organization complements Aquatica’s commercial operations, giving them meaning, purpose and relevance to our changing planet. The Foundation will spread the word about exciting developments in the ocean world and will facilitate participation in an otherwise difficult to reach realm. Our immediate projects include facilitating an initiative to “Plant A Million Corals” and teach marine robotics and STEM (science technology engineering, and math) to young people. We’re also a proud supporter of Unite BVI, a group that works on the development of Marine Protected Areas and aims to stop harmful fishery practices. Learn more on our new homepage: https://aquaticafoundation.com/
New Year, New Office
We outgrew our cozy home in Thunderbird Marina and needed room for new engineering staff and shop space to ramp up submarine production and operations. In October we packed up our Thunderbird Headquarters and moved into freshly renovated offices located in North Vancouver. We now have room to grow. Our north shore office is our engineering and business hub. Just down the street is our shop with unobstructed views of downtown Vancouver. We’re proud to have been a part of the West Vancouver maritime community and are looking forward to expanding our local expeditions to the greater Pacific Northwest. The coastline of the PNW and its ecosystems are renowned for their beauty and diversity, the opportunities for incredible sub diving and exploration are nearly limitless.
Meet the S3
We are pleased to announce the next model of submersible coming out of our design office and manufacturing floor. With seating for 3, the aptly named S3 is optimized for comfort and luxury while exploring to a depth of 1000 feet. The S3 maintains a similar aesthetic to the Stingray 500, with the addition of meticulously redesigned systems. The S3 is designed to be modular, improving ease of transport by land and sea. It has a small footprint to conserve deck space and limit weight. The sub design has undergone several iterations of FEA analysis and meets the highest engineering standards. Inside the cabin, the S3 has simple, ergonomic systems including digital controls for buoyancy and maneuvering thrusters. The sub is powered by a lithium battery bank which provides a large power capacity and quick charge capabilities. Along with the features that make the sub effective for scientific data collection and luxury tourism, the vehicles are designed with particular attention to speedy and economic fabrication for scalability. The delivery of the first two vehicles will be in late 2019.
Expedition BVI 2019
Hurricane Irma hit the British Virgin Islands as a ferocious Category 5 storm in September 2017 followed closely by the storm surge of Hurricane Maria. The Aquatica Foundation is heading to the BVI in spring 2019 to survey the state of the reef after experiencing the full force of the most powerful hurricane the Atlantic Ocean has ever seen. Our goal is to assess the damaged reefs at various depths and survey the shark population as the reef rebounds. Subsequent surveys may help determine the which restoration methods are most productive. As the frequency and intensity of these storms increase, this survey will provide a baseline understanding of how to best serve the restoration of reef ecosystems.