Belgian diving school, Divemonkey, organizes an expedition to explore lakes and caves in Chechnya next September.
Divemonkey is seeking additional sponsors to offset the costs of the expedition, either in equipment or in the form of financial aid.
DIVING UNEXPLORED WATERS – DIVEMONKEY CHECHNYA EXPEDITION
When you talk about Chechnya, all you can think of is that it is a country left with a heavy past of war and oppression, thanks to the reputation made by the media. But Chechnya is also a country full of culture and beautiful landscapes that few people have visited. Those few places that are of our interest are the two major lakes lying in the Caucasus mountains and a subaquatic cave. Lake Kezanoiam, Lake Galanchozh and the Gums caves.
Lake Kezenoy-Am is located on the border of the Vedeno district of the Chechen Republic and the Botlikh district of Dagestan at an altitude of 1870m above sea level and covers an area of 2.4 sq.km. The maximum known depth is 74m. It belongs to the Sulak river basin and has been sparcely explored. The only expedition we have the knowledge of is the one organized by the Russian Geographical society in 2011.
Archaeological finds, historical and architectural structures, such as Nakh military and residential towers and the ruins of Castle Aldam-Gezi surrounds this lake.
Lake Galaynchoj-Am, it has not been explored so far. This, of course, makes this expedition a very interesting one from all points of view. The Lake is located at an altitude of 1494m above sea level and covers an area of 0.12 sq.km. The deepest depth actually known is 30m. The Galanchozh Lake is located in the Galanchozhsky district of the Chechen Republic, and is reachable by an unpaved road only accessible with off-road vehicles. Because of the inaccessibility of this area, it has not yet been touched by civilization, therefore, the lake is of great value for researchers.
Gums sub-aquatic cave, it is located near the city of Gudermes East of Grozny in the Chechen Republic. It has been explored by the Russian Geographical society but only to a depth down to 10m. The goal for this expedition would be to go further down and to study the configuration of the cave from a speleological and diving point of view.
This is an important milestone for our team and we are proud to be part of a project supported by the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Chechnya. Chechnya is no longer the perilous region it once was, in fact it’s now one of the safest place of the country.
Since 2011, there has been a sharp improvement in technology and materials in the scuba-diving sector. This leads us to think that we could improve the knowledge of these three chosen sites by using the latest technologies to help us push the boundaries of discovery and perform better than the other explorations teams did before.
One of the members of our diving team is of Chechnyan origin and through him we came to know about the relatively unexplored sites. We have done some research and discovered a beautiful land worth visiting and exploring. Our objective would also be to record visually this expedition so that these relatively lesser known sites are better known.
From a technical point of view our intention is to use modern and ‘’state-of-the-art’’ diving equipment including special blends of breathable gases (Trimix- Oxygen, Helium, Nitrogen), dedicated cylinders and regulators, decompression gear for deep depths, equipment for speleological exploration, and underwater cameras as well as professional lighting systems.
At this point we have received the support of two major brands in the scuba diving community, that are SCUBAPRO for all the diving equipment for our team and XDEEP for special wings that are able to support heavy charges for all the equipment we will need underwater.
Regardless of the outcome of this journey, we can say this is a most unique privilege to go explore the wonders of unexplored places and come back with new knowledge of these unique sites.
The expedition will start in the beginning of next september 2019.
MEET THE TEAM:
JEREMY RANSY - Director of the Expedition
Jérémy Ransy is a Belgian technical diving instructor trainer who followed part of his studies in law and social psychology. He worked several years with children with various behavioral problems and in psychiatry prior to start in the diving sector. Big fan of extreme sports, he is also a ski instructor and practice target shooting. He owns and manages his own diving center since 2012 named Divemonkey. He has already trained more than a thousand students achieve their goals to get certified in scuba diving. He trains from the basic diver to the more demanding technical level and trains also instructors.
At 33, Jeremy has visited more than 50 countries and has dived in most of them. He is a great lover of the Netherlands Antilles, South Africa and Micronesia. He totals more than 4000 dives including 800 decompression dives down to 100 meters and deeper. The deepest he dove is in 2018, down 160m in Thunersee, Switzerland. He has many other planned explorations with OC and CCR.
He has specialized in organizing trips around the world in recent years with great success by taking groups of scuba divers to incredible places like Djibouti, Antarctica, Micronesia, and many others. He also dived in many strange places like submerged military bases and unknown places.
He is the leader of this expedition and will be the head diver for all dives in this expedition.
ASLANBEK KHASANOV - Organization, logistics, and government relations
Aslanbek Khasanov is a Chechnyan diver who was at the inception of this project. He has lived in Russia, Poland, Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium where he currently resides. He is a well-known dental implant specialist who recently opened his own laboratory. He is also a keen traveler and a biker enthusiast. Due to this heritage and excellent family connections, he is responsible for relations with the Government of Chechnya and the Ministry of Tourism. Thanks to his connections, we have gained the support of the local authorities. During this expedition, he will act as a safety diver and provide support in logistics on site.
JULIAN CARBAJO ANTELO - Organization, logistics
Julian Carbajo Antelo is a Spanish Divemaster who studied International Business and Psychology. He has lived in 5 countries. Among them Russia where he studied at Moscow State University IM Lomonosov and learned the Russian language. He has worked in Chemical distribution and export business before becoming a business coach. He is passionate about travelling, amateur boxing, and scuba diving around the world. During the expedition, he will act as a safety diver and provide support in logistics on site.
ADRIEN MORAY – Support Diver
Adrien Moray is a Belgian technical diver who studied Aerospace engineering and is now working as an R&D engineer in the fiberglass manufacturing industry. He’s an enthusiast globetrotter, often abroad for work and leisure, always looking for new places to explore. He’s also passionate by the mountains: hiking/trekking, rock climbing and alpinism are familiar to him. He started scuba diving in 2016, after a first dive on the Great Barrier Reef. Since then, he fully engaged in diving improving his skills and knowledge and in now ongoing training to be a Trimix diver. Whether high or deep, he’s always up for new challenges, he’ll act as a support diver in this expedition.
MICHELE-CERISE SOORS – Visual graphics, communication and sponsors relations
Michèle-Cerise Soors is a Belgian technical diver, born in the Philippines and living in Belgium. She is an adventure junkie and travel enthusiast seeking out unusual and non-touristic places. Alongside scuba diving she is also passionate about horse riding, surf, yoga and photography. She has studied visual graphics then international business and is now managing two companies in that sector as well as her own personal company in the creative field.
She started scuba diving end of 2017 and is now ongoing her course to be a trimix diver which will help for support in this expedition. She is the main contact for all sponsors and visual communication.
NICOLAS FRIX – Support Diver & Technician
Nicolas Frix is a Belgian technical diver and scuba diving instructor, he started diving in 2013. He works as an industrial specialized technician during the week and teaches entry levels scuba diving on weekends. He has already participated in many trips Divemonkey has organized.
We will also be supported on site by, Munashev Turpal-Ali Mairbekovich, one of the organizers of the previous expedition made by the Russian Geographical Society in 2011. He will be sharing his knowledge with our team.