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Bahia Expedition

↓ Bahia Expedition
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Patrick Widmann and Philip Lehman after finishing a dive in the Lapa Doce system.
Patrick Widmann and Philip Lehman after finishing a dive in the Lapa Doce system.

Despite the incredible achievements in space exploration, there are still so many exciting discoveries to be made right here on Earth. And often, it's the passion and perseverance of local explorers that lead to groundbreaking breakthroughs. This is one of those inspiring stories.

Let's take a journey to Lapa Doce, a massive cave system being explored in the stunning Chapada Diamantina region of Brazil. Up until now, nobody had managed to connect the different parts of the cave. But then came the Bahia Expedition, a group of skilled cavers and divers from the Espeleo Mergullo Brazil team. They took on the challenge and dived through a tricky underwater passage, successfully linking Lapa Doce 1 and 2. It was an incredible achievement! And their adventure didn't end there. They continued exploring and had an unforgettable dive that they ranked as one of their top three ever. This time, they connected the northern section using a passage called the Jorge Lima siphon.

But the team's thirst for discovery wasn't satisfied just yet. They turned their attention to the majestic sumps of Brejoes, a cave system with towering ceilings over 100 meters high. It felt like a world of giants! Despite sixty years of previous attempts, nobody had managed to make the connection. But our brave divers wouldn't give up. With skill and determination, they made their way through a breathtakingly clear underwater passage, which they named "Flavio's Connection."

These remarkable achievements remind us that there are still countless wonders waiting to be found right here on our own planet. The dedication and bravery of these explorers reveal the astonishing beauty and hidden secrets that lie beneath the Earth's surface.

Exploring water-filled passages in dry caves, known as sump diving, is undoubtedly the most challenging form of cave exploration, not just for divers but also for diving equipment.

Sharp rocks and fine-grained sediment combined with wet clay and mud, which get into every opening, put our equipment to the test. This type of diving is a definitive test of the quality and durability of the equipment we use.

Patrick Widmann, CCR Cave Instructor Evaluator, Cave Explorer

For more information about Bahia Expedition, visit:


↓ Date of the project

06 - 07.2021

↓ Location
Iraquara, Brazil
↓ Goals
  • Expanding over sixty years of dry cave exploration by combining the skills and experience of regional speleologists with a team of divers who could investigate wells and siphons previously inaccessible to explorers.

  • Discovering connections in two huge cave systems, about 6 hours apart from each other.
  • ↓ Team
    • Joffer Fernandes
    • Alexandre Dupont
    • Rodrigo Severo
    • Alex Socci
    • Claudia Lima
    • Patrick Widmann
    • Phillip Lehman

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