PROJECT NACIMIENTO SANTA CLARA
Located south of the Nacimiento Mante, at the base of the Sierra de Cucharas, the waters of the Nacimiento Santa Clara give rise to a river of the same name. Tropical richness distinguishes the area of the resurgence from the arid, cultivated lands surrounding it. The cave is sinuous, and somewhat small, but grandeur is promised, for at a penetration of more than 1400 feet [427 meters], the cave plunges to greater than 250 feet [76 meters] of depth. Much of Bowden's early work in this system utilized air alone, with minimal application of oxygen for decompression. When the team returns to the Nacimiento Santa Clara in the 1999 Expedition to the Sierra Madre Oriental, mixed gas technologies, nitrox, oxygen, and custom decompression tables will be employed. The Farallon DPV will be used extensively to traverse the portions of the cave where air and nitrox will be utilized, allowing rapid transit to the deep sections where mixed gas will be used. The skills and expertise gained by the team in their exploration of Zacatón will enable the continued exploration of this promising site.