Today less than 3% of the sea floor has been explored and none of the deep sea trenches have been visited by man. Chris Wlesh, Newport local and worldwide adventurer, along with Sir Richard Branson and a team of scientists, researchers, and engineers are seeking to reach new depths and explore Earth’s final frontier by voyaging to the five deepest depths of the five oceans on the Five Dives Expedition.
Chris is also an accomplished entrepreneur, sailor and aviator who recently finished 25K miles of intense competitive sailing. Born and raised in Newport Beach, CA, Chris has made five LA-Hawaii crossings and also won the 2010 Double Handed Guadalupe Island Race.
ExplorOcean is proud to be the exclusive Southern California Education Partner and Honorary Chair. Chris has spoken at major events at the Museum and will continue to be involved with ExploOcean’s future educational programs.
UPDATE: As many of your know film director James Cameron has broken the record by touching down to the bottom of the Mariana’s Trench on March 28, 2012. However, although the bottom has been reached it has yet to be explored. As Chris explains on the Virgin Oceanic website, “The Virgin sub is excellent for large scale exploration and identifying areas worthy of more detailed examination, and Jim’s sub is perfect for detailed examination of those sites once found. We can achieve more through collaboration than just the sum of our efforts“. Currently, the Virgin Oceanic sub is still being outfitted and must undergo further testing for the capability of the quartz dome of the vessel to withstand 16,000 lbs. of pressure per square inch. Chris is still very enthusiastic and is continuing his preparation for his descent into the deep. The sub will make a return to Newport Beach soon to do more off-shore testing.
To learn more about the Expedition visit Virgin Oceanic.