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Saturday, August 30, 2014

SISTEMA K’OOX BAAL        “Wild Thing”

The land owners are numerous.  The primary land owner is Don Copertino Mass who lives in Tulum. The total distance explored and surveyed is 241,470 feet/73,600 meters. The maximum depth is 86 feet/ 26.2 meters.  There are 42 cenotes located within this cave system which ranks #4 in the world.  These are some of the cenotes named such as Cenote Balam Ts’al (Jaquar Track), Cenote Cab (Bee), Cenote Castillo, Cenote Chun Chechem (Fallen CheChem), Cenote Chalat, Cenote Chuuh (Fire Site), Cenote Coop One, Cenote Dos Pallapas, Cenote Ha’ak Kak (Banana Candle), Cenote Kot Be (Next to the Path), Cenote Ksel K’ax, Cenote Koi, Cenote Muk Wakal (Many Entraces), Cenote Nai Toucha, Cenote Nhoch Pa (Great Wall), Cenote Quitau (Wild Boar), Cenote Sac Ktu Cha, Cenote Sac Xib (White Man), Cenote Sac X’iquin (Little Tiger),  Cenote Shaman Ek, Cenote Side Mount, Cenote Sootz (Bat), Cenote Tan Ich and Cenote Tres Estrellas.

This cave system was connected with Sistema Tux Kapaxa on December 9th, 2011 by Daniel Hutnan and Miroslav Manhart.

“The joining of the K’oox Baal and Tux Kapaxa caves created the fourth-longest underwater cave system in the world with a total length of 56 kilometers.  It is the biggest cave system in the world that has of its spaces mapped!  The making of this connection is the symbolic high-point of many years of endeavor.  We’ve made hundreds of dives in the caves of this region and spent thousands of hours in the waters.  We’ve spent hundreds more hours researching and hacking ways through unknown, dangerous jungle, transporting and maintaining our equipment, driving cars, and overseeing endless repairs to them. We’ve known joy and disappointment.  We’ve celebrated our success boisterously but always been humble in the face of nature’s monumental works.” - The Czech Spelelogical Survey Team

The Situational Map as it Stands in 2012.

Between 2006 and the end of 2011 over 30 kilometers of new space was discovered in the K’oox Baal cave system, thus extending its length to 120,541 feet/36,741 meters.  In the same period almost 7 kilometers of space was discovered in the Tux Kapaxa cave and it was successfully joined to the Cenotes Quintan and Sac X’quin, extending its length to 65,124/19,850 meters.  On December 9, 2011 the two cave systems in a single system – which still bears the name K’oox Baal – was discovered, bringing its length to 246,522 feet/75,140 meters and moving it into fourth place in the table of the world’s underwater caves.  At the same time it is longest cave in the world whose entirety – including contours and fills – is mapped.

To dive any part of this massive cave system you first must have permission from the particular land owner.  They are listed under each major cenote entry point listed.  To get there drive west on the Chemuyil Road approximately 8 kilometers and you are at a four-way intersection.  For Cenote Ko’ox Baal you will turn right and head north and gradually the road will go westward then south.  For Cenotes Coop One, Nai Tucha, and Tres Estrellas and you will turn left and drive south.

The first explorers from the Sistema Tux Kapaxa side were Gunnar Wagner and Robbie Schmittner.  The first explorers from the Sistem Koox Ba’al were Bil Philips and Robbie Schmittner.

Other explorers were Steve Bogearts, Petr Chmel, Miloslav Dvoracek, Harry Hicks, Radoslav Husak, Daniel Hutnan, Martin Hutnan, Karol Kyska, Radek Jancar, Andres Labarthe, Miroslav Manhunt, Michal Megela, Theirry Minet, Zdenek Motycka, Bil Philips, Sabine Schnittger, Wulf Schubert, Jan Sirotek, Sarka Stepanova, Kamila Svobodova, and Radoslav Teichmann, Max and Laura Tobey.


This book, heavily illustrated with color photographs, describes the series of expeditions to Quintana Roo from 2003 through 2012 during which Czech cave divers explored and mapped the 75-kilometer-long underwater Sistema K'oox Baal. K'oox Baal is the fourth longest underwater cave in the world, and the longest one for which a real map, not just a line plot, has been drafted. The book includes a color 18-by-22-inch folded map plate showing the system and its forty-four cenote entrances. Embedded among the chapters listed below are thirteen illustrated essays on special topics such as equipment and techniques.
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