Thirty four hours along the Costa Rican coastline in the incredible sailing yacht Ethereal is in itself and amazing journey, but for our lucky group, it’s just the beginning of our Mission Blue expedition to Coiba Marine Park in Panama. Ethereal’s owners, Bill and Shannon Joy, are joined by Sylvia Earle, David Shaw, Ricardo Cisneros, Jennifer Austin-Foulkes, Kip Evans and I. Once in Coiba the evening of the 4th, we met up with leaders of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Team, Biff Bermingham Director of STRI and and Hector Guzman, senior scientist , along with our dive master Kevan Mantell. Our plan for the next several days is to have the Deep See sub diving out at Hannibal Banks sea mount, with Hector and his team, to get scientific data on marine life in the deeper part of the mount. Scuba divers have been down as far as 200 feet, but are not capable of diving the 1000 plus foot drop to the sea floor. The sub will be doing a series of transects and collecting samples along the mount, hopefully we will each get a chance to go down in the very cool sub with them at least once! Meanwhile scuba divers will explore the Coiba Marine Park and photograph and video our findings for a Mission Blue mini documentary. We also hope to meet with the President, Ricardo Martinelli, and the Minister of Science, Ruben Berrocal later in the week to discuss the future of the park, which is also a World Heritage Site.
Environmental philanthropist and ocean activist Shari Sant Plummer is President of Code Blue Charitable Foundation, Secretary/Trustee of the Summit Charitable Foundation, Board member of the Sylvia Earle Alliance, Vice President/Trustee of Seacology, Board Member of International League of Conservation Photographers, member of the Blue Ocean Film Festival Advisory Council, and member of the World Wildlife Fund’s National Council and Marine Leadership Committee. A graduate of NYU and former Design Director at Ralph Lauren in NY, Shari is now an avid diver and ocean activist, traveling extensively throughout the world and promoting ocean conservation and environmental awareness.