Freediving at Deans Blue Hole - Photo Credit Flickr
Actually there are hundreds of blue holes in the Bahamas which are either landlocked or on the ocean floor., The Bahamas Out Island of Andros has over 170 on land, and 50 in the ocean. Blue holes can also be found in The Abacos and Cat Island.
Here's what professional divers have to say about the dive . . .
The further down you dive the opening widens to a width of over 300 feet, and is enclosed on three sides by a natural rock cliff amphitheater. Sand cascades like waterfalls down the cliff sides, and suddenly marine life emerge from the depths. The waters are always calm, and visibility is usually tween 50-100 feet, and the water is always calm.
The deep blue color of the waters depth is in striking contrast with the turquoise color of the surrounding shallows. Actually it's difficult to accurately describe the many varied colors in the blue hole. From the cliffs the view is a perfect circle of dark blue cobalt with shades of green, and the sun casts sparkles of gold.
The lagoon at Turtle Beach Cove forms the fourth side of the blue hole, and I found myself on a perfect crescent shaped white powder sand beach. While gazing at the blue hole and surrounding turquoise waters, and I pondered the warning from the maid at the hotel.
Many residents believe there is a devil like monster that pulls people down into the depths. Aside from the story of monsters, a real life situation had taken place several weeks prior to my visit. Several tourists had disappeared into the Blue Hole! From the news reports, it appeared they walked out in the shallow banks too far, dropped off into the depths and were unable to swim safely to shore. There are no lifeguards on site, so diving and swimming is at your own risk.
After a couple hours on the beach, I got up the nerve to put on my snorkel gear, walked out into the shallows, and then swam towards the blue circle. It was a rather surreal experience gazing down into the abyss and floating over waters 663 feet deep. And yes I will admit it was a relief to feel sand under my feet again as I reached the shallow waters on the shore. Watching several people dive from the cliffs above, I made my way up for a photo opp before leaving.
This was a solo trip, and my only regret was no having someone there to share this awesome experience with.
Where is Long Island, Bahamas?
The 90 mile long Bahamas Out Island is approximately 250 miles from Nassau, and 300 miles from the coast of Florida. You need to rent a car, and it's easy island to get around as the Queen's Highway runs the entire length of the 90 mile long island.
The western coast of the island borders the Caribbean Sea and Bahamas Bank. This coast is calm, and offers miles of sandy white beaches, shallow waters, mangroves and numerous small islets. You have to drive uphill to view the windy Atlantic seaside on the eastern coast. The huge limestone cliffs offer magnificent views of the crashing surf on the rocky shorelines below.
St. Peter’s Church in Clarence Town is one of the most beautiful churches in the Caribbean, and it overlooks the sound end of the island
Dean's Blue Hole is the location of the annual International Free Diving competition. William Trubridge, world record holder in freediving, offers classes and clinics at the Blue Hole. You can visit his website here: http://verticalblue.net/
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