The natural wonders on Long Island, Bahamas continue to amaze me. The deepest seawater blue hole in the world is nestled in a small cove on the ocean side of the island.
About two thirds of the way South on the island and just north of Clarence Town which is the capitol, a shell and gravel road branches off of the Queen’s Highway and meanders its way to the ocean. Like many of the magical places it is a whole lot easier to find after you have found it, but if you watch closely you will see some small signs lying in the brush to point you in the right direction.
My descriptions of these roadways may make the island sound difficult to navigate. It is, but it also does not really matter which road you take or where you land as everything is pristine and beautiful.
Back to Dean’s Blue Hole, it is one of the most famous places on the island and at 663 feet deep many international divers come to free dive every year. Free diving is a plunge into this very deep water without air tanks.
Dean’s Blue Hole is embraced on three sides by a rocky cliff with shallow water on the Southern side. You can enter the water two ways here, either off of the cliff or via a gradually sloping beach. It is a popular place to snorkel with a variety of beautiful fish and an occasional stingray. When snorkeling toward the hole there is a very quick drop from only a couple feet of water to hundreds of feet of darkness in the hole. I have never been able to work up the nerve to snorkel over the edge. While I logically know that I won’t fall into the hole I am afraid of the sea monsters that are surely lurking below.
So, imagine my surprise when I found myself standing on top of the cliff with the jump down surely planting me directly in the sea monster’s grasp. Somehow jumping from the cliff was a simpler feat than swimming across Dean’s Blue Hole for me. At about 40 feet it seemed like I would never hit the water and while I am sure it was only a couple of seconds it felt like I fell for minutes. With my hands hugging my hips and making a failed effort to keep my legs straight I jumped. Well, it wasn’t pretty I can assure you! Nor was the bruise that quickly appeared from my knee to my thigh. There is a reason that most 50 year olds know better than to jump off of cliffs!
Once in the water, my fear of the sea monster was gone and I felt exhilarated to swim across the hole. It makes you wonder what formed these holes as they occur all over the island both inland and in the sea. This has to be one of the most exciting road trips that I have ever taken.
Next, a trip to where Columbus first landed – before he made it to mainland America.