Some time ago, friends told us that about 35 nautical miles south from George Town, on Long Island, there is a blue hole, check it out.
A blue hole is a vertical cave in the interior of an island, a hollow in the rocks filled with seawater. There are many blue holes in the Bahamas, big and small, but the most famous one is Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island because it is the world’s deepest saltwater blue hole.
Free-diving competitions are held annually here and a few professional divers have found their death inside the underwater cave trying to set a new world record for the deepest dive without oxygen.
There is a great Luc Besson film called The Big Blue, a fictionalized account of the rivalry between two legendary free divers, Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorka. It might clarify the mystery why anyone who is not suicidal would take one last deep breath and swim downward into the abyss knowing he might never resurface alive.
As it is on our passage south, we stop on the west shallow bank of Long Island, Turnbull Landing, to check out Dean’s Blue Hole.
After a two-mile walk up and down scenic road across the island we get to a small harbor on the east side.
There, on the edge of the land, is a small round pool surrounded by rocks and sand. The contrast between its pale turquoise shallow rim and dark blue like ink interior is dramatic.
It gets deep so suddenly, Maya can jump in deeper waters from the shore, like in a swimming pool.
A small white platform used by divers is stationed in the center, vacant. There is no one else here but the four of us.
We go for a swim a bit scared by all the signs and commemorative death-plaques around the place, as if the blue hole would suck us down and swallow us.
But then, as we snorkel on the shallow edge of the underwater cave, a large sea turtle slowly passes by, undisturbed, takes a deep breath and heads for the hole, making a sign: follow me.
She is flying through the dark water in cadence with such hypnotizing circular movements of her wings it looks so easy, not dangerous at all, so logical to just follow her deep inside the dark hole.
But the growing pressure in the head, the lungs struggling for air, reminds us way too soon what obsolete fish humans are.
Farewell, sea turtle, say hi to all the underwater-monsters hiding in the deep.Share