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The Gap Year Blog

Diving the Blue Hole

27 Apr 2020 17:15 PM
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Although Belize is a small country, it has many beautiful and interesting attractions. One of them is the famous ‘Great Blue Hole’, located roughly 80km away from Caye Caulker.

The Blue Hole is about 330m in diameter and it is said to be 130m deep. Unsurprisingly, it often acts as the logo for various dive shops and tours, because it forms an almost perfect dark blue circle surrounded by the turquoise Caribbean water.

As I found out, diving inside the Blue Hole is an experience in itself. Since it takes around two hours to get from the dock on Caye Caulker to the Blue Hole, we had to get up before sunrise and eat breakfast at the dock while assembling our equipment. Soon after the boat ride began, the journey got pretty bumpy and wet, so people with seasickness beware! However, when we arrived at the Blue Hole the water was calm again, and the conditions for diving were ideal.

 

After a short preparation period and briefing, we were released into the water above a shallow sand patch. Looking over the edge of the sloped floor, there was nothing to be seen but a deep bottomless pit. Whenever a diver or the current flung some sand over the edge, the individual grains of sand began falling into the abyss and created a slow, deep sand fall. When we descended further, we saw that a cavern filled with massive stalactites had opened up. For those who have their Advanced Open Water Certification, the inside of the groove can be explored for roughly 8 minutes before everyone has to return to the surface again due to the depth of the dive.

 

The second dive began a good distance away where, in our case, we explored a reef filled with turtles, giant nurse sharks, rays, groupers and more. As you’re only at a depth of 15m in this area, the group was able to see a large portion of the reef in one dive.

After a fulfilling meal on Half Moon Caye and a spectacular visit to the bird sanctuary, we all hopped into the water again for the third and last dive. Thanks to the good visibility, we could see the vast corals stretching in every direction. With concise and calm movements, I had time to examine individual parts of the reef. During this dive, you might even spot a crab or a lobster hiding below a rock!

After another bumpy but enjoyable boat ride, we all returned to the mainland. I would highly recommend this dive to anyone visiting Belize.   

 

By Leonard Kohlhepp - Frontier Belize Volunteer 

Frontier runs terrestrial and marine conservationcommunity and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!