Going deep, in the fin flips of Jacques Cousteau
Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
43Trip End Jul 17, 2010
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For those of you who don’t know about the Blue Hole. Aerially it’s a wonder of nature. You would have seen a few photos taken from above of a massive Blue Hole right in the middle of the ocean
To sail on a dream, on a crystal clear ocean
To ride on the crest of the wild raging storms
To work in the service of life and the living
In search of the answers to questions unknown
From Caye Caulker it’s a 3 hour boat trip so it’s pretty boring to get out there. When we got there, I think we went through Cousteau’s channel, made famous by the big guy when he dynamited path through the wall to get to the inside. It’s a very deep dive, way deeper than we are supposed to be going on our open water certifications. It’s actually classed as an advanced dive but we were keen to do it. I think that Jacques Cousteau went to the very bottom of it, some 430ft in a submarine. We were only going to about 140ft and it’s so deep that we can only stay down there for 7 or 8 minutes before doing a whole lot of decompression stops on the way up. You know it’s pretty serious when during the briefing, the dive master says, “When we go down, we all go down at the same time. If you don’t follow us down immediately then don’t think you can follow us a minute or so later
What makes the Blue Hole such an awesome dive is not the wildlife that you see there because you’re going so deep that there isn’t much to see. It’s actually the stalactites that you’re there to see. These are the deepest known underwater stalactites and are a wonder of nature because they have been thousands and thousands of years in the making. When you’re down there, they’re big enough to swim amongst and through and they’re quite eerie because you’ll be descending down this wall then BAM, they jump at you out of nowhere. Just awesome.
We jumped into the water, then shortly after we were given the thumbs down signal to start the descent. The water was actually quite cold and promised to get colder as we got lower. The first part of the descent is a short distance of about 10m where we hit a sandy base. We swim a little further then the sandy base drops off and we start going straight down. The whole way down, you’re just concentrating on staying with the group and knowing that you’re heading into deep, deep waters and equalzing the pressure in your ears. It’s very dark and all you can really see is the silver of other peoples air tanks below you and the bubbles they are blowing out. Then, out of nowhere we get to our destination
We had a blast and the photos you can see here are of us at the shallower dives where we got to see plenty of coral and wildlife. A special thanks to our friend Nicolina for bringing her camera and underwater housing to the dive. I can also thank her for making me seriously consider buying one for our dives in the Galapagos Islands.
For lunch, we stopped off at Half Moon Caye where a colony of rare Red Footed Boobies (birds) could be seen. If you look closely, you can see them filling up their chests with air and showing a massive red pouch-like bag under their beaks. I’m sure that’s not how a biologist would describe it but you can google the exact terminology if you so wish. We should be seeing the Blue Footed variety in the Galapagos in a few months. Then it was back to the Caye Caulker for more lobster and fresh seafood.
We know we're a little behind with the blog but we've typed a lot of them up, just getting them uploaded is the hard part. Finding a place to do wifi is hard and the places here that have internet can be a little restrictive with people using their own USB sticks to upload stuff. Stay with us!
Our next blog entry is going to be from Guatemala where we pay a bullshit border “tax” that doesn’t actually exist and see the shakiest, steepest, highest wooden stairs we’ve ever encountered!