|March 18, 2014
It's a mighty early morning when you're heading out to the Blue Hole. A 5:30 am pickup at the dock means a 5:00 am wake up. It's worth it though.
The Blue Hole is an underwater sinkhole that was formed by glaciation over hundreds of thousands of years. Here's what it looks like from the air.
Over those hundreds of thousands of years, stalactites formed within the Blue Hole before the entire structure was submerged. Here's a cross section of the Blue Hole depicting what it looks like under the ocean surface.
Blue Hole Cross Section
Getting there from San Pedro takes about 2 1/2 hours. We got lucky with relatively calm conditions and a back wind. There are some particularly nice islands of mangroves on the way out.
Diving into the Blue Hole is a unique experience. After you reach the ocean floor you hit the hole itself. Looking over the edge the view dissolves into a deep blue. The hue is common to any wall dive but at 110 ft the dive takes on a different character.
At 110 ft the stalactites begin. It's difficult to describe but there really is an age and majesty to them. Seemingly unnatural structures formed over hundreds of thousands of years. Pictures really don't do then justice but here's a try.
The stalagmites don't stop at 130 ft (they go to 180 ft) but the divers do. I actually went down to a max depth of 137 ft. A new personal record. I even managed put my computer into deco (decompression) mode. Ultimately all that really meant was that I needed to spend an extra couple of minutes during my safety stop to avoid any potential risk of getting bent.
We slowly ascended and were greeted by extra air tanks with plenty of hoses for anyone in need of extra air. Fortunately no one was in need.
|Location: Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize, Belize
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