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When you expect it least

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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This is an old story, but comes to mind as I’m scheming to acquire a boat capable of taking me back to this place. Enjoy the story and wish me luck on the boat.

I was alone in the water, doing one of the things I love best, drifting slowly with the current, along side the dingy and over bottom I’d never seen before. It was in the Exumas, part of the Bahama Islands, in a pass between several small cays. Vis was maybe 100 feet, water temp about 85 F. About as good as it gets in a very "low key" sort of way. The bottom was only maybe 5 or 6 feet down, yellowish colored rock with lots of sea fans and small coral heads, juvenile lobster heaven. Dinner was already in the dingy.

As I drifted along, totally relaxed and at peace with the world, I noticed that the current was picking up, the bottom getting deeper under me. The channel was growing narrower as the little islands closed in. Head underwater, I looked up current and saw a very strange thing. There was a distinct dark blue patch of something in the water in front of me. The color looked for all the world like deep water, but I was drifting inshore, away from the deep. There should not have been anything in front but grass beds and sand banks. That color had no business being there. All of a sudden I wasn’t so relaxed. Something weird was going on. The current was really picking up now, 4 or 5 knots, channel getting narrower, the bottom flashing by, forming a deepening V underneath me, the blue spot getting bigger and darker just beyond where the current squeezed between two rock islands maybe 75 feet apart. Now I could see where the bottom ended and everything fell off into blue/black blankness. It felt like the world was being sucked up by a giant underwater vacuum cleaner, and me with it. Death Grip on the dingy, heart rate hits 200 and my head is screaming. "get out of the water RIGHT NOW!"

Well, there was no time to get out of the water before the current spit me out over a pit, 60 feet or so deep, 70 or 80 feet wide and I couldn’t see the far end. WOW! Fish everywhere, A bunch of big jacks swirled up from mid-water, a shark doing the same thing, checking me out. Right behind him came a huge green turtle who swam by real close, eyeing me with curiosity, and beyond was another turtle. Schools of snapper and grunt swarmed around the edges while big parrot fish nosed along the bottom far below. What a spot! As I looked back and down, I could see the dark maw of a cave extending into blackness with more jacks flowing out. The place was a king sized blue hole in the middle of nowhere.

We stayed near the hole for a couple of days and dove it on both tides and in between. One of my most favorite places and in a part of the Exuma’s not much visited. Never meet anyone else who knew about it, other than a couple of local fishermen. I’m looking forward to getting there again.

Connor
 
foxfish

foxfish

Silver Smoker
Dec 31, 2005
13,023
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Good luck with the boat & cool story.
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Opps, screw up on editing. Please ignore the double entry as I can't seem to delete it.

Connor
 
ReefTroll

ReefTroll

Expert Space Drummer
Apr 9, 2008
1,725
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That's a great story!! I hope when you get back there it is just as magical as it used to be...
 
azapa

azapa

51% freediver 49% spearo
Jan 31, 2007
2,623
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A wonderful story Connor thanks for sharing it.

It is funny in my case, and apparently yours, how easy it still is to become scared by instantly unexplainable underwater events. This weekend here in Chile, swimming about 300meters back from my spearing point, in about 6M of water a "whirling dervish" emerged from under a rock. It looked like a spiraling conger eel, heading full speed towards me, air bubbles all over the exterior off the rocket looking shape. I calmed down only when it arrived next to me on the surface, popped on his back, took one breath and headed down again, not to emerge in the 4 or 5 mins I waited: a sea otter!

I was lucky enough to attend the Vertical Blue 2008 freediving comp at deans blue hole on Long Island in the Bahamas. Amazing change of waters! See photo.
 

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P

pehtran

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2003
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so amazing... thanks for the photo, azapa!
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Azapa,

Thanks for the comment. Wish I could have been at the comp, and/or seen that otter.

What draft vessel could you bring all the way in to the blue hole? Mine draws 2 ft, drive up. Just curious.

Connor
 
azapa

azapa

51% freediver 49% spearo
Jan 31, 2007
2,623
473
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Hi Connor, 2 ft at high tide would work fine, at low tide its inches over the sand and even a kayak would not do it. Some of these landmark sites are protected by marine parks and you would need to check the local rules. I know Will had to get a lot of permissions and "oks" to put a simple float in the blue hole.
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Thanks, Thats what I needed; its too shallow.

Connor
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,067
803
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July 2014, 25 years after stumbling into this place, I made it back, as a much more proficient diver. At truly great spot, great to explore, not to mention full of lobster. My wife and I ate well.

Connor
 
ricki

ricki

Well-Known Member
Dec 15, 2005
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Great story Connor and I am glad both trips were memorable. I like diving the blue holes in the Bahamas too. Some have an in running strong current which can pull you in during certain tide phases, some do not. I try to get local information about this before hitting them but it isn't always feasible to do so. Beware of the lusca at times mistaken for a column of siphoning bubbles being pulled down into the sink!

URL]
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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First time I found it, sucking current was my fear. This time I explored a lot deeper. The thing is so big and deep that I never felt any current. Multiple layers of ledges and caves just going on down. Neat place.
 
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