More on the Blue Hole
18 January 2013 | 16 58'N:88 05'W, Belize barrier reef anchorage
When I was first entering the Blue Hole, having left the safe sand flats and was weaving the 1/2 mile through dangerous coral to my specific GPS coordinates, there was no visual indication that this was such a special natural underwater landform. From the deck of Hekla, it appeared to be just another boat-wrecking reef. The GPS was spot on and I could only recognize that I had arrived in the last minute. How was this thing found? Must have been aerial survey. The photo above is a composite from the masthead, showing the two entrances.
The peaceful solo serenity of my first day in the Blue Hole was broken by the arrival of 5 dive boats the next morning, who each disgorged their mix of snorkel and dive passengers, did their thing, got back on board and left, about an hour total. The divers descend as fast as they can to 130 feet, where the stalactites of the submerged cavern can be seen. At that depth divers are allowed only 5 minutes bottom time, followed by a 15 minute decompression ascent, and that's about it for a bottle of air.
Though I had paid for two nights in the Blue Hole Marine Reserve, it was too risky in my mind, so when a welcome blue hole appeared in the clouds I took one last beautiful snorkel swim around the rim, then made my exit to the safety of the sand flats for the night, followed by a spectacular sail south to the Glover's Reef. Another really beautiful coral atoll, I anchored near the southwest cay, had dinner at the Isla Marisol resort, and discussed dive lessons. Unfortunately, the weather forecast predicted a frontal passage and wind shift to the NW, for which there was no safe anchorage within the Glover's Reef. So I had to make my way back to the mainland barrier reef, now in a very secure anchorage while the wind howled 30 gusting 40 overnight. This is a boat-wrecking system for those unaware or with weak anchoring gear; the charter boats were called back to base. I'm glad I have a giant Rocna anchor!