found this googling
February 3rd, 2006, 05:19 AM
So, isn't there a rumor / truth...??? that Jacques Cousteau used dynamite to blast as passage for his ship into the blue hole? Does anybody have any hard facts on that story?
February 3rd, 2006, 09:34 AM
I've heard the rumor and, if true, I suspect it was only an isolated corral head or two removed to clear an otherwise natural channel. The National Geogprahic article referred to them threading their way between reefs and coral heads to get there but I do not recall any reference to blasting, so if blasting occurred the National Geopraphic Society is an unindicted co-conspirator.
Personally I don't see any reason for any blasting to have occurred. It would have been an additional expense for an organization that was never swimming in cash and that in any event had lauches capable of getting the required divers and equipment there anyway. Dynamite? Why bother?
The rumor always seems to create a mental image of JYC blasting the nautical eqivalent of a highway through hundred of yards of solid reef to get Calypso to the Blue Hole.
February 3rd, 2006, 09:49 AM
In a few documentaries I have seen, they talk about this and even show some footage from the boats that were there. It's not a rumor. He wasn't able to get his boat in through the small opening that was already there, so he took dynamite and made it bigger. It was "in the name of science" so it was allowed to enable them to do research. Wonder how much trouble we would get in if we did that. What if we told them it was for "research?"
February 3rd, 2006, 10:25 AM
"There are other indications that at this early stage Cousteau and his crew were not the best custodians of the life they sought to capture on film. At one point they dynamite a remote coral reef just off the coast of Belize. While Cousteau condemns dynamiting as a fishing method, he justifies it for science as the only way to take an accurate census of the marine life in an area. He never tells us why it is important to take a census and what the results are. Instead, he just shows us hundreds of fish lying dead on the sea floor and a puffer fish deflating as it dies. It is a "tragic scene," he admits, but he doesn't linger on the fact that he created it."
Source: Cousteau and His Scientific Journey
Unless the reef he blew up just "happened" to be off the SAME coast as the Blue Hole, and unless he only used dynamite once, it is unlikely they are talking about another place. Also, if he used dynamite once, why would it be hard to believe that he did it there?
February 3rd, 2006, 10:35 AM
To judge Cousteau's actions in the 50's, 60's and 70's by today's standards is inappropriate. As one who considered himself a naturalist (admittedly in diapers), environmentalist and scientist through that period, things were not as clearly understood as they "are" today. The consequences of actions generally were not as well known.
Cousteau was initially an explorer rather than a biologist, but he grew to really love and care for the seas he explored and the marine life in them. On the whole, his long-term effect in helping to preserve marine ecosystems was far more positive than negative.
February 3rd, 2006, 10:52 AM
I don't see where anyone was judging him. My comment about what would happen to us was simply to show how much more regulated we are today. Personally, I am glad he did it. Now, ALL of us get to enjoy the ease of access to this fine dive site. I am also greatful for the advances and contributions he made.
The question here was is it true or is it a rumor. And I answered. That's all. No judgement.