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#38253 - 04/29/01 12:30 PM Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
Axeman Offline
Awoke this morning to the calling of the island birds for their mates...most were rideing the thermals, in a graceful circle..they too were in search of their higher power..

Cast the lines off and said farewell to Half Moon Caye, and the fond memories of this peaceful quiet isle will remain....

The trip to the Dive sight was short and before I even knew it we were suiting up, checking lights, weights, tank pressure...the works...as we knew ..the Abyss awaited us.
Once moored, our Dive Master, Clive and Horace, the captain went through the predive safety brief, this dive we would have 2 DM's..one lead DM, one trailing...All were told of the risk of a deep dive, and the presence of sharks, adding to the excitement for me! I was electrified...every hair stood on end...my senses were as sharp as a teenager....
Splash...we all rolled off like lemmings into the sea...dropped to the sandy white shelf that surrounds the cold dark abyss..with all prepared and ready for decent we headed for the edge of cliff..and the deep unknown drop to max depth and the cut back shelf at 130' which has both Stalagtites and Stalagmites...as we approached the edge I felt the adreneline rush that I always feel when faceing the unknown...

The white sand beneath me faded into a black forbodeing midnight blue expanse, we had begun the mad headlong dash to our target depth...I stayed right behind Clive as planned, we talked before and I let him know my target depth was as deep as he went...
I cleared my ears continuously as the pressure first double, then tripled...

Clive finally flared out at 157' as did I..with the others stopping at 130'...we made our way over to the cut back shelf to see the shadowy, dimmed rock formations...

I waited the denizens of the deep...shy as they are..I took a few deep breaths and felt the tell tale signs of nitrogen narcosis..like multiple rapid shots 151 rum...I stuck to Clive like a puppy...heard him tap a warning alert on his tank..His hand signing the much awaited SHARK gesture..they had come to see who had intruded into their home...5 Black Tip, 2 Lemon shark..all 30' above and 40' towards the center...Now the rush really hit me...the possiblity of danger..combines with incredible depth had me as giddy as a school girl on her first encounter...
They kept their distance, and it was time to ascend...by now Clive had started up and the other DM had moved down to my side as he knew I was alittle narc'd( i had signed to him)He gestured for me to wait after looking at my gauge, I had used very little air and was very calm...as the other went up the Black Tips came in under us,then passed within 20'...again the rush hit me...I was close to the edge..the possible end of exsistance....they passed like graceful paper airplanes...curious but not adgitated...we began our slow ascent ever watchful of their position...they went off on their powerful, sleek mission...the search for food...

Seemed like forever to reach the top...but we did once again return to the edge of the wall and did a 10 min safety stop at30'..sitting on the white sands reveling in the momment!
For the record..this dive was devoid of almost all sea life except the sharks...but to miss this would be a shame..it will forever remain imprinted in my mind and heart.

As we left the abyss behind I could only imagine how lonely a place it is...such majestic beauty, left for the next traveler...
We made one final dive...The Playground...this area was devestated by the storm...completely devoid of sea life, coral 90% dead..I now understand the complete and utter destructive power of Keith..it tore at my heart to see....I surfaced with the others, completely speachless and sad.

All in all this trip was well worth the time spent in transit...allowing me to meet and chat with the other adventurers..one was a quiet man from Japan..who I spoke to in his native tongue..almost bringing tears to his lonely eyes..he spoke very little english and appeared to be missing home, and the chance to share his inner feeling with the others. I did my best with only 3 years in japan...I was not able to carry a long winded conversation with him...I think we understood each other without talking...no words could really describe our personel feelings about this series of events anyway...I am in awe of this great sea we are surrounded by.....More Later....
Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...

#38254 - 04/29/01 12:52 PM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
seashell Offline
WooHoo! Outstanding! Another Blue Hole convert. You completely get it, don't you? You described your two day trip so beautifully, I'm incredibly tempted to try it myself.

My first time at the Blue Hole, the DM explained to us that we needn't fear the sharks in the Hole as they were Belizean sharks and the only Belizean sharks we needed to worry about were the ones up on shore. ;^) Regardless of that, as I dropped into the water a large reef shark was circling below me over the sand. We had a swim to our drop point and I don't mind saying that I was equal parts nervous and amazed that I wasn't more frightened. Our DM also fed the sharks at depth and hadn't warned us he was going to do that. I was initially terrified. I thought something had gone horribly wrong until I realized what was really happening. I'd have appreciated a forewarning. On the other hand, I'm not sure that the shark feeding should be going on at all. When I asked about it, I was told that the feeding is the only reason the sharks are there.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#38255 - 04/29/01 07:17 PM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
bigmommachris Offline
Hubby agrees that Blue Hole dive was great. He wants to know did you feel the thermocline and hear the noise like an echo? He dove to 155'. Marciano from Amigos also fed the sharks before entering the water and as a result hubby saw bull sharks, nurse sharks, black tip sharks. At second rest stop at 20' saw a 6-7', 200 lb. marlin in the distance-what a sight as it waved to him and the others with its back fin! He enjoyed his diving but Belize was not the place to be if you wanted to see beautiful coral. Mitch took care of that and even tho there's some recovery it's not like the coral you will find in Bonaire, Cozumel, or the Caymans. Hubby rcommends Little Cayman-Bloody Bay and Jackson walls if you really want to feel like you're in the abyss. There you will find a straight wall with very slight angle to 6000' drop off. He didn't see as much fish life as you did while in AC. Hubby says that because the weather was so windy-water choppy with 6-8' swells that the fish don't like the surges and will go someplace else. He did enjoy seeing the sharks on every dive, even at night. Lots of big animals. Said he never saw a parrot fish the size he saw on night dive to Hol Chan-it was enormous-grouper size.

#38256 - 04/29/01 08:05 PM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
rickcheri Offline
We have a Belikin on the top of our fridge....Ya Hoo!!! Saving it for later!!!!!! Rick

#38257 - 04/29/01 08:44 PM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
Axeman Offline
Dude..I'm sitting here drinking a corona...yuck...
I miss the Belikin already...you all settled in yet, or is Cheri' still crying? Put up my hammock today and watched the idiots in cars crash into each other...if they only drove golf carts that would'nt happen... :-)
Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...

#38258 - 04/29/01 10:53 PM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
Bobber Offline
You have a way with words Axeman. Brought back the Blue Hole feeling. You know, most of the other dives make you feel like almost a visitor. The BH definitely lets you know that you're an outsider, and marginally welcome at that. The only other place that gave me that feeling was Barracuda Reef on Coz. Your reference to Olongapo in the previous post was not lost on me, but definitely a "healthier" atmosphere on AC. We're getting big group together for next Jan, and definitely can't wait. Your words are enough to keep us hyped.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

#38259 - 04/30/01 12:04 AM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
seashell Offline
bigmommachris, does your husband mean the "waah, waah, waah", sound when he refers to the echo? If so there are two schools of thought on this, one says that it is narcosis, the other and more likely is oxygen toxicity.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#38260 - 04/30/01 08:18 AM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
Axeman Offline
Yup Bobber, PI is an untamed Wild West like place. I hope AC NEVER falls into that catagory.

Never heard the echo...not sure what that was...
Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...

#38261 - 04/30/01 10:04 AM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
Bobber Offline
Still that way (PI)? When I was there in the late 60s it definitely was. First time I ever got shot at (missed, of course.) I was working on Clark AFB (as a civilian)for a week in the mid 80's, and the guy I was working for said he took his wife and kids shopping in Oolongapo, and he described it as a friendlier place. By the way, did my first snorkeling and diving off Grande Island in Subic. Now there was an experience.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

#38262 - 04/30/01 10:15 AM Re: Ax..part 3..The Blue Hole
Axeman Offline
Thats where I got my C card..Morty was there until Subic closed...and yes..I was there in 81..and saw a guy get gunned down by the PC..he was NPA...and also had a weapon...they shot those 12 gauge's right over our heads, of course we saw it comeing and were already on the floor...anytime I see a shotgun aimed in my direction I DUCK AND COVER...
But ya got to love the ladies there!
Remember what that meant?
Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...

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