I was going to post a new thread and I saw you'd beaten me to it! They had two goes. On Tuesday they had the abortive attempt described in the attachment. The weather had started out well but steadily deteriorated during the day. The heavy rain during the dive made the hole almost black, and the ride home was far from restful.
On Thursday they tried again, and this time everything worked as it should. They went down at the SE edge, pretty well where recreational divers go in, and hit bottom at 365'. They say the bottom looks rather like sand dunes, gently rolling but not changing much in depth. They explored maybe 50' horizontally before their 20 minutes was up and they started their 2.25 hours ascent. The weather was the reverse of Tuesday - it started out looking a bit grim, but turned into a glorious day.
Marty O'Farrell came along to shoot surface video, and while the deep dive was going on he and I took off round the Hole. We started at about 170', and aided by underwater scooters completed the circuit in 20 minutes. A fascinating dive in its own right, and brilliantly illuminated from the overhead midday sun. So different from the gloom most people see at 9am. Then we hung around with the deep divers for some of their deco.
John and Richie especially are highly experienced divers, and that is visible in the apparent nonchalance the whole team shows. All a front of course, as under it all they are deadly serious professionals.
A few months ago I went down to about 330' with some other guests, and at the bottom of my dive could see sand about 30' below. I had assumed that this was merely a shelf with more water below, but now I know that it was actually the bottom. Obviously we can only speak for the depth where these guys dived, but it certainly seems the hole is much shallower than many people had thought. The texture on the bottom was a thin layer of silt covering a fairly solid sand layer. Quite a lot of dive debris was evident, clips, lamps etc, but as John said "nothing worth risking your life over".
One thing the article didn't say is that both trips were on Ambergris Divers' "Jenny", with very capable and helpful captain Marciano, and went very smoothly. Food, some of it eaten underwater, was from Karen at Ambergris & Cathy from Monkey Bites. Never realised how fond jacks are of curried chicken legs.
So - a real Ambergris Caye job success story. The team want to return to dive a wartime U-boat that we are in process of tracking down, so watch this space.