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Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole

Posted By: mobunny

Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/16/05 06:48 PM

http://www.sanpedrosun.net/05-493.html

Peter, what a great opportunity for you and Protech! Irm and I have watched
Deep Sea Detectives ever since I read Shadow Divers (about Chatterton & Kohler by R. Kurson) last year. Did they make it to the bottom of the Blue Hole - or are you sworn to secrecy until the episode premiers? mo cool
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/16/05 10:01 PM

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.
Posted By: reaper

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/16/05 10:27 PM

Another great blue hole adventure! P2, ask them if they need any of our footage. Glad you got to be a part of it. Did the Calypso, Cousteau explorers dive to the bottom when they explored years ago?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/16/05 10:35 PM

Good idea, reaper, I'll ask them. Could make a good intro to the televised programme. Would it be good enough technically?
Posted By: mobunny

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/16/05 10:53 PM

Thanks for the update Peter! How very very exciting for all of you. Can't wait to see the episode. mo
Posted By: reaper

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/16/05 11:30 PM

It's digital footage.
Posted By: Now Danny

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/17/05 11:04 AM

Good story. Thanks.
Posted By: cakelee

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/17/05 04:06 PM

When does the episode air? Thanks.
Posted By: IRM

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/17/05 05:04 PM

Hey Peter, so what did you see at 170'? Did the cave open up all around at that depth?
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/18/05 02:05 PM

Wow. Cool. Me too.
Posted By: spsun

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/18/05 03:40 PM

Hello Reaper,
I said hi to you when you were coming off of the dock on Thursday with the divers.
I'm producing a segment for the Belize City TV stations about this dive, but could use some more surface footage. Evan gave me some great dive shots, but I'm missing the surface perspective.
I would also love some aerial shots of the Blue Hole. Any idea if anyone has some?
Thanks for your help
Ron - 226-2070
Posted By: Kristykins

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/19/05 03:29 PM

Does anyone know when this will air?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/19/05 10:46 PM

For the third time of asking - each time I pressed "enter" it just lost what I'd written.

Reaper wasn't here when the divers were here, so Ron, you couldn't have met him then.

At 170' the hole is mainly plain grey rock, with the occasional small cave, apparently dead-ended. At around 100' there are quite a few places with columns, stalactites & stagmites.

No idea when it'll air, but I'll try to find out.
Posted By: reaper

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/20/05 01:02 AM

Hey Ron< I'm reaper...www.skydivebelize.com, Oh, now you get it! Let me know if you want our jump video. cool
Posted By: spsun

Re: Deep Sea Detectives challenge the Blue Hole - 12/20/05 06:55 PM

Hi Reaper, thanks, I may ask for the video when you are here.
I already produced the story for Channel 7, it aired yesterday in the city, here in San Pedro today. I used still aerials of the Blue Hole - it worked.
Not sure who I met on the dock, had a nice camera, hmmm.
Oh well, will figure it out some day.
Thanks for the help.
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