Photo by Travis Snelling
Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest blue hole. A blue hole is essentially an underwater sinkhole. Sometimes they connect to the ocean via underwater cave systems, sometimes they don’t. They’re called blue holes due to their striking blue colour compared to the shallower/lighter coloured water surrounding them.
So just how deep is Dean’s? Nobody really knows for sure. The commonly accepted depth is 663ft (or 110 meters) but that hasn’t been verified. Located on Long Island in the Bahamas, it’s now the site of the Vertical Blue freediving school and the world freediving competition. We were staying at Stella Maris Resort on Long Island and they were happy to arrange a tour for us to go see Dean’s Blue Hole for the day.
In the competition, divers descend into the blue hole unassisted with one breath of air – no fins, no air tank – and see how far down they can go. The current (and relatively new) record is held by William Trubridge of New Zealand. On April 19th, 2010, Trubridge became the first person to ever reach the 300ft level unassisted in a time of 3 minutes, 45 seconds. To help put that into perspective, when I plunge underwater with one breath of air I usually get about 10-15 feet before my head feels like it’s in a vice from the pressure and I start scrambling to the surface for air.
There’s definitely a creepy-factor to Dean’s Blue Hole the first time you see it underwater. The water leading up to the edge is pretty shallow – in fact, you can stand up just fine. Then as you near the edge your footing gives way and the bottom disappears, straight down, into what seems to be an endless dark blue void.
Words can only describe so much – so lucky for you I filmed my first swim in Dean’s Blue Hole for you to get an idea of what it’s like.