Thursday, September 19, 2013

Glamping and Blue Hole Dives, Andros, Bahamas

Just back from one of the most fun weekends I can remember! This past weekend Small Hope Bay Lodge owner, Jeff Birch, took some staff to South Andros for the weekend to do some blue hole dives. It was a great opportunity for some of us to get a chance to see some of the amazing natural beauty of the area as well as dive some of the most amazing caves and caverns in the world.

We called our friends down at Tiamo, a resort on South Andros, who are closed for the season. They happily invited us to use their resort as our camp site while we were down there. Not your typical campsite - we had use of the pool, showers and more, not to mention our amazing welcome night with great wine and champagne.

Our first morning we took the boat to the small dock and headed south by car to Stargate, an incredibly beautiful and ornately decorated cave dive. This is, hands down, one of the coolest dive any of us have ever done - amazing stalactites and wall formations. We even saw a blind cave fish!

Next up was El Dorado, an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, cave dive. El Dorado starts as you head into the mouth of the cave, visible from above water as well, through a tunnel filled with great wall formations and stalactites (quite a few blind cave fish too!). But then, you start to see light at the far end of this tunnel and you end up beneath a different lake, looking up through the green light.

We turned around and returned to our entry point. As this dive was only at a depth of 90' we had plenty of time to play around outside the mouth of the cave, checking out the debris, wall formations, and sediment. There was a vere eerie mist too!

After a very full (and cool) day of diving we all headed back to our campsite (and the infinity pool) at Tiamo. We rounded out a great day with some tasty tacos and, all exhausted and looking forward to our final dive the next day, went to bed very early.

On Sunday, after camp fire coffee and breakfast, we hopped in the boat once more and headed to the road and the last dive of the trip, Mohrdohr. This place is a bit further into the bush and we had to trek all the gear in. It is a beautiful walk though - views of 3 blue holes, tons of different butterflies, and at least 2 Great Lizard Cuckoos that stopped to check us out. The surface of this blue hole is almost as impressive as beneath the water . There is a land bridge that connects this blue hole with another so you can swim between the two. This dive, Mohrdohr, is technically a cavern dive as outside light is visible at all times. We had a depth of 110' here, but the most impressive part of this dive is coming out. It is a giant room, like a big cathedral, and when you turn around there is a huge column of light coming from the entrance, illuminating the sides and floor of the entire entrance. Breathtaking! 

After this, we hiked back out to the cars, then took the boat back to the camp site to pack all our stuff. We said goodbye to our friends at Tiamo and some of the boys headed back to Small Hope with most of the dive and camping gear on the boat, and the rest of us flew with Jeff, doing a couple fly-bys of the boat on the way.

All in all, an amazing weekend! Can't wait till the next time. Thanks boss!
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