Great Blue Hole Belize what was your experience?

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Dizzi Lizzi

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After watching a bunch of videos on the Great Blue Hole in Belize I'm not sure I want to do it. :dork2: But that little nerdy voice in my head says " It's a World Heritage site, Top 10 dive site, Bucket list dive...YOU MUST DIVE IT!" Here are my issues, questions and concerns.
We are in our early 60's and I am super cautious. We dive nitrox when we can and we usually don't dive more than 3 dives a day. When we are on a extended dive trip we usually take a day off in the middle of the trip to see the sights and off gas some more.

I suspect that the dive at the blue hole will not be on nitrox as the stalactites are at 100'+ and the MOD for EAN of 32% (1.4 ata) is 110"ish. That just going by memory, you can but don't have to correct me :wink:

On the videos I watched it seems very organized and with a strict eye for safety, with the group staying close together. Would I be correct in assuming that it would not be ok for me and my buddy to stay a a different depth...say 80 or 90 feet? And what is there to see at that depth?

My other question is all the videos I've seen from divers it's kinda dark. No. It's dark. I'm not a fan of dark.:eek:

I'm really on the fence for this one. I'd appreciate your experience of diving this site.

I wouldn't worry too much about the darkness. I don't remember it being a problem to keep track of my buddy visually or anything else. There is some life around the edge of the blue hole (I forget the depth, but it's not deep). When we did it we were still diving air, but I think the rest of boat did on something like EAN26, so MOD was not a problem. On the other hand it isn't really my kind of dive (I mainly care about animals), and I'm not sure I'll bother again when we're back in Belize in May. My buddy and I are a decade younger, and we usually do 4 dives a day. We also prefer to take things at are own pace and poke around, so if we're given a choice of cutting one dive, that might well be it. Other than the stalactites, I think I took one or two photos of a lobster at about 75'. He was nice, but not worth a lot of fuss.
Some of the answers to your questions depend, at least to some extent, on who the dive operator is. I have done the Blue Hole in Belize three times, all from Belize Aggressor III liveaboard.

I was 65 the first time I did it, in 2014. The mix was EAN24. On that liveaboard, you either stayed in the shallow area (30' FSW or so) or you stayed with the group and did the ~~130' dive. The Belize Aggressor III on all three trips spent a really long time....20 minutes or the shallow area after the dive.

It is dark, but I carry a big dive light and big video lights on the camera, so other than trying to be careful to not shine my lights in anyone else's eyes, I was able to light up the dive. The DM's leading the dive (BA III provided 3 I think) all had good lights too, and several other divers with camera rigs were on the dive.

Most of what is specifically interesting is down in the 110' and below area....the stalactites and other 'collapsed cave' structure.

Here's the dive profile from the last time I did the dive, in October 2017
Belize Blue Hole Dive profile October 2017.png

The next time I'm in Belize I will do it again. It's easy to be jaded about it, but as you said, it's a unique dive.
On the LOBs it has always been a very short group dive done on air. DM at the front with a second DM at the back. No buddy diving allowed. And the second morning dive is cancelled.

Take you light as once you go under the overhang it gets dark. But not much to see...No fish on the LOB side of the hole.
I've done the Belize Blue Hole three times. It's a short dive given the depth and not done on Nitrox. It's not very dark down there, but a dive light brightens things up.
Saw good wild life on the slow ascent from the 130 ft depth.
Worth doing once. I did it three times only because I really wanted to do the other two dives on the Blue Hole trip off of Half Moon Caye. I think it is there that the best diving is, and there is the bird sanctuary to see during lunch.
Did it from a liveaboard. On air. Boring dive. The most entertaining part of the dive was watching the gaggle of inexperienced divers dog paddling on their way down.

A very deep, short dive to see a rock formation. Nothing else to see unless you get very lucky until you get back to the rim of the hole. And even then there is not much there.

If you are doing it as a day trip the other two dives are much better.

Have done 3 liveaboards to the area and for two of the three trips the divers voted not to do it .. and by voted I mean nobody wanted to do it.
I did it when travelling on the BA IV. We dove a 26-27% Nitrox mix, while those not diving Nitrox during the week dove it on air. I enjoyed it mainly as it was the first time to experience those depths as a newish diver. Kinda a cool seeing the stalactites and what not, but it was a short dive. The bird sanctuary was inaccessible that day unfortunately, but it did give us more time to relax on deck. I don't think I would do it again.
Mrs DeepSeaExplorer and I discussed it as well. She's isn't interested in doing deeper dives. So if we decide to go on the trip, she will sit out that dive. Maybe you two can hang by the pool...

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