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Blast From The Past: Briland's Blue Hole
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Page 1 of 1Total of 5 messages
Posted by:Nov 22nd 2006, 01:34:06 pm
smittyStanley showed me that hole in inner sound back in the mid eighties.Tiny compared to the one you'll fly over if you ever head for Ambergris Cay, Belieze.That one looked like you could drop a house in it.
Posted by:Nov 19th 2006, 01:53:36 pm
cshoregalAh, Yes Maddie, I stand corrected. So much for my speed reading. That is the same hole you speak of. Thanks for correcting me. Peace. On my last visit to Bri; I had the priveledge to go out with BFJoe solo. The bones were scace due to the weather but I had a blast handline fishing(like when I was a kid) and I was treated to some songs. What fun! Days like that I will cherish 4ever.
Posted by:Nov 14th 2006, 12:04:17 am
MaddieWhen I was a little girl Joe showed me "Devil's Hole" which was back in the innersound not out in the ocean.
Posted by:Nov 12th 2006, 08:49:12 am
cshoregal I think Bonefish Joe knew of this hole a long time ago.
Posted by:Nov 8th 2006, 01:38:14 pm
Fig Tree News TeamSpeaking of Rose Liva, formerly of Valentine's Dive Center, a reader sent in this story from Sport Diver Interactive, first published in 1998:

Harbour Island is a secluded vacation paradise located some 90 miles east of Nassau, perched on the Atlantic edge of the Great Bahama Bank. While on vacation at Harbour Island in February of 1996, Turner heard tales of an unusual submerged structure known only to local fishermen.

With the help of the island's two dive operators, Rose Liva of Valentine's Dive Center and Jef Fox of Ocean Fox, Turner found the site, which was located several miles northeast of the island in 80 feet of water.

The three dropped overboard and descended to an obviously anomalous feature in an otherwise uniform sand bottom. What first appeared as an irregular ring was actually a submerged sinkhole with a sand mound in the center and cavern openings visible in the shadowed edges below.

Dropping past 100 feet, the divers were drawn to the largest of these openings. This was no stagnant, dead-end sinkhole. The flowing current suggested large underground chambers that breathed in and out with the changing tides. At some point, the inward flow would reverse and pump cool, clear water from deep hidden chambers into the surrounding ocean.

By all indications, the crater was the window to a large cave system that might stretch for miles back under the nearby islands. To honor their find, the team named the cave Briland's Blue Hole, as Briland is both the colloquial label for Harbour Island and the name of Fox's faithful free-diving yellow Labrador.

On my first visit to the cave system that has reluctantly yielded its secrets to exploration, I recall Turner's descriptions of the various chambers he discovered and mapped the previous summer. Guidelines are now installed in all known passages, but there are many leads still unexplored and several tunnels that continue beyond the limits of our air supply.

We enter the cave against a mild outflowing current. I am immediately struck not only by the stark beauty of the bone-white walls and air-clear water, but by the abundance of life.

The cavern zone draws a diverse collection of reef and pelagic fish, including a variety of snappers, groupers and jacks, nurse and reef sharks, and a plentiful assortment of tropical and reef species. Inside the cave, a dozen types of sponges add yellow and red tints to the limestone walls. Decorator, hermit and arrow crabs patrol the sand floor. In the distance, we catch a glimpse of lucifuga, the blind cave fish that thrive in the primordial darkness of chambers that have never seen the light of the sun - or the presence of man.

And then we spy a new passage. We secure an exploration reel to the guideline, and Turner gives me the sign to take the lead.

Suddenly, I am living every explorer's dream. I am entering a place where no human has ever been. As I unspool the guideline, I am adding some small piece of knowledge to our collective map of the world and experiencing the unique excitement of discovery known only to those who take the lead. Since my first visit to Briland's Blue Hole, Turner and a team of cave explorers have completed a map and survey of the cave. He has now turned his attention to the location and survey of other submerged caves scattered throughout the Bahamas. In the years to come, he hopes to follow the lead of the late Rob Palmer, whose dream it was to understand and protect the unique and largely unknown world of blue holes.

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