Dive #207 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
43 minutes

Maximum Depth:
43 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3200 psi

Ending Air:
2000 psi

Weather Conditions:
Clear 70°F

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

100+ feet
* * *
March 15,
Linda and Janel
Small Hope Bay Lodge
Andros Island, Bahamas
Rich and Linda enjoying the inland blue hole.
Videograph by Rich Torkington in Bahamas 2005 
Dive Journal: The morning of March 15 we decide to go on a self-guided island tour, and so we pass on the morning dive. It turns out to be allegedly the best dive of the week at the Blue Hole. Oh well.

Instead, we’re headed for an inland blue hole, so after breakfast we all hop on the bicycles and head north. This time Johnny has gotten the bike with the loose chain, and we’re soon stopping for the first of many times to fix it. We head west off the coast, rise up a little bit in elevation, and we’re soon on a dirt road in a thin pine forest filled with interesting flowers. I’m hearing the sounds of all sorts of birds but they are remarkably concealed from sight.

We stop to repair John’s bike at least a half dozen times, but it is no bother. It gives us a chance to enjoy the quiet of the forest and examine the flora. We head five or six miles inland, make a few turns and fork-decisions, and the road soon peters out into thickets.

Figuring we’ve made a wrong decision, we turn around and begin back to the last fork. A Bahamian male bicyclist emerges in the opposite direction and we all slow. Linda asks him if he knows where the blue hole is. He looks sort of amazed and says, “It is right here!” We lay down our bikes, walk south off the road about 30 yards, and see a clearing up ahead.

The “clearing” turns out to be a huge perfectly circular lake in the forest about 1/3 mile in diameter. The sides of the lake are vertical and drop 15-20 feet to the waterline. On our edge a small wooden platform has been built that perches out over the water a few feet, yielding a great overlooking view. We all sit on the platform for many minutes enjoying this beauty and the wonderful quiet.

The Bahamian guy hangs around on the top of the shoreline, and we learn his name is Jason and he lives a little further north up the coast road. He has some kind of assignment to frequent the inland blue holes and tidy them up, pick up any trash, etc. This one is called “Captain Bill’s Blue Hole.”

We all know the next action is to take a swim, but the water looks mighty cold. Linda is the first to duck back in the woods, change into her suit, and she is soon climbing gingerly down a rope ladder with wooden steps that has been draped over the rocky wall.

I’m a little macho-concerned that Linda is going to get into the water before I do, so I’m soon in my suit, watching from the platform as she continues to carefully descend. She sticks a toe in the water and yelps about how cold it is. Gathering up my muster, I take a few big steps and fling myself off the platform, line up my back towards the ladder, and lean back into a canopener as I thud into the water.

Everyone is screaming in delight. The water is not really too cold, maybe in the high 60s. The canopener from 15 feet has nearly ripped my tee-shirt off, and I fumble getting it back over my head. Linda pretty much escapes the splash, but soon jumps into the water herself. The swim is really invigorating and the panoramic views are just great. We find a big floating platform tied to a rock, and we jump onto it and call down for Johnny and Janel to take the big plunge. John is soon in his suit, and then over the edge he comes! We all yell again in delight. Next it is Janel’s turn –she too soon leaps from the platform and wallops into the water.

John, Janel and I then swim out to the very center of the hole. We stay there a while, simply treading water slowly revolving to take in the excellent view. I’m wondering if an Andros Lusca monster is going to gobble us up whole from here.

We dry off, get back on the bikes, and head back to SHBL. Jason rides with us and Linda asks him lots of questions about life on Andros. Jason would like to take us to a different blue hole some other day this week, so we take his phone number just in case. We make it back to the lodge just in time to catch the tail end of lunch. After the fun outing and bike ride it feels pretty great to chew on lunch beneath the sun and coconut palms.

The rest of the day is lazy, with a nap, a game of ping-pong, abbreviated happy hour, and dinner. We’ve all (except John) signed up for tonight’s dive and it should be fun. Janel loves night dives, and this one promises to be chilly. We like the way SHBL schedules their night dives well after sunset, with the boat leaving the dock about 8:45PM.

We head out again to Peter’s Mystery Special. Moose briefs the dive, and Janel gets freaked when he mentions that sea wasps might be in the water. Nevertheless, we’re in the water a little bit after 9PM. I’m disappointed that there are seemingly no worms or plankton or anything in the water to feed the corals. Likewise, we don’t find very much activity on the reef either.

I do come across an attractive spotted Caribbean lobster who isn’t quite out of his hole yet. There are also quite a few shrimp perched about, with their red eyes reflecting a long distance from our dive lights. The highlight of the dive is a small octopus that Linda finds. He’s doing the night-feeding thing, parachuting his webby arms over coral boulders ensnaring food.

It’s a leisurely dive, and the various beacons on the boat make navigation a snap. One of the guests, Jean-Louis from France, is busy doing night video using high intensity lighting held by Francois, which provides an additional bright landmark.

The dive was fun, but the three of us decide that it is the least favorite night dive we’ve done. Still, you never know what you might see – sometimes not much!

Mares Avanti Quattro
Oceanic Véo 200
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Breathing Gas:
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
3mm full wetsuit
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
10 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment: