Nancy Albury, Wes Skiles and myself launched the Bahamas Underground skiff at a place called “The bridge” on North Abaco.A year ago, Nancy had been flying with Dan Drummond when she spotted a siphoning crack near the very shallow shoreline of the creek near the bridge.She photographed it and was able to find it on Google Earth, so we had our coordinates.
With the tide rushing in, the blue hole was pushing out very clear water and we barely had enough water to get the boat over the entrance.The first thing we noticed other than the very clear water was that there were tons of very large blue-claw crabs all around the entrance.These crabs, locally called “Tennakies” were the largest I’ve seen in the Bahamas, and they were everywhere, along with tons of small grouper, snappers and other small fish that were nabbing bits of food from the out-flowing water of the cave.
Wes was busy taking photos of the crystal clear entrance and Nancy was getting ready to snorkel, so I got geared up with some side mounts and slid over the side of the boat.I found a decent tie off among the crabs, but out of the torrent of water at a depth of 10 feet.The entrance is a classic vertical fracture cave which is very unusual as most of these types of caves are located closer to the deep drop offs of the eastern shorelines of BahamianIslands, rather than in an interior creek system.
The massive crack descended steeply and then angled out to a very low, but wide 45 degree drop, with the ceiling and floor only 2 feet apart most of the way down.In several areas, the ceiling and the floor of the crack come together, and I had to back up and move laterally to find places tall enough to keep heading down.After one long false lead, I was able to back track and find a small grinder gap that lead down to a ledge at a depth of 163 feet and slightly more than 400 feet from the entrance.At this point the ceiling became the left wall and the floor became the right wall as the fracture regained it’s vertical position.
Here the current was still running out strongly and the fracture seemed to open up in front of me.I was at my maximum PO2 for the gas I was using, so I found a good tie off and cut the line free.There were no problems coming back up/out and I stopped occasionally in the low fracture to look at remnant speleothems that were still in place on the floor of the low fracture.
Once back at decompression, the very clear water allowed the sunlight to funnel down in beams past the fish and crabs, creating a surreal light show heading down into the depths.
This was an awesome dive, with tons of potential for further exploration.The amount of water coming out of this cave promises a lot of cave beyond the end of the line.