Belize: The Great Blue Hole and More
Courtesy of Aggressor Adventures
Belize Aggressor IV
In the heart of Belize’s azure waters lies the famous Great Blue Hole, a natural wonder that has captivated divers for generations. While the Blue Hole is a Belize bucket-list dive, piloting a 120-foot Aggressor yacht through the corals to get there is an adventure in itself!
For years, we navigated solely on knowledge passed down from captain to captain, coupled with every member of the staff acting as “spotters” and looking forward for the next turn to avoid hitting the reef. A collision with the reef could rip a gash into the side of the yacht and of course damage the corals we have spent decades protecting. Once GPS became available, it was much safer to augment all the previous knowledge and eyeball navigation with a mapped course. This still proved a challenge, albeit a much safer one. We worked with the local authorities, and about 6 years ago, we were able to anchor 10 green and red navigation buoys, which aided in mapping each of the 10 turns necessary to get the Aggressor yacht into and out of the Blue Hole safely.
The dive deck is always buzzing with anticipation when guests are getting ready to explore the Blue Hole their first time. We tie up to our buoy in a shallow area on the side of the abyss so that every diver can take their time gathering at the rear of the yacht and getting into the water. Once everyone is comfortable, we descend and start our dive along the shallow sandy bottom to the edge of the Blue Hole. Our guests experience a mix of awe and trepidation as they start their descent over the edge.
At 110 feet, we encounter the large chasm where massive ice age stalactites hang from the ceiling. As the guests make their way through the many stalactites, everyone has two centers of focus. Their flashlights move between the ancient, crusted hanging rock formations to their dive computers. It is an absolutely amazing dive that everyone should have in their logbook!
Courtesy of Aggressor Adventures
Belize is a wall diver's paradise adorned with huge crimson gorgonians and giant orange elephant ear sponges.
As you ascend, the wall has small pockets where a few morays tend to hang out, and the occasional arrow crab is seen looking curiously out at the divers. Once back in the shallows for our safety stop, we always have beautiful, deep-blue midnight parrotfish moving between the corals, and in the sandy areas, jawfish and blennies are plentiful.
Back onboard, as it is after every dive, the chatter is nonstop about the excitement of diving such an ancient wonder. After such a deep dive, if the weather permits, we follow our safe passage back out of the Blue Hole and make our way over to Lighthouse Reef atoll. We spend the next couple of hours off-gassing on the island where the gecko- and hermit crab-lined trails lead to a bird sanctuary and watchtower. Red-footed boobies and frigate birds are nesting all around this tower, so you have plenty of opportunities for taking photos and videos of them while they are stationary and when they are flying. The white sand beaches are also a favorite place for our guests to walk along the water’s edge, and many times, you see baby sharks and rays swimming close by.
The Great Blue Hole is part of the Belize barrier reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest barrier reef system in the world. The Blue Hole is the marquee attraction for many divers, but all the reefs in Belize offer healthy corals and numerous marine encounters that are spectacular, such as Half Moon Caye, a protected and pristine island that is a wall diver’s paradise. The Belize Aggressor puts divers on these vibrant sites and more for an unforgettable liveaboard adventure.
PADI Instructor 174820
Wayne B. Brown
CEO Aggressor Adventures