Recently I took my daughter Kristina and her family – Jim, her husband, and my grandson Hercules – who were visiting from Toronto, Canada, to Long Island, the birthplace of her grandmother who was born in Deadman’s Cay.
Before going there, I told her about the world-famous Dean’s Blue Hole, and she researched and learned about how deep it is, how it’s used for diving expeditions, and she was excited to get into it and start swimming.
I was always a bit apprehensive about it, especially after hearing about several tragedies that happened there and the loss of life.
I was there several years ago with another grandson, Joshua, a good swimmer, but I flatly refused to let him go into the deep abyss as it looked very intimidating – the depth is well over 800 feet.
And further, he wanted to jump off the cliff, which must be over 50 feet. Again I said no way! Can you imagine me telling his parents that I lost their child in Dean’s Blue Hole?
We negotiated that he could look into the deep abyss, but I was going to hold his feet and pull him back if he ventured too far out.
I don’t think he ever forgave me for not letting him jump in!
The hole starts with a beautiful sandy beach, then about 15 feet from shore it plunges into a crater that goes on for what seems forever, and this time I ventured in, just a little bit, staying close to the shore, where I could stand.
This marvel attracted several families who, without fear, jumped in with googles and fins and dove in like it was a walk in the park!
Several of them scaled the jagged rocks and proceeded to jump into this blue monster of an ocean hole, totally enjoying the experience like it was a roller-coaster!
My grandson saw this and of course shouted, “ Papa, let’s go and jump!”
I replied, “Boy you must be mad!”
I continued, “Ask your daddy,” who just turned his back and cut his eye at me and said, “No way you’re going up that cliff!”
Another disappointment for another grandson.
We spent over five hours at this beach; it was a fantastic experience and watching those tourists enjoy themselves, we came up with several suggestions for the powers that be to improve the experience for all, especially our tourists:
1. Secure a safe path for the persons climbing the cliff so they are not injured while climbing;
2. At the top of the cliff, build a deck so those jumping don’t slip and injure themselves or worse, kill themselves. Let’s try to avoid tragedies before they happen;
3. Provide shade for the visitors as there is none. Some tourists actually had to seek shelter from the scorching sun under the rocks in the water.
4. Provide garbage receptacles, as trash is piling up at the entrance to the beach and does not speak well of us Bahamians. This seems to be a national problem, as our beaches in Nassau suffer from the same fate;
5. Provide toilets, shower facilities and vendors to sell food and water;
6. Pave the roads to the entrance; and
7. Sell local souvenirs and even have several grills where families can BBQ.
This is a wonder we can all be proud of, so let’s preserve it and keep the tourists and locals safe using it.
Thanks goes out to our friend Nicky Carrol, who made the best corned beef sandwiches and sky juice to die for. Next stop, Stella Marris and Cape Santa Maria – I can’t wait!
• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation and two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association. He is also a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: email@example.com.