All you need to know about Sapphire Hole: Belly flops sting

Tucked inside the bushes of Northern Eleuthera, a few feet off an unnamed track road, is a blue hole with unmatched water visibility. You will not find Sapphire Hole on tourist maps, even though less than five minutes down the road sits the most historically recognized natural attraction in Eleuthera, Preacher’s Cave.

The significance of its depth is not below the water. Light penetrates the salty pool illuminating the bottom. The perimeter walls, however, stand about 20 feet around the entire circumference. In other words, you cannot be afraid of heights and fully enjoy this natural attraction.

Island School students take the plunge at Sapphire Hole, North Eleuthera

I attempted the daring flip because more than 10 years ago I used to be a gymnast. Every now and then, when I’m on the beach showing off in front of fast-talking boys or being a dare devil diving off cliffs, I draw on my skills. Every now and then (actually this was the first time) my aging body and fading memory fails me. I usually keep within my limits.

Of course, the lesson I’m taking away is not, do not somersault off 20-foot cliffs. It is: Do not over-rotate when you somersault off 20-foot cliffs. Fortunately, the only evidence of my failing judgment is this blog and my bruised leg.

What is most intimidating about the blue hole is the thought of getting stuck down below. Although, if you are a defense force officer you may be paranoid about stumbling upon ganja farms. Two sturdy ropes hang from a tree trunk to assist in climbing out. But you hardly need to use the ropes. The rock wall has naturally formed steps assembled suitably, albeit ruggedly, for free climbing. It takes a bit of confidence, but not a lot of skill to scale the wall.

Sapphire Hole is one of those spots you never tire of visiting because each visit adds a new dimension. Fellow Domestic Tourist Mark Daniels, a Bahamas National Trust park ranger, and manager of the Leon Levy Nature Preserve introduced me to the spot and it keeps calling me back. On my virgin encounter, I jumped. The second time I visited I dove in (not so gracefully). The third time I belly flopped. So naturally, I have to go a fourth time to redeem my honor with a graceful dive and a somersault worthy of my former gymnastics fame.

As far as I know, the blue hole has no official name, so I named it. Most people refer to it as “the blue hole in the bush close to Preacher’s Cave”. Its new name is Sapphire Hole.

The bottom-line is, Sapphire Hole is a gem. Visit it, especially if you’re looking for things to do that will get your blood pumping, but please take care of it.

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