Monday, April 13, 2009

Overcoming Fear at the Blue Hole

On Easter Tuesday, we decided to rent a van with our friends on Miakoda to tour Long Island, Bahamas. Finding a car was the first challenge. Jennie would speak to someone who said, yes we have a car only to find out that the car had been already rented to other crusing friends. Finally, we arranged a van and a pick up. The friendly Bahamaian who met us at the dock drove us to his house and gave us the van with no paperwork to complete. Can you imagine getting a rental car in the states without any paperwork! Long Islanders are famous for their hospitality and this was just one example. So off we go with 4 chiefs, 4 kids and Brian assuming the driving responsibilities. Brian and I are more alike in touring style, see everything and move on. Jennie and Marc linger, take pictures, talk to everyone.
The highlite was Dean's Blue Hole pictured above. Dean's Blue Hole is the world's deepest blue hole (underwater sinkhole), which plunges 202 metres (663 ft) to the ocean floor, in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island. Over previous weekend, they held the world championship free diving competetion here. During the event, Australian Walter Steyn achieved a new Australian free-diving record of 100 metres (330 ft) at Dean's Blue Hole. Free diving.. no tanks, no air, just a big breath. Marc, Brian and Parker enjoyed cliff jumping into the deep dark hole. As I have aged, I have developed a fear of jumping off of high places. After devoloping an increasing frustrated audience at the blue hole, I finally jumped. Every time I went to go, my legs would freeze. The brain knows this is a bad idea so you really have to overcome your instinits to throw yourself off of a cliff into the great abyss. Even Marc hestitated at the very top. Parker will jump no problem, but he doesn't like to swim where he can't see the bottom. Fears are complex, and I was happy to have conquered mine for the day.
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