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Diving at The Bells and Blue Hole
|Name Dive Site:
|Bells and Blue Hole
|lars, © Author: Lars Hemel
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The Bells and Blue Hole are actually two dive sites, but dive operators often dive it as a single drift dive. Accessible only by jeep, the dive often starts at the Bells. This is a hole in the reef at 5 meter from where you will be going down to a depth of about 27 meter through some kind of 'chimney', representing the shape of a bell. There you enter the open ocean after swimming past some beautiful caves and cavelets. You will pass some spectacular vertical walls swimming southward before you will enter the blue hole at a saddle point at about 7 meter. The blue hole is literally a huge hole in the reef with a width of 60 meters and a depth of about 110 meter. The amount of wildlife and coral species is huge as you expect at a dive site with this diversity.
The Blue Hole with depths exceeding 110 meters is brilliant for technical divers. Be careful though, many people have lost their lives here. Below 50 meters the water becomes thicker, the area is permanently in shade and the ocean color looks like ‘out of space’ blue. There is an arch starting at 60 meters, from where you can enter the open ocean. There is scuba equipment lying around the ocean floor of poor divers who were wrongly trained, took too many risks and didn't make it. After all, while being in Dahab, this is definitely a must dive for technical divers. But the bells are also interesting enough for normal scuba divers.
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Messages from readers:
Name: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel
Diving this in early December 08, we started gearing up outside the 'Al Capone'. A short walk with fins in hand passing by the very sobering rock wall with plaques of the Blue Hole deaths. Then entering carefully into the Bells. Diving down the Bells was a very nice experience. I was closing the group and the stream of bubbles of divers before me through the 'chimney' was very nice. Be sure to equalize pressure often, diving head-first to 27m is unusual. Exiting the chimney, the coral landscape was very pleasing and rich. Plenty of fish, octupus and many other species were there. We were the only dive group and had a very nice, slow drift dive for 47minutes to the Blue Hole. This was my first dive in Dahab and one of the better ones, only surpassed by the Canyon-Coral Forest-Eel garden combination dive. I was diving with Moon Divers, I can recommend them.
The Blue Hole is one of Dahab's most famous dive sites. Located about thirty minutes jeep ride from Dahab, it is accessible from shore with entry into the blue water just a few metres from the rocky shoreline. Bedouin type facilities surround the main entry / exit points, with toilets, seating, food and drinks available. Whilst entry into the Blue Hole pool is one option, quite a nice alternative is to make a short walk to the north, along the rocky coastal path and enter through a gap in the shoreline rocks. This is done one diver at a time. Divers can then drop down an enclosed chimney in the reef exiting at 30 metres or so onto the sheer wall. The reef is near vertical at this point and as you head south (right shoulder to the reef) you'll come around an outcrop which makes for some fantastic silhouette photographs looking up towards the sunlight. The reef wall is home to lots of clownfish anemones and the blue backdrop makes a great viewing point for trevallies, jacks, barracuda and possibly white-tip and grey reef sharks.
As you travel south and ascend you will come to a colourful hard coral slope at around 10 metres, which leads up and over at 6 metres into the blue hole pool. It is best to spend most of the dive on the outside of the reef as the inside pool has little in the way of coral. Use your safety stop to either swim across the pool or around the edge (left shoulder to reef) until you reach the small wooden jetty and exit. Currents can be strong, usually north to south, on the outside of the reef so the northern entry point is often a good option, then drifting down to the pool with the current. Take care not to miss your exit, although if this does happen simply find a safe exit further down the shoreline and be prepared for a walk in full kit.
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