The most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had was when I visited the Long Island, Bahamas. My family and I asked locals where an awesome spot to cliff dive was. They immediately smiled and told us about Dean’s Blue Hole. Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest known blue hole with entrance below the sea level. The blue hole plunges 663 feet! This blue hole is actually a sink hole. Its diameter is 82-to-115 feet! So you can imagine my fear in swimming across it when we visited!
The water surrounding the blue hole was crystal clear. The sand beneath out feet was also extremely soft. In fact, there was not much marine life in this area. We swam with snorkels across the blue hole and could see nothing but pure darkness from below. There was a cold water flow coming from the hole, which made it mysterious and terrifying all at once.
We learned from the locals that many tourists and inhabitants often jump from the cliff-side opposite from the sandy beach entrance. In fact, there is man-made trail carved out and worn from constant use.
After swimming for a while, my sister and cousin, Elise Wideman and Belinda Ressel, found the courage within ourselves to take part in this jumping ritual. We pushed up the hill and walked the trail leading to the cliff. The surrounding cliff is approximately 40 feet.
We jumped, one by one. We jumped from 40 feet into hard water. The drop was so exciting! The impact was a bit painful. However, accidents do happen. Belinda improperly landed on her butt, which resulted in a chipped tooth.
Before conducting such a dangerous activity, it is important to know how to properly cliff jump to avoid a chipped tooth and many other more serious accidents. These may be just general tips and common sense, but they are good reminders and important information for beginners.
The first and foremost tip is to never go cliff diving alone. This goes without saying. The risk of getting hurt is high, and the last thing you want is to not have anyone around to help. My advice is to bring friends along even if they don’t plan on jumping.
Second, always make sure there are no swimmers anywhere near where you are jumping. You don’t want to land on anybody. Always scope the area and make sure your friends are a safe distance, if not all the way out of the water completely.
Third, if you’re a beginner, you’re going to want to wear sneakers. The water below you may feel like concrete among impact, especially from high jumps. Shoes help with the impact and also provide safety if, for any reason, your feet come in contact with the ocean floor and sharp objects.
Fourth, know that pressure may be an issue for your ears. Just be aware of that. Some people put drops of olive in their ears or silicone.
Fifth, always scope around the area and check how deep the water is. For example, we all used snorkels to swim around the area we would potentially land. If the water is no deeper that 4 meters, then I wouldn’t recommend jumping. The last thing you ever want to do is land on an ocean floor. Also be aware that some bodies of water have tides. Make sure the water is deep enough, even if you’ve been in that area before. Water levels may have changed.
Sixth, your body should be lucid as you jump. You want to have a tight body structure as you jump. Your arms should be tight on the sides of your body in a pin-like straight position. You should jump feet first. Diving head first anywhere is always dangerous, especially from heights of these sizes!
Seventh, your goal is to slide freely straight down into the water. When you impact the water, your toes should be stretch and your arms still tight to your side. Once you become experienced with cliff diving, you can loosen your body more. But always be mindful of different heights, and adjust your body accordingly. Just to be safe, always jump with a straight, tight body dynamic when exploring new heights.
Eighth, as you get closer to the water, blow hard out of your nose. Keep your mouth firmly closed and tight as to avoid chipping any teeth. I know, it’s hard not to scream and lose all of your breath, but it is essential you keep this fact in mind.
Ninth, when you land in the water, keep pushing your breath out of your nose all the way until your body stops moving down with momentum. This will keep water from getting in your nose. Swim to the surface and constantly breathe out from your nose.
Tenth, have fun. Motivate your friends, but never use peer-pressure. This is an amazing experience for everyone!
For an awesome video that depicted my personal experience exactly, visit http://icliffdive.com/deans-blue-hole-cliff-jumping-with-gopros/