Caves and Caverns of Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas
The Bahamas are a wonderful place for cave exploration. The caves found
on Grand Bahama Island offer a variety of caving experiences, ranging
from those that are suitable only for very experienced divers and spelunkers
to those that are readily accessible to explorers of all skill levels.
Each and every cave has its own special beauty and is worth visiting,
especially for those with a special interest in geology.
Lucayan Nation Park is home to a vast network of underwater caves and
caverns. It is, as of yet, not completely mapped, but many experts believe
that this geological marvel could well be the largest network of its
type, not only in the Bahamas, but also in the world. Of the caves and
caverns that have been mapped, there are a few tourist favorites that
stand out from the rest. Though, it should be noted that dedicated spelunkers
and divers may well find the less traveled caves and caverns to have
many characteristics and qualities that place them above those that
the tourists have made well known.
In the parkís Burial Mound Cave, remains of the islandís original inhabitants,
the Lucayas, were found. Scuba divers are able to view stalagmites and
stalactites, in addition to many eye-catching rack formations. Benís
Cave is the only cave where diving is still permitted, and is only open
to experience and well trained divers. The Mermaidís is a popular underwater
cavern suitable for exploration by skilled scuba divers. It is definitely
not a place for beginners.
The difference between a cave and cavern is that in a cavern, you can
still see light and you can usually see the exit. Caves are deep and
dark, extending often far beyond the entrance point and underwater cave
exploration requires advanced diving skill. Zodiac Caverns can be explored
by chartering a boat to bring you to their entrance.
One of the most well known cave and cavern tour providers is the Blue
Holes Foundation. Stephanie Schwabe, one of the few female cave divers
in the world, formed this non-profit organization, with her husband,
the famous cave diver Rob Palmer, who passed away not too long ago,
for the purpose of mapping and exploring the underwater caves and caverns
of the Bahamas. The foundation offers a variety of tours to parties
of up to ten people.
Safety is one of the most important concerns when exploring underwater
caves and caverns. It is essential to make sure that you use quality
equipment in good working order, and youíll need to be experienced enough
to be able to determine this for yourself. It is important not to overestimate
your abilities and to stick to adventures and explorations that are
within your skill level and comfort zone. Choose reliable and knowledgeable
guides, using in-depth research to choose tour providers that are reputable
and have a good safety record.
Keeping those thoughts in mind, youíll be sure to have a positive and
amazing experience exploring the underwater caves and caverns of the
Bahamas. Youíll see rare and unusual marine life and geological formations.
Cave and cavern exploration in this region is sure to be an unforgettable
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