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Angelfish Blue Hole

Cave Type: Ocean blue hole - combination fault line and lens based cave

Location: Stocking Island, near Great Exuma Island

Length: 2100 m plus

Maximum depth: 67 m

Description: Angelfish Blue Hole is a strongly tidal marine cave. It is entered through a submerged sinkhole at 9 m depth in an enclosed bay. Most of the passages are lens based and situated in 28 to 30 m depths. These passages have a keyhole morphology indicating both phreatic and vadose history. Two deep pits are located at opposite ends of the cave and extend from 23 m depths to more than 60 m. These pits intersect with a fault line cave system running north to south beneath Stocking Island. Numerous lens based passages leading west contain a number of small grottos that are highly decorated with abundant stalactites, stalagmites, columns and rimstone dams.

Hydrology: Cave has very strong tidal currents. Hydrogen sulfide is present below 60 m depths in the fault line section of the cave.

Diving Mode: Standard cave scuba

History: Original explorations unknown. Until 1995, only the first 100 m of the cave had been explored. Most extended exploration conducted by Brian Kakuk.

Fauna: Lucifuga spelaeotes, ostracods, copepods, pycnogonids, polychaetes, amphipods.

Conservation status: Tidal exchange from the cave feeds a small bay used as an anchorage by as many as 20 boats at one time. A local dive shop regularly takes scuba divers into the first 100 m section of the cave. This cave, along with all other blue holes in the Great Exuma area, has currently been proposed to the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries as a marine reserve.

References: None

Contributor: Brian Kakuk, Caribbean Marine Research Center, Bahamas

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