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Little Frenchman Blue Hole

Cave Type: Inland blue hole - fault line cave

Location: Behring Point, North Andros Island

Length: 700 m plus

Maximum depth: 127 m

Description: Guardian Blue Hole is the second deepest faultline cave in the Bahamas. The entrance pond to this cave lies 900 m south of the Guardian Blue Hole entrance pond and is part of the same fault line system. However, no diver connection has been made between the two caves. The walls in the upper passages are covered with a dark bacterial deposit the gives the cave a "burned" look. The entrance consists of a maze of passages leading through large, ancient tree tree trunks and boulders. There are two entrances to the cave situated at opposite ends of the pond. After penertrating the entrance breakdown area, the bottom drops away into a major fracture approximately 10 m wide. This passage leads south for about 100 m, at which point a major breakdown area is encountered. No continuation through this breakdown has been discovered to date. Just before the breakdown, a deep pit eventually reaches to 127 m.

Hydrology: Although connected to Guardian Blue Hole, the water chemistry and biology of the two caves are quite different. A very thick layer of hydrogen sulfide and associated bacteria exists as varying depths within the cave. The depth of the halocline in Little Frenchman is significantly deeper than in Guardian due to the greater distance inland from the coast.

Diving Mode: Standard cave scuba - trimix for deep dives.

History: First explored by Brad Pecel in 1992. Maximum depth of 127 m reached by Brian Kakuk in 1994.

Fauna: Typhlatya shrimp and remipedes have been observed or collected. The mosquito fish Gambusia hubbsi is present in the entrance pond.

Conservation status: The cave is occasionally visited by divers from a nearby resort.

Contributor: Brian Kakuk, Caribbean Marine Research Center, Bahamas

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