Dean's Blue Hole has had several names in my lifetime. As a child, I knew it as turtle cove, but that might have been a thing between my grandparents and me.
Located just north of Clarence Town, Long Island, Dean's is the deepest blue hole in the world, measuring 663 ft deep. It is a major attraction on the island, now with an annual diving competition. It is protected from the ocean by a cove nestled in the corner of a stunning beach with powder white sand.
As we arrived at the beach and I turned off the engine, I could hear the wind move between the casuarinas. I grabbed the beers and we headed for the water. My grandmother found a spot right near the water line to recline, and I dove into the cold water and swam toward the center of the blue hole. Here the water is dark blue, alluding to its depth and mystery.
My grandmother started looking for shells on the beach, an exercise she's done for decades. The beach was empty this morning. While it is popular among visitors, some locals fear the terrifying depths of the blue hole, preferring to remain in the shallow beach area. I swam around the blue hole, snorkeling. I saw some fish—a parrotfish here, a needlefish there. I dove as deep as I could (which was probably only 10 ft).
Dean's Blue Hole is a sanctuary from the rest of the world. It is a bastion for tranquility and a hideaway from the daily grind. In its blue waters, life thrives. It is the perfect beach.