DIRECTIONS: It’s hard not to miss the entrance to Turtle Cove and Deans Blue Hole (DBH hereafter) as it’s the only entrance that I know going off the QH that not only has an arch but puts you on a DIVIDED HIGHWAY, well initially and in a Long Island Bahamas way of doing things (don’t think they ever experienced THE Long Island Expressway). Anyways, the entrance is well marked both with signs for DBH and also Turtle Cove. And it is also at a cross roads with a wonderful new bar & restaurant (Lloyd's) on the western side, which if you take it will get you to Turnbull. The cross roads are about equidistant between Hamilton to the north and Clarencetown to the south. The broad hard sand road to the Cove and DBH will become paved as you go over the ridge and will go back to sand as you go down. You could turn right at the first sandy road, but I prefer to go straight and use the road closest to the beach. It really doesn’t matter which right you use as both go to the southern entrance to Turtle Cove and eventually (in 1000' feet) to DBH. If you want to reach the abandoned house to get to the mid and northern end of Turtle Cove, just go straight down the hill, and turn left. The house will be almost immediately on the right. You can park in the front yard.
As DBH gets all the attention, I’m not going to talk about it first, since the first beach you get to is actually Turtle Cove, which unfortunately gets neglected living in the large shadow of its well known close neighbor. Turtle Cove ranges for about a mile and consists of two major sections, although I have broken it down a bit further on the earthview map. The main section at the far south end is a little over a quarter mile of lovely white sand which is very well protected by the point that lies between it and the Atlantic. Waves can be breaking over the point and the water in this southern portion will be perfectly calm. Although many families opt to take their children to DBH, this by far is the much safer beach. Although you should never take you eyes off children in water, at least in this section of Turtle Cove, you actually can. Not in DBH, never, ever. One step and it can be all over, as in over their head for over 600'. And it’s not called Turtle Cove for nothing. The extensive grass in the southern end is a favorite food of the turtles. We have seen them and their babies less than three feet from shore. At low tide, other than some of the holes between the grass covered rock platforms, one can walk in ankle deep water out several hundred feet and all the way to the point. Access to the southern end used to be at by a small sand driveway that led to a cabana. Hurricane Joaquin destroyed both. They may have been restored, but if not, parking is very limited. You have an option to enter the upper part of this section and also to get closer to the northern beaches of the Cove by parking at the abandoned house marked on the map. The house is rather famous, or perhaps infamous, amongst the Islanders, as to the concept behind it and the method of construction. Entrance to the beach used to be easy by hopping over and down the sea wall in front of the house, but again, Joaquin undercut the seawall and now the hop is about an 6-8' drop. As you go north along the beach, although there is sand, the beach gives way to extensive rock plateaus. Although these make it a bit difficult to get to the water, they aren’t all that difficult to traverse if one is walking. If you go to DBH, and who doesn’t, you really do owe it to yourself to experience at least the southern end of Turtle Cove as it is a different world and beach. The link will take you to a gallery of Turtle Cove photos.
Well, what can I say about DBH that you probably already don’t know? Yes, it’s the world’s deepest blue hole. Yes, the world free diving championships are held here. Yes, it’s very beautiful. Yes, there’s wonderful snorkeling. Yes, you can dive off the cliffs above the hole into it. But, there’s more to DBH than just the hole itself. The entire beach consists of three distinct sections, each with a different character to it, and as you get further from the hole itself, each becomes less frequented and therefore quieter. Besides the hole itself, another unique feature to this beach is the deposit of sand dollars that occur just off the small point separating sections A and B. I’ve gone to the extreme end of section C, but never beyond. From earthview, there appears to be a small pond at the very end of this section. Being so close to the ocean, and depending on its depth, this might make for some interesting snorkeling. Also, there is a small beach 1500' to the south. Alas, I have no information on this. One thing that we have noticed that you should be aware of if snorkeling or swimming along the rocks between the hole and the reef, there is a definite current that will draw you back towards it independent of whether the tide is rising or falling. This will always be Long Island’s most crowded beach. On weekends, finding a parking spot amongst the 10-15 available might be difficult as this is the Islanders favorite beach. However during the week, and outside of the days when the free diving championships are being held, generally the beach will only have 2-3 couples on it. Note to photographers: if you want a good picture of the hole, you will have to take it from above, which means you’ll have to climb the cliffs. The path is readily visible, well worn, and steep. Sneakers or other shoes that you tie should be worn or you risk serious injury. The link will take you to a gallery of DBH photos.Back to Top