Scuba Dive While in New Mexico!
Are you a certified diver who wants to cool off while at Convention? Do you want to become certified while here? Do you want to find a unique place to cool off during convention with the whole family? New Mexico has a variety of landscapes to discover and one of these is the famous Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM. At 81 feet deep, the Blue Hole is a popular destination for new and seasoned divers seeking year-round diving opportunities, as well as those looking for a place to swim and/or jump from the cliffs, and it is only a 1.5-hour drive from the site of this year’s convention!
If you review the map of the Blue Hole, you will see that it is a karst feature, which offers the opportunity for open water diving. There is a cave passage at the bottom, which is blocked by a gate – and is not an option (even for certified cave divers) during convention. Approximately 3000 gpm emanate from the spring at the bottom of the main sink, at a brisk 62° (F), and this constant source of water maintains the water’s clarity due to the high volume of turnover.
There is another nearby diving option – Perch Lake – which is also located in Santa Rosa and is less than two miles from the Blue Hole. Perch Lake is only 50 feet deep, yet contains both a small airplane and automobile for divers to explore. Other potential options are currently being explored, including on private property, so check back for more…
Options for diving include self-initiated trips, diving with local cavers familiar with the area (schedule to be published later), and classes are even available for those who wish to learn how to dive or expand their skills. Tanks, weights, and wetsuits can be rented on-site, and there is a $20 dive permit fee per week ($50 for the year).
Classes will be taught by a local Albuquerque dive shop, and several of the instruction staff are cavers as well. Depending on the chosen class, classroom activities will occur in Albuquerque and the only additional travel would be for the actual dives. Opportunities include Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water, Altitude or other specialties. Class options will be dependent upon the interest expressed, and can include pre-/post-convention weekends if desired.
Not a Diver but Still Want to Get Wet?
As mentioned earlier, the Blue Hole not only allows divers to enjoy its spring-fed waters; it is also open to swimming and surface-diving activities as well. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer, and many recreational swimmers choose to dive/jump from the adjacent cliffs that are part of the Blue Hole’s topography.
Just downstream from the Blue Hole is another lake – Park Lake – whose main feature is a series of inflatable slides, rafts, and bounce platforms that offer fun for all ages. Many families picnic around the lake (tables and grills are available) while watching the kids (and adults) play on and in the water.
Perch Lake (mentioned above for diving), as the name suggests, is also popular for fishermen and permits are available at the Blue Hole Convention Center.
For More Information, contact Harry Burgess.