Into the Blue07 Apr 2009
Santa Rosa, New Mexico is home to one of my favorite dive sites, The Blue Hole. Sure I may have only been there twice, but it is just too awesome to ignore. This last weekend I was there and was able to get in four dives. I was a dive a long for Sarah’s certification. I hung out, watched every dive and had a really fun time.
It is difficult for a non-diver to really understand Blue Hole. In fact it is pretty hard to describe in a way that makes it sound as awesome as it truly is. It is a bell shaped lake, which means it has a smaller diameter on the top then on the bottom. The visibility is about 80 feet, which means you can see the bottom from the surface and the water is a balmy 61 degrees year round.
When you first enter, whether from the stairs or with a giant stride from the ledge, the first thing you notice is just how clear the water is. If you are among the first divers in the water, so there is very little silt stirred up, you can see the entire place from wherever you may be in the water. This makes for a surreal experience with bubbles rising from the depths in streams and groups of divers floating in many different places.
In the middle of the Blue Hole there are two platforms suspended from buoys. These are used for training purposes and were the destination of the dives we did this weekend. After completing the necessary skills at the platforms on each dive, the instructor would lead us on a tour of Blue Hole.
These tours were a great introduction to buoyancy control as well as a chance to view all of the interesting objects that have found their home in Blue Hole. There are skulls of many different animals, ceramic figurines, some miniature railroad people and much more that you can find.
One of my favorite things about Blue Hole is that it is for diving only. That means that there are no boats, fisher men or any other competing sports that can spell disaster for divers. In fact they are currently building a dive shop right next to Blue Hole to further support the steady flow of divers that arrive every weekend to do a little diving.
If you are going to go through a SCUBA class in Colorado and are planning on doing your open water dives between August and May, you should plan on a trip to Blue Hole. It is the best place to get certified since the water is crystal clear year round and while the water isn’t warm it is a great confidence builder. If you can handle the cold that is Blue Hole, you can handle diving pretty much anywhere else.