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Our Santa Rosa NM Weekend...

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by DandyDon, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    48,674
    4,419
    113
    All in all, things went well, it was a qualified success, and I think a good time was had by each. It was funny, though, how easy it was to miss people in a tiny town, in a small parking lot, or even a really tiny sinkhole!

    Informal as the weekend was laid out by mutual agreement, here’s the directions I posted for others to avail as desired:
    I worried about this working out: “Hardly anyone involved has ever chowed in a mess hall, but how much can I do…?!” Enough or not, I left it at that, and it worked out okay…

    JER & I closed our respective stores early on Friday, headed out over the High Plains & Gullies, and got there without incident this time about sundown, delighted to learn that CYN was already there. In fact, as we unloaded and checked gear, she joined us in our smoking suite with a choice of beers. Talk about your top-notch dive trips buddies!! We did a quick tour of Joseph’s, grabbed a snack, then turned in for early reveille.

    Turn out went well Saturday morning, and we were renting tanks and filling my pony by, or about, 8am alright. BB, a veteran of many mess halls, even met us as we pulled into park, and JER & I were soon sharing the joys off warm water down the back of a wet suit with BB & CYN. Next, into The Hole for Dive 1, which quickly turned into a dive into the dark pit. I don’t know if AOW students had been hitting the bottom hard already that morning, or if the haze was left from night dives before, but it was murky. I get a kick out of such challenges, first enjoying a mystic feeling, then stretching to see how well I can do under the conditions, but it was not our first choice. Nonetheless, it was a dive, and we had fun – as much as one can have diving in the five corners area. BB & I both had golf balls, mine personalized but his dedicated to his recently departed Dad, but neither of us found The Idol on the first dive; next time!

    JER had encountered an equipment challenge that I think we’ve all experienced if we think back, and I found him looking sheepish on the side when I surfaced: “Got my deflate and inflate buttons confused, and blimped to the surface.” A quick discussion with his buddy CYN, and we decided that even though Padi disagrees with some other agencies and entities, they should go back for a Safety Stop, and they did. After we finally all got back to the pickup, I ran a few diver-to-diver tests by JER, and his mind & reflexes all seemed intact, so we waited & watched for possible change. No more problems.

    CM and DF had worried about getting thru Colorado’s winter storms, but we finally found each of them, working with their respective classes and unable to play. My computer almost cleared all Nitro bubbles on the long following Surface Interval, as TG encountered some delays that morning, but she finally arrived with her bubble watching friend, CAT, and they drove right to our pickup with the only Texas & Alpha flags on site.. All right! Two more lovelies to flirt with on the SIs!! We got TG tanked & weighted, introduced her to a warm water back, and were back in the by 11:23am.

    Not only murky, but crowded now by all of the students and teachers, we tried to stick together as we descended thru the herds, but soon it was Same Hole, Same Day diving, with everyone just trying to watch for anyone with problems. Down, around, and around, and easy up and out. Back at the pickup, I shared that I never found The Idol, so I just stuck my ball in a crevice. CYN responded that she found one on the floor that made her want to cry in her mask: “R.I.P. Dad – I carried it up and put it with The Idol.” Seemed that BB found the spot, but had dropped his ball, and was sad at not finding it – until he heard CYN’s story!! Super! But TG’s tank was still full…?

    In a newly rented 6 mil Farmer John suit, she’d tried to descend with 20#, but couldn’t. After we got split up by the crowd, she’d turned back and waited for us back at the truck. “I’m okay, TG, I’ve got 1200# left, and my pony.” I explained. “Get six more from Stella and I’ll go back with you!”

    I held her hand as we descended thru the crowd this time, and we got down okay. I was mindful of my 18 minute SI after a full green load, but I had plans for slow, safe ascents, deco if needed, and was playing it safe. I turned lose of TG on the bottom, pointed my light at the graves, then looked back for her, and around, and up! “No, Don! No fast chases up. Get to her when you can carefully.” She got control halfway up, okay, we met up, and I held on for the rest of the dive, short stops, safety stop, and all. Still had one bubble of yellow when I got out, but felt fine. Everyone had faired well in the 62 degree water, but I was happy that everyone felt like a long lunch before The Lake.

    When we got to Perch Lake, I ran into KEV & his bud, who’d been looking for me earlier at The Hole. “KEV, how may Texas & Alpha flags did you see there? Well, it’s good to see you; sorry we missed lunch together. How’s The Lake, and where is that plane, anyway?” They were already removing their dry suits when we arrived, but they stayed to watch us stride in, for some reason? “I think they want to here us scream when we hit water.”

    Five divers made it to the plane okay, but CYN & TG quickly decided that 56 degrees was too much (see: http://www.scubaboard.com/t54529.html ) and turned back to the dock, and JER the chronic gentleman followed them in, leaving BB & me to look for the car. We found it, the ridge, the current – which was odd feeling for a lake, but the spring runs in, out – before deciding that 50 degrees in the flow was too much even for our preparations.

    With gear set to dry hither and yon in the rooms, we five disappeared into the same rooms for Siesta, until someone finally passed the word room to room that we had 15 minutes before we were going to be late at Joseph’s, so we rushed around, and we got there soon enough. CM was dining with her students, but joined us in the bar for a nice chat as we waited for our’s. They had to go back for a night dive, though, and – although we’d invited everyone else in the parking lot, all the other classes had been banned from our party by their instructors. Prudent calls, I suppose, but some fun could have been had? Oh well…

    BB & JER got the ladies drinks, I got their suppers, and we compared dive tales from the day, from Cozumel together, from BB & me in Key Largo, and it was still a nice time. General Patton here was the only one to get to sleep sober before midnight, though; you’ll have to ask them about their deals…?

    KEV had returned to Albuquerque for the night, planning on coming back early to dive in the morn with his young daughter, PENGUIN FRIEND, and I didn’t want to keep them waiting. The other four went to breakfast, and I returned to The Hole with out needing to buy air again - having three nearly full tanks from a quick trip to The Lake’s plane. I did locate KEV and his charge okay, but then we missed each other at dive time; how we do that amazes me. I thought they’d given up on me and gone in, so I set out to search, and finally – they came in searching for me. More technology needed…

    Warm so-longs said here and there, and we split up for our homes until we can do it again. Who knows what will happen next time?

    Bottomless Lakes, New Mexico – May 15, 16.
     
  2. Wijbrandus

    Wijbrandus Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Denver, CO
    966
    4
    18
    Sounds like a good time was had by all.

    Hope I can make the next one.
     
  3. ABQdiver

    ABQdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    1,381
    2
    38
    It's always fun to see and meet other SB members out diving. Your right about finding each other, must be the dressed in black Ninja thing :11:
    Even carrying a cell phone (that works) won't do much good, since we're all diving. Let's work on that....

    Oh, BTW Penguin Buddy says to thank you again for the gift! later
     
  4. Capnsnott

    Capnsnott Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NW Denver area
    279
    0
    0
    Don,
    Nice to meet you all, sorry we didn't get to dive with your guys. We didn't get out of the water Saturday night till 10:30 or so. Sounds like you guys had a good time.

    I missed the mark on the rock walls in Perch Lake. They are actually come kind of volcanic tuff. I did some tests last night. Mostly a milky colored frothed glass. What I can't figure out is they look like they may have been formed by hot water deposits. Which means the lake may have a hollow bottom to it and actually be a part of a lava tube or vent. BTW, I'm a Geologist. Just not a great Volcanologist though. I suspect the spring that fills the lake is from a shallower source, probably comes from the Blue Hole and some of the other deeper lakes in the area. There are probably cracks leading everywhere. There is a big chamber under the gravel parking lot at Blue Hole, I don't know how deep or big, but I know it's there. There is another private lake that is over 500' deep, this helps hold to the lava tube and vent theory. None of the rocks in the area that I saw were Limestone, so the sink hole idea doesn't work too well.
    Anyhow, thats my interpretive blabbing for the day.

    Have a good one,
    Greg
     
  5. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    48,674
    4,419
    113
    Hye Greg!

    Yeah, I've been using the term "sinkhole" casually, even though I knew it couldn't have been. Just knowing as little as I do about the origin of much of the rock in northern NM, I'd certainly jump on the volcanic idea. Your suspicions of "hollow bottom" and "tube or vent" would be similar to the Blue Hole and it's underlying caverns, wouldn't it?

    I do not see how 50 degree water could come from a 62 degree Blue Hole, but then - that's only because I don't know everything. Guess it's possible. I know they have ice caves SE of Albuquerque, which I certainly don't understand.

    Not surprising. I'd bet that there's a lot of cracks and vents all under those hills. A little worrisome to the layman, but that rock looks pretty sturdy - except on the inside of the Hole. Some of those rocks look scarey, ready to fall...?

    Yeah, ABQdiver mentioned it. Think he said that some Tech groups dive it...
     
  6. ABQdiver

    ABQdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    1,381
    2
    38
    Hey guys, now you got me wondering about the exact configuration and history of the area. I need to do some research on the subject, if for nothing but my own curiosity.
    From what I know the area is one big underground lake that feeds a number of things. I believe (but not sure) that it extends for miles, Carlsbad Caverns?.

    The private lake is Rock Lake and is owned by Debra Ladyhawk. The lake is about 220' or so deep. It has some interesting cracks and crevices in it that make diving very interesting. The owner is very protective of the space and allows only one group at a time there with proof of AOW, insurance, etc.
    We are setting up some dives there in mid May, June and July if your interested....
     
  7. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    48,674
    4,419
    113
    Re: Rock Lake

    Color me INTERESTED!!
     
  8. cyklon_300

    cyklon_300 Loggerhead Turtle

    1,441
    1
    0
    I did trimix training dives there last year. The bottom is deeper than 220', two of our team went to ~240' and reported that there was no bottom in sight at that level.

    The landowner will allow more than one group at a time as we were shared the place with a large group from Lubbock on the second day.

    AOW is the ONLY cert the landowner will accept for entrance...one of our team produced at least a dozen certifications (up to Advanced Trimix Instructor rating) and she still wanted to see his AOW card, which he luckily found.

    To be honest, there really isn't squat to see in Rock Lake. I saw one fish and one turtle in four dives. There were some partial cow skeletons on the small sloped area near the swim platform.

    Rock Lake is essentially a vertical cylinder (with some very slight undercutting) with walls composed of igneous rock. Due to the vitreous quality of the rock, it would appear to be the vent of a volcanic feature.

    Dive conditions were 40' vis and 60F.
     
  9. ABQdiver

    ABQdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    1,381
    2
    38
    Well, you've been deeper than I have. Heard different opinions/ideas how deep it really is, guess that is another question to be answered. The "crack" is pretty interesting, but your right, the lack of coral or WWII wrecks does make you long for other locations.
    Even with all that, it is another location to get wet. The owner has changed up her demands this next year. We met with her this last weekend and got the lastest requirement. She also will be increasing the cost per diver per day at some point, unknown at this time.
     
  10. cyklon_300

    cyklon_300 Loggerhead Turtle

    1,441
    1
    0
    Here's the entry point at Rock Lake...watch for cow flops during the SI...
     

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