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Probable End of Rock Lake Diving

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by boulderjohn, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,045
    113
    Rock Lake is an outstanding dive site in Santa Rosa, NM. It is located on private property just west of town. The owner has been very limiting in allowing diving there over the years, but those with permission to dive there are treated to a large lake with great rock formations and about 280 feet of water. I just checked my records and saw that in the past year alone, I have spent 34 nights in a Santa Rosa motel, all so I could dive at Rock Lake. I haven't been in the Blue Hole once in that time period.

    The owner has announced, however, that the property is under contract, with closing near the end of the year. The new owner will not allow diving. He will not even read explanations of why it is important to allow diving there. It simply isn't going to happen.

    So what will happen to the local divers and the divers from surrounding states who need a site that will provide the depths needed for technical diving certifications? Once you get past the very first dives for such certifications, you need greater depth than is available anywhere I know of in that region. (To complete the Trimix course I teach, the final dive must be at least 250 feet deep.)
     
    SleepySlipper likes this.
  2. RockiesFan

    RockiesFan Solo Diver

    4,488
    3,295
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  3. Cert1967

    Cert1967 Let's Go Skiing

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Vail, Colorado
    214
    130
    43
    Went once to Santa Rosa to dive. Spent four days seeing the sights. With a friend who was completing his open water cert. Dove the blue hole, not Rock Lake. I made one post-cert dive with him and never returned. Motivation? He was going to Cayman and wanted to learn to dive.

    The high desert of eastern NM, just shy of 5k elevation as I recall. Lodging poor at best, food was worse.

    His dive shop wanted to sell him a drysuit so he could make regular trips to SR. The whole process makes SCUBA a tough sell.

    Denver to Santa Rosa ~six hours, central Rockies ~eight hours. The good news? You get to drive through Las Vegas on the way back to Denver.

    What will happen for aspiring trimix divers? They'll go where they plan on using their new skills. Likely a better plan in the first place - cave, ocean, Great Lakes. Perhaps a trip to Cozumel, cenotes in Playa or north Florida?

    DEN-CZM, new United Nonstop ~$500. CUN on Frontier, NOV25-DEC2 = $185, DEN-TLH $270-350.

    Seriously - why not train in the environment you plan to dive?
     
  4. Scott

    Scott Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    2,376
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    Flaming Gorge and Bear Lake can meet depth requirement, but **** those are cold that deep and there's no gas support close by. Of course that is no different than what you're doing now to a degree.
    Lake Mead or SoCal, Warmer waters but still a long haul.

    I agree with Cert1967, a flight someplace would be more enjoyable.
     
  5. jvogt

    jvogt Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lakewood, CO USA
    246
    157
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    As you said, you havn't been in Rock Lake. It is actually a good dive site with plenty to explore. Aside from that, I can do an entire weekend of trimix diving at Rock Lake for the price of plain tickets to Cozumel. As much as I like diving exotic locations, we need a place to regularly practice for tech diving. Once a month is probably a minimum frequency.
     
  6. Cert1967

    Cert1967 Let's Go Skiing

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Vail, Colorado
    214
    130
    43
    @jvogt

    Buddy, if you enjoy the drive to NM and the outstanding accommodations in SR - its all yours.

    I do doubt that SR will soon attract divers from afar, but that’s my opinion.

    Seems to me that if @boulderjohn is correct - the hole will soon be closed.

    Live and Let Dive - and Live and Let Others Have Opinons - mine is that the loss of the hole at SR is of little consequence.

    Get down there soon, if that’s to your liking.
     
  7. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,045
    113
    IMO, your comment is similar to what was probably going through the new owner's mind when he refused to read the carefully-written plea for keeping it open. It's just another dive hole. Who cares? Go somewhere else!

    But it isn't just another dive hole. It is the only one like it within a thousand miles. There is no substitute. Without it, several businesses will not doubt end their lives.
     
    WantSomeScuba? and reddiver970 like this.
  8. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    6,485
    3,092
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    I can sense your pain, I have a lovely, odd, dark, full of life quarry here that won't allow solo diving. Oh well, I gave up and now dive the open ocean and its back bays. Nobody gives a **** if I die there, who you gonna sue the crabs? They will clean me up before you find my remains.

    It bites. You lose.
     
  9. Cert1967

    Cert1967 Let's Go Skiing

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Vail, Colorado
    214
    130
    43
    @boulderjohn

    Well, I get it - the hole is your honey hole, where you do your instruction and make money. It’s what you like to do and there is little if any competition in your role as a dive instructor.

    The new owner - the hole is his private property, to close or hold open as he sees fit.

    I doubt someone without a dive background feels any obligation to cater to perhaps less than a dozen tech divers. And those divers no doubt increase his liability exposure in a disproportionate manner.

    John, where we live has less than 20 inches of rainfall per year - hard to find diving in such an area and there really isn’t any in the front range or the high plains of NM.

    For your sake, I hope the new owner continues to allow diving. If he does not - it is of little consequence.
     
  10. reddiver970

    reddiver970 PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
    427
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    Just because its of little consequence to you doesn't mean its not a bummer for lots of other people. Your arrogance is fairly off putting, we need every dive site available in this part of the country
     
    StefinSB likes this.

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