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Billy from Albuquerque NM | Scuba Diver
#751


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I have been certified since Feb. 2007 and have dived in Mexico, at Grand Cayman and Hawaii (Kona - "Big Island"). Made a couple trips to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, MX. I’ve experienced drift diving and also went for a dive in the "Cenotes" (caves). Also been to Puerto Vallarta. In Kona my buddy and I did a shore dive at "Two Step", vicinity of "Place of Refuge" south of Kailua-Kona, on the big island of Hawaii and we also did the Manta Ray night dive. I must say that dive was the highlight of the whole trip. Others that have experience that know what I mean. I have a dive buddy (female friend that has 90+ dives - certified in Aug 08) but we are always looking for others to go on vacation with us and experience the trips also. I have a timeshare so the cost for accommodations in some locations is rather inexpensive for the week. Details provided upon request. In 2013 my buddy and I went back to Playa del Carmen. We also went over to Cozumel and dove a wreck there as well as a small reef and wall.

I would love to be able to spend more time underwater but to do so I have to fly somewhere and can only afford once or twice a year. We do have "Blue Hole" here within 120 miles that is a freshwater sinkhole. It is spring fed and 61 deg year round with the visibility at about 25 to 50 feet. It is 81 feet deep but altitude adjusted is 100 feet deep, average 60 feet in diameter at the surface and extending to 120 at the bottom. Great place to practice skills but gets old after a while. Love to go to warmer, more exciting places. I now have 112 dives in and am now classified as a Century Diver in addition to having completed all the requirements to be and am certified as a Master Diver through the SSI program.

Comments

crsmy - 2/03/2016 1:18 PM
Hey Billy, I am Cris. I’m from NM but live in Redondo Beach here in LA. If you are ever in the LA area and want to dive. Send me a message. My wife and I both dive. We have advanced certs and I am getting ready for a rescue dive class. Just got back from Hawaii and dove with Big Island Divers. Great outfit. And also Lahaina Divers in Maui. Had a phenomenal time there.
NMGoose - 2/03/2016 7:08 PM
Hi Cris, glad to hear from you. I’ve been to your area there in Cali but never looked to diving. I’ve heard the kelp beds in the Catalina Island are are fantastic and would like to try it sometime. Maybe one day I’ll be able to make it. Yeah, I don’t remember who we used but dove in the Kona area on the big island. The Manta Ray dive at night was a major experience.
NMGoose - 12/04/2015 10:36 AM
It is the only place locally for certification dives. The local dive shops here in the DESERT use it for their classes. Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona also use it because of the depth. With altitude adjustment it is 100 feet/31meters. Two years ago when the opening in the bottom was enlarged the flow increased quite a bit and the visibility cleared up substantially, It still gets pretty mirky when there are a lot of divers stirring up the bottom but most time you can see all the way to the bottom when standing on the surface.
NMGoose - 9/05/2014 9:58 AM
Just returned from Los Cabos Mexico. Contrary to many comments I heard before, the diving there was great because the main industry is fishing. Not much coral in most the areas but lots of fish variety. First two dives were in the Cabo San Lucas area, "Pelican Rock" and "Lands End" near the famous arch, "Los Arcos". The next two dives were at Cabo Pulmo, north of San Jose. This area is a marine park requiring a permit fee payment. This area does have lots of coral as well as multi fish, large groupers and parrot fish. The first dive was at "El Vencedor", a ship wreck. The second was at "El Bajo de Los Menos", a coral reef. The visibility was 50’+/- for all the sites. There was a strong current at "Lands End" because that is where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific oceans come together. Great diving and I will go back.
NMGoose - 2/27/2014 4:50 PM
Regarding solo diving at Blue Hole, first of all it is never recommended however, at blue hole the diameter of the facility is somewhat small and there are typically always others diving except during the week. It may say "no solo diving" on the permit but there are no diving police there, especially on the weekends.

If you should choose to dive solo stay close to other people and stay rather shallow ([40’). On weekends there is generally always someone there that is willing to act as a surface buddy and help you get into your gear and with your equipment checks, etc. Be smart. If your not feeling perfect or the whole day doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. Bag it until you can find a dive buddy. If you ask there is probably someone that is willing. You can join in with others and make it three if you can’t find a single.
NMGoose - 10/28/2013 1:56 PM
About 2 months or so ago (July, August or September, 2013) a tech team came to Blue Hole to try and explore below the then grate at the bottom. They only got down another 15 - 20 feet and ran into a large blockage. To go beyond that point would require blasting so they selected to leave well enough alone. However, as part of their effort they opened the hole below the grate to accommodate their access and gear. They then replaced the grate with a different style. Because of their effort the flow through Blue Hole increased (3000 gpm to 3300 gpm) resulting in the water becoming much clearer. Standing on top on a sunny day a person can see the bottom at 80 ft. The visibility undisturbed by multiple divers is 80 to 100+ft. Obviously, on weekends with several classes going on the fines are stirred up whereby reducing the visibility somewhat.
NMGoose - 10/26/2013 11:25 AM
I made a 87% on the following quiz:
Scuba Diving Hand Signals
NMGoose - 10/26/2013 11:32 AM
Many of these signals I have never seen before but I guess I made a lucky guess on a few.
NMGoose - 7/29/2012 9:50 PM
Just finished my certification dives for SSI Stress & Rescue course this weekend at Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM. Received my certification for First Aide/CPR, O2 Provider and AED training 3 weeks earlier. Need to get my Advanced Open Water and then I can become a Master Diver. Will take the Advanced OW in October. I now have 73 dives under my belt and looking forward to more. Hope to become a Century Diver before the end of the year.
NMGoose - 3/21/2012 9:40 PM
Dive Denver Aquarium!!

Four from the Desert Divers Group in New Mexico went to Denver, Colo and dove in the Denver Aquarium in the shark exhibit March 17th, St Patrick’s Day weekend. It was quite an event. Very expensive but an experience not many can or will do. Had a fantastic time.
NMGoose - 3/10/2012 10:50 PM
Four members from NM Desert Divers are going to Denver Aquarium the 17th of March to dive with the sharks. Pretty expensive for what you get but I guess it is for the experience. A few other people have done it so I guess we will be able to say "we have also done that."
NMGoose - 2/24/2012 5:21 PM
The fundraiser was for a young solder (Air Force) that was blinded when an IED exploded next to him on his last tour of duty in Afghanistan. His name is Michael Malersie. The money raised will go for his training and equipment and a trip to Little Cayman in June.