Shouldn't Have Gone Out

CopyRight @ 1997

Some dives are been better than others. It's the way of the water. Some days are good, some days are bad. Some days are great, some, you definitely should have stayed home. This may be for any number of reasons, weather, boats, dive equipment, your buddy, health. You may or may not have known what you were getting into. It may have all been bad luck. It was probably silliness. In any case, painful, stupid maneuvers have a way of taking on a humorous aspect, after a number of years. I bet I can get a bunch of these stories from other divers. In any case, I must start with my own and what I can remember from others. I have no idea where this is going.


Do not read this essay as the first on this site. Actually, I think that this one came out a bit boring. I'll have to try it again sometime.



This isn't exactly what I want, but it's the first try and I know I have been in on worse dives than this one. We'll see.


Johnny was a good person to do something stupid with. I did a number of stupid things with him. He just sorta brought it out in you. He could top you though... Anyway, here we were, about 100 miles south of the California, Mexico border, in La Bofedora. Johnny, Jim and I had driven down from Los Angeles in a 1979 Toyota mini truck, with dive gear, 12 tanks and camping gear. Johnny is not little, I'm Big and Jim is a fair size guy. Add that up and it is about 5 pounds of junk in a 3 pound bag. Johnny had heard about the great diving and spearfishing south of the border. Obviously, we had to go. At least he didn't make me walk home from Encinata, as threatened, when I told him he was lost. And there was supposed to be this blowhole thing.

Anyhow, the hiway down is good and we made a dry camp after midnight. This is a little Mexican tourist town that shows off The "Blowhole", hence the translation of the name of the town. It was a tourist town aimed at local Mexicans, not Americans. Now it is geared up for American divers, but not then.

Well, this blowhole is interesting. There is a natural channel, that focuses the waves from the south. This leads into cracks, cut far into the rocks by waves. Well, some of the cracks lead to holes at the top. A wave goes up the crack, forcing air and then spray out the hole at the top. That can be a lot of force and a lot of air, especially with the right waves. As we stood on the rock walkway above it, we were impressed. It seemed to be shooting up perhaps 70 feet. Why not? These were the right waves. There was a hurricane going real strong down near the tip of Baja California. Cabo San Lucus was supposed to be real fun just now. Oh..

Well, what can you do? Gotta Dive!. Did I mention that we were all about 18 at the time? At least I can say, we caught a clue before we even used half our tanks up. So it's morning and we're going in the water. There is a substantial cove at la Boefadora. It was protected from the really big swell, but it had interesting wave action in the area where we entered. The rough water extended about 50 feet over large rock fingers that stuck out from shore. between the biggest rocks were channels with jumbled boulders and waves.

I decided to do some free diving to check the place out. Johnny and Jim took scuba. I had to barrow some fins from Johnny. I had managed to forget mine, but Johnny was the kinda dive nut that always had extra equipment. He lost a lot too. Well, these were the earliest model of the vented ScubaPro Jet fins. They sorta fit. We went out through the waves in the boulder channels. Now this is seriously rough with waves up to about 4 feet and probably less than a 10 second interval. Vis looked poor, but we didn't slow down to check while going through this stuff. We were all up to it without a great strain. We had done something similar a few weeks earlier at Palos Verdes... at night.

Here we are 400 miles later, in cold rough water. Lets get under. Jim and Johnny went down. I took a few breaths to wait. Snapping up a surface dive was the fastest way to start down. Hmmm. Doesn't look like much vis. Realize, this was when I was a good free diver. I just kept going down, trying to follow the scuba bubbles and it just kept getting yellower and darker. At about 45 feet, vis was about 3 feet and we were all on flat clean rock. (In later years, I learned that 3 feet vis is fine some places). I said "Hi" to them and went to look for some terrain, any terrain. Well, time to go up. Oops. I find out that while Jet fins are easy to swim with and give good power, they do not provide speed. My free dives are too closely timed for much delay getting to the surface. After a bit... I went back down again, to see if those guys had found something to see. The area was more flat rock. I went up quick. Next thing I know, Johnny and Jim are with me, calling it a wash out. Exiting over the rocks was the usual joy, but you do it. Time to sight see at the Blowhole.

The next day, things were no calmer. We went out with the same result. I had scuba this time and floundered around in the dark and murk. We saw nothing. Swimming back through the channels, a big swell went under me. As it passed, I dropped and saw a rock appear 6 inches in front of my face. Wow! And then I was on into the waves.

The next day was even bigger.


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