A crack team of cave divers will explore New Mexico’s famed Blue Hole underwater cave system this weekend.
The Advanced Diver Magazine Exploration Foundation will send a team down Blue Hole cave in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The cave has already been partially mapped down to a depth of 225 feet, but it’s believed to be much more extensive and the team is carrying equipment allowing them to go as deep as 350 feet.
Every member of the team is an expert cave diver with at least 15 years experience. Each brings their own specialty in biology, survey, photography, cinematography, equipment, logistics, multimedia, or other skills in order to fully document the cave and produce material for a proposed documentary. The ADM team holds records for exploring the two deepest and longest underwater caves in North America with depths below 450 feet and linear passages of over seven miles.
Blue Hole is a popular spot for scuba diving but the entrance to the caves has been barred by a grate for decades due to the deaths of two cave divers who were exploring the system.
Cave diving is a dangerous sport that requires extensive technical knowledge and physical endurance. While I enjoy caving and will happily go to Iraq and Somaliland on vacation, you won’t see me cave diving. It’s too hardcore for me. Best of luck to the ADM crew!
If you watched the latest episode of “Breaking Bad,” you know that taking “a trip to Belize” is a one-way voyage you don’t want to go on. Apparently the Belize Tourism Board was watching, and decided to make the most of the unflattering mention. In order to ensure the world doesn’t associate the country solely with “sleeping with the fishes,” they sent an invitation to “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan and eight members of the cast:
Dear Cast of Breaking Bad,
Despite what Saul meant when he suggested that Walt send Hank “on a trip to Belize,” we were flattered to be included on your program last Sunday. Many of us are big fans of the show and can’t wait to see what happens over the last six episodes. While we hope that some of our favorite characters don’t get “sent on a trip to Belize” in the show, we do hope you will take us upon the following offer – we’d like to send all of you on an ACTUAL trip to our country after the season is over.
We figure you will all need a little time to relax after a riveting season and, if you ask us, there’s no better place to relax than Belize. It’s really the least we can do for the entertainment you have provided us with over the last six years. So allow us an opportunity to entertain you – we have the Blue Hole for Walt, purple fish for Marie, geology for Hank, great music and friendly people for Jesse, delicious breakfast cuisine for Walt Jr., several nice locations to swim for Skylar, colorful clothing for Saul, and the list goes on.
We look forward to hearing back from you. Best of luck with the remainder of this season.
Belize Tourism Board
Gotta love that there are “purple fish for Marie,” but really, who wouldn’t enjoy the chance to see the Blue Hole? I think we can all agree that a trip to Belize wouldn’t be so bad.
Sometimes questions are better left unanswered. Like how a sport called “extreme ironing” has circumnavigated the globe, fascinating folks from France to Fiji. Described on the official website as the “latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt,” it’s an activity that is as much a sport as it is a hilarious performance art. Here are the most unique incarnations of this increasingly popular international craze. Get ready to be amazed and amused as participants from around the world make a new name for this mundane household chore:
1. England: Multi-Disciplinary Extreme Ironing Since the thrilling sport of extreme ironing was born in the United Kingdom, it makes sense that they’ve mastered the art. This guy has more than one trick up his sleeve when it comes to finding ridiculous places to get the wrinkles out of his duds. I’m just not sure they always score that high when it comes to productivity…
2. Japan: Speed Ironing on a Mountain Board
Short and sweet – this guy knows how to get the chores done. In speedy fashion he gains ground heading down a grassy hill, iron in hand, and takes a bold turn right in time to graze the shirt awaiting him on his ironing board. Who says you can’t extreme iron in a city park – at least that works when adventuring in Japan.
3. USA: Ironing in Transit, on Road and over Water
At first you think these crazy guys are just tied in to the side of a moving van attached to a soldered ironing board, but after they round a few curves the “van” takes to the water… Magically, this dual-purpose craft allows for two extreme forms of ironing, and to these Massachusetts pranksters that means double the pleasure. I know the state has much more to offer than this ironing activity.
4. Scotland: Street Level Emergency Ironing
Apparently in Edinburgh there are circumstances under which emergency ironing is necessary. But luckily this popular pastime has quite a following in these parts, including this fellow who’s one call in case you need him to run down the street after your dress clothes, iron in tow. Just try and block out the corny chase scene music track.
5. Austria: Rappel-Ironing
I made an exception for this Austrian guy who didn’t have a video camera – the video collage he got his friends to help him make shows just how much time they’ve got on their hands. Extra points for the matching spandex outfit and brightly-painted house off which he rappels. I’m assuming he likes to chat with neighbors passing by while he irons shirts, but I can’t imagine he wears suits much at all.
6. England: Sky Dive Ironing Championship Training
You can sky dive in England, and you can iron, but you can also to both at the same time. In fact, there are leagues dedicated entirely to the sport and regularly compete on points of style and creativity in extreme sky dive surf ironing, or whatever the league calls themselves. Watch as the teams prep for the big dives, there are a lot of clothes ready to hit the board. On your next trip to the UK look out for local Extreme Ironing competitions, they actually exist and can be attended!
7. Egypt: Ironing Underwater in the Famous Blue Hole
It isn’t at all the first thing I’d think of when talking up Egyptian travel, but the famous Blue Hole, an incredible geographic asset in the middle the desert, has more possibilities than meets the eye. To this gal it was extreme ironing, and she succeeding in reaching her goal of being the first and only diver to iron at the bottom of this aquamarine-blue body of water.
8. England: Extreme Ironing Skydive
You think these two are just jumping out of a plane with snowboards attached to their feet, but before too long you see they’ve got other plans, to use the bottom of the board at the ironing surface for their own form of extreme ironing. I’m sure if you get in a few jumps on your next extreme sports adventure to England, that the instructor might let you try out some of these moves if the spirit moves you.
9. New Zealand: Extreme Ironing on a Mountaintop
I can picture these Kiwi guys arguing all the way up the mountain about who would carry the ironing board, but however they managed to drag it up there, it is one incredible place to iron. The view of snowy crags and a sea of rocky peaks makes for a nice ambiance, I’m just not sure it would be my first choice of activity after mountaineering to the top of this exquisite New Zealand Peak, but hey, that’s just me.
10. USA: Extreme Ironing on a Bike
I’m not sure how this guy justified assembling this very complex rigging in order to conquer his ironing while rolling through New York’s Central Prospect Park. I can only assume from his hilarious video that his thought many others would be interested in his design in order to replicate his fanciful strapping of a gasoline generator to a mountain bike and an ironing board. At least one of these extreme ironers actually ended up with a wrinkle-free shirt!
Dive in and explore the underwater landscapes of some of the world’s most exotic and interesting locales. Whether you’re a veteran scuba diver, or someone who’s always wanted to test the waters, here’s your chance to visit some of the world’s top dive destinations. Experience what it’s like to venture into the deep in this video roundup of 10 great destinations for scuba diving.
Bali, South Pacific
Long hailed as a crown jewel amongst scuba divers for its idyllic location, warm waters, underwater diversity, and plentiful wrecks, Bali beckons with its aquatic spell.
Gadling would first like to congratulate Dave C., the lucky winner of our Moon Belize giveaway! Dave C. wrote: “I don’t get the change to do as much diving as I like, but when I can, I won’t miss it. If in Belize, I would certainly not want to miss the opportunity dive at the Blue Hole. Diving gives me a sense of peace I can’t get doing anything else, and the Blue Hole just looks like a tremendously mysterious and beautiful place to dive.” A copy of Moon Belize is heading to your doorstep as I type this. I hope you enjoy the Blue Hole, and thanks to everyone who participated.
I was so blown away by the fantastic Belize must-sees that I compiled some of the best giveaway comments below.
From Dennis: “Snorkeling at Mexico Rocks. Off the beaten path, beautiful and never crowded. It’s like your own private garden of coral heads and sea life.”
From Molly: “As newlyweds crushed under a mountain of student loan debts, we were thrilled to see the review of Moon Belize. We want our honeymoon to be there and are saving up. Definitely top of my list are the ruins and back country hiking.”
From Peach: “I’d love to go manatee watching! These are some of my favorite creatures & I’ve seen them in captivity but thats never really quite the same as seeing something in the wild.”
From Joe: “I’m starting a SCUBA program soon and I want to do my certification dive in Belize!”
I also created a handy Top Spots in Belize Google Map should you need a little inspiration on your journey through Belize. In case you don’t know how to use Google Maps, click on any pin to view a Gadling reader’s description. You can also retrieve directions to and from any destination.