Cave Divers To Explore Unmapped New Mexico Cavern

cave divers
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!

Ten best “Extreme Ironing” stunts from around the world

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!

10 great destinations for scuba diving adventure (videos)

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.




Cabo San Lucas/Sea of Cortez
Dubbed “The World’s Greatest Aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau for its lushness of life, the waters off the Baja California peninsula are bursting with adventure. Veteran divers will not disagree.



The Red Sea, Egypt
Labyrinthine canyons, calm grassy flats, and deep water reefs have assured The Red Sea’s place as an underwater Eden.





Kona, Hawaii
Night diving with schools of manta rays off the Big Island is near the top of every diver’s “To Do” list. Here’s why.





Cozumel, Mexico
Home of the second largest barrier reef in the world, unparalleled drift diving and a 3000-foot vertical drop into “The Abyss,” Cozumel is a diver’s paradise.





The Cayman Islands
Often called “The Birthplace of Scuba Diving,” the Cayman Islands boast an abundance of magical waters and unique undersea topography.





Cocos and Malpelo Islands/Costa Rica and Columbia
What do these two remote Central American dive sites share in common? Plenty of beautiful underwater vistas and hammerheads… lots of hammerheads.





The Great Blue Hole, Belize
A true geographic marvel! Explore the depths of this unforgettable dive featuring underwater stalactites and brilliant coral gardens.



The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the largest superorganism on earth is like nowhere else on earth.





The Bahamas
Gin clear waters and sandy shallow seas are a recipe for shark-laden encounters in this pristine Caribbean island chain!



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Scuba diving is not only a fun, relaxing recreational activity, it’s also a great way to learn about fish, coral, and the ocean — three things our planet can not live without.

Gadling readers compile Belize must-sees

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.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Moon Belize as well as my interview with Avalon travel writer and Belize expert, Joshua Berman.

Enjoy Belize!

Abercrombie & Kent announce extreme adventures for 2010

Adventure travel specialist Abercrombie & Kent have announced their “extreme” adventures for 2010, offering up 15 amazing opportunities for travelers looking for unique experiences, provided of course they also have plenty of cash to pay for them.

No matter what kind of adventure you crave, you’re sure to find it on this list. For instance, you can head off into the desert on an eleven day expedition that follows in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, or if sun and sand aren’t your cup of tea, then maybe you’d prefer to go dog sledding in Norway for nine days. Fancy a mountain setting? Than book a trip to Everest Base Camp for 20 days of trekking in the Khumbu Valley instead. These are just a few of the great options that A&K have in store for 2010, with tours planned for remote locations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and even the South Pole.

Widely considered one of the best luxury travel companies in the world, Abercrombie & Kent has years of experience planning adventurous trips to the far corners of the globe. The company promises small group tours, ranging in size from about 6-8 people, which allows for more one-on-one interaction with their expert guides, as well as ensuring that the group can move quickly while having a very limited impact on the environment.

Of course, these specialized tours come at quite a cost, and while many tour operators are looking for ways to offer discounted options in these challenging economic times, A&K is sticking to their plan to offer unique experiences for premium prices. For example, that dog sledding expedition that I mentioned above comes with a hefty price tag of $9655, not including airfare. Clearly not for the backpacker on a budget!