Mike Quinn of Albuquerque prepares for another scuba dive during Bubble Fest, Saturday, at Bottomless Lakes State Park. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Scuba divers are scanning the bottom of a “bottomless” lake, not so much to dispel the myth that there is no bottom, but to find the best poker hand they can get.
The 8th annual Bottomless Bubble Fest is taking place this weekend at Bottomless Lakes State Park. The event kicked off Saturday morning with a Dive Poker Tournament. Park rangers tossed two decks of weighted cards into Lea Lake, and scuba divers are to collect five cards. Divers can exchange one of their cards for another, but can only hold five cards at any given time.
According to a press release from New Mexico State Parks, Bottomless Bubble Fest attracts scuba club divers from New Mexico and West Texas, among other places.
Bottomless Lakes Park Ranger David Sharp said a person must be a scuba diver to play underwater poker. He said it is not too late to show up today and dive for the best poker hand, as prizes will not be given out until 1 p.m.
Sharp said prizes will be awarded for the top three poker hands. The scuba diver with the best poker hand of all will win a pressure gauge with a compass. Second place will win a gear bag. Third place will get a waterproof canister and a dive log.
Other Bubble Fest activities include snorkeling, swimming, volleyball and hiking. To keep with the underwater fun theme, the weekly Enchanted Evenings presentation at the park Saturday night was “The Underwater World of Lea Lake.” Bubble Fest will continue through Monday.
There is no registration fee to participate; however, regular park fees still apply.
According to the press release, Bottomless Lakes State Park is “a popular scuba diving destination, known for its greenish-blue color that creates the illusion that the lakes are bottomless when in fact they range in depth from 17 to 90 feet.”
Sharp said that although Bottomless Bubble Fest is “geared around scuba divers … anyone’s welcome to come.”