La Quebrada Cliff Divers
For another sightseeing, we brought the dinghy into shore and walked from
La Marina about 2 miles over the hill to the Pacific side to La Quebrada,
where we caught the dramatic and famous Cliff Divers (Clavadistas)
of Acapulco in action.
The Cliff Divers are a professional association, begun in 1934. One of their older divers, age 40, holds a world's record for the
highest freedive. Around noon, after collecting the $3.50 viewing fee from everyone in attendence on the viewing steps across from
the dive cliff, and including the power boats in from just offshore,and spending a good deal of time observing the surging wave action
of the sea below us and them, five muscular divers, ranging in age from about 16-36, each made their individual ways up the cliff
barehanded, the youngest stopping at a foothold at about 25 ft, the others another 50ft higher, on up to the older diver who stood
on the cliff top over 100 ft high above the water.
Then, starting with the lowest diver, one by one, about 5 palm-sweating minutes apart, each threw their arms back, then
threw their bodies off of the cliff into the rolling, crashing waves in the narrow ravine below.
All of them did various forward and backwards somersaults as part of their dives, some landing
on their feet, others going in head first. The final and topmost diver prayed at the petite, blue,
flowered Shrine of the Virgin just behind him, wrapped his hands with tape to protect them
from the coming impact with the water's surface, poised himself, then went back to the shrine
and prayed again, returned to his position, watched the churning swell below a moment, and
then went back to pray yet a third time!
With great anticipation, we watched him as he launched off of the heights and
somersaulting and splashing safely into the sea. WOWEE!