Just north of Olas Altas beach along Mazatlan's oceanfront boardwalk, spectators gather to watch brave (or crazy) individuals jump off a 50ft high cliff into the ocean.
These “Clavadistas”, as they are called here in Mazatlan, are professional cliff-divers. Rumor has it the first diver did it on a bet back in the mid-1900’s. Since then, day in and day out… noon ‘til night… the clavadista’s job is to soar off a 50ft high platform in return for a few pesos donation. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to DO, but it IS fun to watch.
After a substantial enough crowd assembles, the diver climbs up onto his platform. Standing precariously at the cliff edge, we watch him warming up and checking ocean conditions. Each dive requires careful monitoring of the wave patterns, timing his entry perfectly into seas as low as 8ft deep! That’s ridiculously LOW. These high-fliers perform in all conditions…at low tide, between big crashing waves, in the rain…oh wait, I forgot…it never rains here. He even dives at night carrying a torch!
Suddenly, our clavadista plummets head-first into a quarry of rock-strewn waters! We got one decent shot of him falling into the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Whew! From that angle it looks as though he didn’t push far enough off the cliff face. But his tiny head quickly pops up to the surface far below, bobbing like a basketball amongst the waves crashing through the small gap in the rocks. Of course my GoPro seized up just as I was about to take a video. GoFigure!