Blue Friday 2023 Recap and Reset

As divers, we’re trained to always “plan the dive, then dive the plan”. But what happens when Mother Nature doesn’t fully cooperate?

Here’s a recap of Blue Friday 2023 activities across the globe on the day after Thanksgiving that most people refer to as Black Friday.

Carmel, CA
At Point Lobos National Marine Sanctuary, Blue Friday turned into No-Go Friday. To quote George Constanza when he was pretending to be a marine biologist on Seinfeld, “The sea was angry that day, my friends –– like an old man trying to send soup back in a deli.”

No diving but plenty of hiking. Photo by Jim Van Gogh.
No diving but plenty of hiking. Photo by Jim Van Gogh.

For a first-hand account, Jim Van Gogh, a member of Dive Club of Silicon Valley, wrote: “My buddy and I ascertained that the conditions were less than stellar. The tide was very high tide, with a big swell. The water was very churned up, aerated, and dirty. So, we bailed on the dive and just hiked.”

Since Amphitrítē did not bless us on the day with divable conditions, Ken Carter of the Marin Scuba Club is now coordinating a Lobos trip for December 23. He’s calling it a Blue (and Silver) Christmas. After diving, the group is planning to follow up with Chinese food and a movie. If you would like to come along on the 23rd and/or Christmas Eve, contact Ken at Ken is also planning on taking his kids snorkeling for Blue Year’s Eve.

Butchers Seahorse, Roatan, Photo by Natalie Shuman
Butchers Seahorse, Roatan, Photo by Natalie Shuman

Sun Divers Roatan, Honduras
Natalie Shuman and her husband, Shannon, are from the U.S.A. and owners/operators of Sun Divers Roatan. They promoted Blue Friday on their Facebook feed.

She reported, “It was a perfect dive day with surface temps in the low 80s, sunny skies and calm waters. The water temperature was equally perfect at 82 o. And the special seahorse sighting was found at Butcher’s Bank off of West Bay in Roatan. This was one of the busiest holiday dive days we’ve had which shows that more people are opting out of Black Friday!”

Kerwin Lewis. Big Island Blue Friday
Kerwin Lewis. Big Island Blue Friday

Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii
Kerwin Lewis, a Marin Scuba Club member who lives in Hawaii, chartered a boat with Kohala Divers out of Kawaihae Harbor.

He exclaimed, “Ideal diving conditions. Surface temperature 83o, water temperature 80o. Visibility was the best I’ve seen in months –– about 100 feet! No wind chop, no surge. Saw a Blue Dragon Nudibranch which usually can only be seen on the Kohala Coast, and some diver eating an egg underwater (LOL).”

Blue Dragon Nudibranch. Photo by Kerwin Lewis.
Blue Dragon Nudibranch. Photo by Kerwin Lewis.

Rescheduling Blue Friday in California
Even though Blue Friday was a wash-out in California, our dive buddies in Roatan and Hawaii thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ken wanted to extend Blue Friday in November to Blue (and Silver) Christmas on December 23rd. However, dive shops in the area reported crappy viz and a strong surge down to 70 feet, while NOAA showed a 4-5 foot swell. So these gung-ho cold water divers were going to attempt a New Year’s Day dive.

For 2024, we look forward to even more divers in more dive sites to continue making Blue Friday an annual evergreen event.

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