Convict Springs – Doin’ it once to say you’ve done it…

Convict Springs is located at the River Rendezvous campground.  The people who own this are very friendly, and allow diving here free as long as you can prove side mount experience and full cave and sign their liability waiver during business hours.  Since it is free, if you choose to dive here, please at least eat something from their store, or tip them so that they continue to see some benefit in allowing cave diving.

The dive was tough to shoot video.  We decided to let Jeff Marchand be the lead diver, so that he could do all the gaps where the line has gone under the sand, as well as mark all the T’s for us.  This wasn’t the best decision, as the site is way too silty to have 3 divers in the cave at once.  I’ll at least post the video that I was able to gather, Michael Gibby is the diver in front of the camera.

Another Florida Spring from James Garrett on Vimeo.

Airport Sink – One of the most beautiful caves in Florida

After a fun night of camping, Jeff and I stopped by my parents place to drop off the scooters from the Ginnie dive the night before, grab fresh batteries, and head over to Tallahassee to dive one of my favorite caves, Airport Sink.  Now, I’ll be honest, it’s not the real name of this cave, but I hate to post the real name anywhere Google can find it.  This site is open to Wakulla Co Dive Club members ONLY.  Anyone else who dives here is trespassing and can be charged.  Please be careful when here, as site cleanups have revealed drug needles.  Broken glass is everywhere, as are beer cans and an assortment of other junk.

Airport Sink from James Garrett on Vimeo.

Scootering Devils – Mainline to the Insulation Rooms

After getting off work, Jeff Marchand and myself decided to head over to Ginnie Springs for a quick dive and some camping.  Since this was our first scooter dive with the camera, we kept it simple and went mainline to the Insulation Rooms.

Devils Ear to the Insulation Rooms from James Garrett on Vimeo.

“Trapped” in History….

“Trapped” in History….

After a long weekend of moving (I live on the 3rd floor, it wasn’t fun), it was time to goof off a bit.  North Florida is currently having some of the best conditions I’ve ever seen since I started cave diving.  Sadly these conditions are still terrible compared to the clear water I remember when I was much younger and going to these same sites to swim.  Jeff arrived at my place around 10am, so we packed up and headed to Stacey’s place to carpool over to Cave Excursions to get fills.  After that, we went to talk to the landowner, who is extremely cave diver friendly.  He said we could dive the sink, and to be careful.

After a short drive, we were on a dirt road with no signs, but did manage to quickly find the sink hole.  There were concrete steps built and the land was cleared so that you could back right up and throw your gear in the water.  No picnic tables, but who am I to complain?  You can really tell the water level is low here, below all of the steps, so site entry here is difficult at best.  After gearing up and doing a bubble check, we were ready to head off!

We had mucked up the bottom a bit while getting our fins on and floating at the surface, but the water source was nice and cool, so we followed that into the cave, finding the primary line just before the overhead.  Once in the cave we were greeted with at least 30-40′ visibility, better than most people who have been around longer than me have seen.  Once in the cave, I was a bit perplexed that the size wasn’t quite what I had expected, as someone had told me that “Leon Sinks and Peacock had sex and this is what came of it”, but after swimming a few 100ft upstream, I was greeted by gigantic rooms, where my view was limited by the visibility, at times I could only see one wall.  Because of the visibility, it’s a great cave to have a team of 3 helping light the whole place.  Jeff was leading, Stacey was next, and I was in 3rd place, so I got to enjoy the view as those two lit up the whole place for me.  Around 1000-2000ft upstream, cave life heavily picked up, something I hadn’t expected.  Blind Crayfish were everywhere, big ones too!  There were also worms in the silt, I really have no idea what those things are.

I hate to write about the man made parts of the cave, but this one is special.  The 100ft markers are written on duct tape, which was wrapped around #18 twisted/knotted line.  Some of this belonged to Sheck Exley I believe, although I’m going to have to research things a bit more and figure out where exactly the markers and line came from.

After about 35 minutes of swimming upstream, we returned and exited.  Since we were in back mount, getting out was a nightmare.  We decided to take our tanks and harness off in the water and come back for the gear after we got out of our dry suits.