After waking up early the morning after our 5 hour drive from Orlando, we arrived at Cave Adventurers around 8am to get tank fills. We were going to meet Matt Bull and Kevin Carlisle at Florida Caverns State Park since they only have 6 canoes, and we wanted to ensure we could get one with it being memorial day weekend. We arrived at the park, where it’s $5 per vehicle to enter, and $15 for 1/2 day canoe rental. The spring is located on your left after a little over 1 mile of upriver paddling, which was a semi difficult canoe trip compared to what I’ve experienced on the Wekiva and Ichetucknee Rivers.
Upon arriving at the spring, Matt showed us that we can enter at the main spring, swim to a karst window, surface in a pool, and then swim over about 50ft to an easy back mount entry to avoid beating the crap out of the cave and trespassing. Tips like this are why it’s always a good idea to go with someone local if you can manage it. We swam to just about the second T before turning the dive to avoid having much deco since we were on back gas (limited space in the canoe). I’ve attached the dive profile to the gallery just for reference. This dive is best done with 21/35 or 25/25 to limit o2 exposure and narcosis, as it reaches depths of 120ft quickly. The cave has incredible white walls which have been preserved by the long canoe trip that it takes to access the cave and relatively few divers who come there. I was told that the white walls are due to the fact that this spring almost never floods, which was good to know for when everything else is flooded. Another nice feature of this cave is it’s large size. After a restricted entry way, the cave seems to open up, and stay big enough for an easy back mount trip (larger than most of Peacock) at least until the second T, and I hear it keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Photos courtesy of Matt Bull.