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florida free divers

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
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scott

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Freediverdude,

Warm Mineral Springs is 87 degees year-round. No wetsuit needed! Not the prettiest spring but 240' deep so a good place to challenge your depths.

I freedive all the time in the winter. I'll be doing the springs in the panhandle later this week (forecast low of in the 20's). I only wear a shorty wetsuit although the panhandle springs are a little colder than most (68 degrees instead of the usual 72). My holiday eating is adding some extra protection against the cold. I tell my family that I am in training as I help myself to seconds.

CJBorgert, you're welcome to join us - we'll be camping at Marianna Caverns Thursday through Sunday.

Happy Holidays,

Scott
 
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freediverdude

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2001
62
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Scott,
Yes that warm mineral springs sounds like just the ticket for this winter. Whereabouts is it? Do you go there much? That panhandle thing sounds too cold right now LOL.
Nick
 
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scott

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2001
259
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Warm Mineral Springs

Freediverdude,

Warm Mineral Springs is south of Venice off of U.S. 41 (see their webite - www.warmmineralsprings.com).

I have been there 3 times - not sure when I'll be going back again (I'll let you know when I do).

Scott
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
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I've been offline for a few days, so am just now responding. Sorry I missed you at Marianna Scott - I'm swamped with work and can only get away for brief periods right now.

Nick, I try to dive once a week (more if I can, but that's unusual). Ichetucknee Blue Hole (45 minutes) and Ginnie Springs (25 minutes) are both closeby, so I can slip up there for a few hours of diving on an afternoon or morning without killing the whole day.

I'd be up for trying warm mineral springs soon, however. I've never been there, but would like to try a deeper spring than we have around here.
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
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Re: Warm Mineral Springs

___________________
Warm Mineral Springs is south of Venice off of U.S. 41 (see their webite - www.warmmineralsprings.com).

Scott
___________________

Scott,
I know you've told me before, but my memory is bad and I can't find Warm Mineral Springs in Deloach's book. Is the water fairly clear? How deep does sunlight penetrate there? Is there anything to see in the springs?
 
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scott

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2001
259
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CJB,

Warm Mineral Springs is not listed in DeLoach's book. The visibility is only about 25' first thing in the A.M. and then decreasing throughout the day (at least on the days that I have been there). The water is very high in mineral content and there is very little life that can survive (i.e., nothing to see). For a freediver, it offers only warm water and great depths.

The average age of the visitor is 65+ as the Springs caters to seniors who find therapuetic value in the warm mineral-filled water (a fountain of youth, or so they say).

Worth a vist at least once.

Scott

P.S. My son and my dad were not feeling 100% this past weekend so we decided not to tent camp in 20 degree weather. Instead, we made a day trip to Crystal River Springs and Hospital Hole (Weeki Wachee River). Glad we did - there were dozens of Manatees and they were very friendly and playful, coming right up to you and letting you scratch their bellies.
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
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Scott,
Thanks for the info on warm mineral springs. We'll keep it in mind for a winter trip.

Glad you had a good time at Crystal River, and I hope your dad and son recover quickly. Was the water clear at Crystal River? My neighbor tells me that the water clears up after the first cold snap, but she didn't say why and I don't know why that would make a difference.

At any rate, we may try to squeeze in a trip to Crystal before the kids go back to school. Sounds like a great time.

Scott, will a canoe suffice to get around to the various springs at Crystal River, or is it best to have a motorized craft?

Nick, Crystal River is one of those 'must do' sites in Florida, so you might want to join us. You need a boat though, as my canoe will not hold many with gear. I've heard that small john-boats can be rented near the river.

I'll let ya'll know if we go.
 
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scott

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2001
259
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CJB,

Visibility was not very good (5-10') until you get near the spring vent at about 20'. Once there, crystal clear water although not much light (very little natural light in the cavern).

I have canoed to all the various springs on "Kings Bay" and it was a workout - therefore a motorized boat is preferred. However, the main spring is the only one I ever do anymore and it is close to the marina, so a canoe is not a problem.

Let me know when you go and maybe we can join you (and have room for Nick too if you bring your canoe).

Take Care,

Scott
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
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We are thinking of Saturday, Jan 5. Yes, we would bring our canoe, and I believe we've decided there will only be three of us (two adults, one 8-yr. old), so we would also have room for Nick or another diver.

Actually, I think we should attempt to round up all the Florida Free divers for the first annual Florida FreeDivers rally on Saturday at King's Bay.

Short notice, but I've decided that I'm really not disorganized, just more spontaneous than most.
 
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freediverdude

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2001
62
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dive trip

CJB and Scott,

Sounds like you all are planning a good trip to either Crystal River or Warm Mineral Springs huh? Do you think I could join you on one of these? And where is this florida freedivers rally? If I went on one of these trips, what all would i need to bring? Thanks for including me in this thread guys!
Nick:D
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
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Well Nick, the rally is you, me, Scott if he can make it and whomever else we can round up between now and Saturday to meet at Crystal River. [I should caution that I won't know for sure until Wednesday that I can make it, but it looks promising - i.e., my wife is on board with it.]

Bring your mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit, weights and weightbelt, and whatever you want to munch on or drink (non-alcoholic until we are out of the water!). I doubt we will be out long enough to really require food though. You should also bring a wind jacket or rain coat if it is cold - nothing like getting out of the water into a cold wind - a wet wetsuit actually cools you in such conditions.

You might want to bring a dive light also - Scott says the light level is low in the cavern. You don't have to have the big cave diver version - one that runs on 4 C batteries is sufficient.
 
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freediverdude

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2001
62
6
98
dive trip

CBJ-
I tried to use that instant message thing and message you as you posted that last one, but I guess it didn't work or something, it showed you as online. Anyway, I'm not sure if I have the right kind of light for that - i have a flashlight that's supposed to be a floating one, but don't know if that's good enough. Also my wetsuit is a 3 mm, don't know if that would be good enough either LOL, especially with no hood. Let me know if it pans out and if you guys are really going, and I'll get directions and stuff.
Nick
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
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Nick,

A 3 mm suit is fine. You might not be comfortable diving for 6 hours in it, but you'll be fine for an hour or two. A hooded vest would make your 3 mm suit very warm and your temperature control gear very versatile, but you can get by without it for short dives. You could probably also rent a hood for $3-$5 from most dive shops.

You will have a great time with or without a light. Don't worry about it. You can use mine and see if you even want one. If you do buy one, get an underwater dive light, available at dive shops. Don't spend more than $30-$35, and you can do just fine for about $15 -$20. Remember, you don't need to illuminate your way out of a cave; just use it to see the walls of caverns and the interesting features of the rocks and and fish and eels. There are safety advantages to NOT carrying a light - you won't inadvertently go beyond the light zone (i.e., the transition from cavern to cave).

If I were you and were thinking of buying a piece of gear, it would be the hooded vest, not the light.

I think we are going, but will let you know for sure by Wednesday.
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
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Plans firm, but changing

OK, I am definitely going to Crystal River to snorkel and freedive the main spring on Saturday, Jan. 5.

BUT, the number in my party, how many boats and what type of boats we are bringing, what time we'll arrive, etc., is not yet clear.

For those interested in joining us, let's communicate off the forum to spare others the clutter of our planning.
 
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freediverdude

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2001
62
6
98
CJB,
I also realized that I don't have any booties for my fins either, because i've always been in the water in warm weather LOL. Would I need those too? So how do we reach you? My email is [email protected]
Nick
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
Contacting others

Nick,

I sent an email to you, but for anyone else who is interested, the way to contact me or any other Deeper Blue member is to;

1) elect "Profile" from the the row of buttons at the bottom of a member's post;
2) choose either:
a) to send either a private message, which WILL NOT reveal your email address to the other member, or
b) to send a regular email, which WILL reveal your email address to the other member.
 
C

cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
Crystal River Saturday, Jan 5

Nick,

I have not received a reply from you on either of emails, so am getting worried that you may not be receiving them. So, I am trying this route. We are meeting tomorrow (Sat. Jan 5) at Bird's Underwater Center in Crystal River at 11:30 AM. It is in the downtown area, right off US19. The boat ramp is right there as well.

See you there, I hope. This cold snap should prompt the manatees to concentrate around the springs, so it should be a great day for seeing wildlife, albeit, a cool one. The ice on my car tonight tells me it won't be fun changing into my wetsuit in the canoe tomorrow.
 
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mrmr

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2001
9
0
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Crystal River on January 26-27

Back in November 2001 I asked on this forum about freediving around Orlando, and got several suggestions, thanks. My plans have now firmed up, and I decided to dive at Crystal River, hoping to see and photograph manatees. I am planning to arrive Friday 1/25 afternoon and stay in some local hotel/motel. Would like to dive Sat and perhaps Sun morning, and head back to Orlando in the afternoon to catch a flight. I am bringing just fins, mask, snorkel and UW digital camera; would like to rent the complete wetsuit and weight belt. I don't have a buddy with me. Thus my questions:

1. Is anyone local going to be there to buddy up or perhaps even share boat rental?
2. Any recommendations for a local reputable dive shop where I can rent the stuff, and, optionally join a charter/trip? Same for boat rental.
3. Any recommendations for a nice, yet not very pricey local accommodation (2 nights) and restaurants?

Thanks very much for help!

If you'd like to contact me directly, mail me at [email protected]

-- MR
 
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scott

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2001
259
9
123
MR,

Since I missed out on CJB's Crystal River trip, I may be game the weekend you are in town. I am assuming you are flying into Orlando. If so, we could leave Saturday early and have plenty of time to hit the entire area (Crystal River and Weeki Wachee). You could even do Blue Springs in Orlando on Sunday before you leave.

Expedia.com is a good place to find hotels/motels for a good price. Orlando has ample choices. There are also restaurants everywhere.

If I am able to go, no need to rent a boat/get with a tour operator but I am sure you can find several operations with a search engine on the web (i.e., "dive crystal river" - my first hit was: http://www.crystalriverdivers.com/). I do not know of any specific dive shops that rent suits, but I'm sure a search will find plenty. I only use a shorty and you can buy them in Orlando for $50 so that may be an option.

I'll check with my family and let you know if I can make it.

Scott

P.S. My direct e-mail is [email protected]
 
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cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
Me too, maybe

We had a great time !!! at Crystal River last weekend. We saw perhaps 20 - 30 manatee, and several even approached us and rolled over to have their bellies rubbed!

Bird's Underwater in Crystal River <http://www.birdsunderwater.com/> has a full compliment of rental gear and seemed to be a decent shop (the only one I've been to in Crystal River), but as Scott said, there are many. The Port Hotel and Marina <http://www.porthotelandmarina.com/> is right on the main spring (King's Spring) and advertizes a full array of rental gear (including boats, kayaks, tours, etc., I believe).

I might be able to go that weekend as well. We would probably put in at the Port Hotel and Marina and canoe across (about 300 yards). A canoe or kayak would be good for seeing the area if you don't mind changing in and out of a wetsuit in order to do the required paddling from place to place. The nice thing about paddling is that you see a lot in the water and do not have to be as concerned about hitting the manatee.
 
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