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florida freedivers

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Crystal River is a great place to spend a day or couple of days..

Silver Glen Springs is nice with a lot of life. It is only a 15minute or so drive to Alexander Springs as well. Silver Glen Springs does NOT allow diving though - only snorkeling.
I think Weeki Wachi is very nice aswell. I think i might do there or Silver. So many springs, so little vacation time haha...
Weeki Wachi is now owned by the state. Is it now also open to freedivers? Anybody been there since the state took over?

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If you call'em, say you are snorkeling and not tank diving. They will understand that.

WW used to be open to freedivers, after paying $20 admission plus $20 extra to have a life guard watch you. All for something like 45 minutes max. Needless to say, they had few takers.

I sure hope its different now, that is one beautiful place. It has a run attached, is super clear, and you can get something like 70 ft out of it.

Sota Diver,

Weeki Wachee is now a state park, but the only change is that there is a single admission to the "attraction" and the "water park" (I believe $29 - it used to be two separate parks). Once you are in (for the fee) you still have to pay for a lifeguard to supervise you (the lady at the front did not know the exact fee, but I assume it would be around the $20 that is has been for the past few years). It's nice, but perhaps not that nice...

There are so many springs in the Ginnie area that it is hard to beat. For camping, I like Blue Spings (Gilchrist), which is right next to the Ginnie property (and the spring is beautiful - not much depth (20'-25') but nice swim-thru's and a fun jumping platform). Huge camping area, never crowded and quiet at night (unlike Ginnie). There is also a state campground down the road (Blue Springs - Lafayette Co.) that is less expensive, but not as nice and you have to carry your gear a short distance from the parking area. There is also The Rendezvous at Convict Spring (fka Jim Hollis) on the Suwannee River. It is inexpensive and they have a half dozen or so sites that sit on a high bank directly over the river. Very scenic.

If the Suwannee River springs (and there are many) are closed/not diveable due to the flooding, there are the Sante Fe springs (Blue, Ginnie group, others) and Itchetucknee Springs, which should not be effected. The Itchetucknee River will give you a good river tube-float and Blue Hole springs there is one of my favorites. All of these are within 30-45 minutes of the campsites mentioned above.

Let me know what area you ultimately decide, and I can describe some of the springs so that you can figure out what works best for you.



p.s. Devil's Den allows solo "snorkelers" but don't advertise that you are freediving. Must be scuba for Blue Grotto.
It looks like we are going to Weeki Wachee, It's closest aswell. It looks like fun and looks deep enough to get some good freedives in. Although Silver still seems enticing, we might go earlier and just hit up Silver aslwell for a day. Their site doesnt say anything about camping though.
According to the web site they still have a "FREE DIVER" program for $45+tax - but it looks like the in water time is minimal
Dive Programs

I would much rather rent a canoe for the same price or less for an entire day and spend it exploring Crystal River and it's springs!
The "Dive Program" at Weeki Wachee is privately run and was in operation before it became a state park - I wonder if they still do the dive trips (worth asking, as the $45 is cheaper than the $29 plus $20 and freedivers are less likely to get hassled by a lifeguard). Regardless, it is always a limited time dive, but worth doing at least once. It bottoms out about 45', but then you can pull yourself down into the "shaft" (fighting the current) for at least another 35' (perhaps more - if you are really good). Sometimes the mermaids are practicing and you can "swim with the mermaids".

Silver Springs is not open to swimmers (beyond just a certain non-spring area and is a good distance from WW). You can rent a boat and do the 6 mile Silver River - which is quite beautiful, but lots of snakes and gators (and monkeys from the old Tarzan movies), so casual snorkeling/drifting down the river is not recommended (especially in May).

If you do end up renting a canoe/kayak, make sure you do Hospital Hole on the Weeki Wachee River (a very short distance from the launch). Rainbow River and Crystal River are also good places to canoe/kayak/swim (although Crystal (Kings Bay) is much larger and you will need to know where you are going to find the springs). Viz is often a problem at Crystal River.

There are some other springs in the Weeki Wachee area, but they are dificult to find. PM me if you are interested.


p.s. I was just reading more about the "Dive Program" at Weeki Wachee (and it is still offered), but the rules look quite stringent:

"I will not go into the tunnel, air locks, under stage, deep hole or any overhead environment"


"I will not dive deeper than a maximum depth of 30 feet".

I think I would take my chances with a lifeguard (most of the time, a 16 y/o kid who doesn't care what you do).
I'm an full-time ocean lifeguard/EMT out of Manatee County... need a lifeguard? Forget $20, I'll do it for some beers after the dive.

Disregarding the fact that this is a freediving thread:
I'm going diving (scuba- advanced cert) at Blue Grotto this Friday. Anybody know anything about it? It will be my first scuba trip to a freshwater spring. I prefer free-diving, but I have to work my way up to rescue-diver for my job. Any oppurtunity for free-diving there or in the immediate area?

-Mike D

You have Devil's Den just down the road. Go in and pay first (you are just snorkeling) and then carry your long fins and light (if applicable) around the back entrance (instead of through the office). I have been at least ten times and only hassled once.



p.s. I have never been to Blue Grotto, as it is for scuba only.
Ft.Pierce anyone I'm moving to ft.pierce and I would like to know what's going own there underwater?!?!?!?freedive,scuba what water temp and visibility?!?!?!?!?!
I'm used to 6m visibility 3m waves, rain most part of the year, overfished sea and 13 ºC water so plz be nice :D
Well, we can do a bit better than that. I wouldn't mind trading you for some waves, 3 m is pretty rare in Florida.

What kind of diving do you like, spearo, line diving, caves, what?

everykind but open ocean is what I like most dive off the coast every time I can I live near Spain (Atlantic cost) and I do 2 hours of car travel almost just to freedive after classes, I don't like tv or coffe shops they are just too trivial to boring :mad:

U would be surprise how with such bad conditionsand with soo litle fish and so many ecolgical disaters yes we have too oil spills to massive fishing by ilegal nets that surprasses anything that I saw on tv, but although all this there still some spearos and scubas few but fanatical:t we just have to kill the adition

I will move to ft.pierce for seven months I don't see any real marine life in ages, exept for plastic bags and tiny tiny sea life good for macro photos though,...but today I saw the MOST PLEASANT FISH OF ALL TIME a girl just entered in the water with a snorkling suit (remenber the 13ºc water) and came up naked those dammy fishes are perverted bastards :p
Let me know when you get to Ft Pierce. Blue Springs, Deland, is not far from Ft Pierce and is a good fresh water dive, 20 m is pretty easy and you can do as much as 33m. There are quite a few other good springs not much farther away. Also, its deep water and far offshore, but there are some seriously big fish to be had off of Ft Pierce. You would need to find someone to take you out.

It will be like when I was a kid and lived in brazil dive everyday :D it was in buzios one of the best dive places in the world but than I got stuck in to Portugal :S rain and fog northern spain is not so many different but still if you know where to find in summer u can get 10 m 20 m easealy with great action dolphins,birds migration,naked women(again:t)

I will only go if that is I'm not acused of terrorirism I can't forget to shave my beard, to ft. pierce by september I will contact you if I get there, is just I see so many litle things about diving in ft.pierce that I was starting to get worried

Anyway thanks for the kind reply, the best regards ;)
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