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Orlando area springs...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
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58
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Hi all,
I'm planning on diving one of the Orlando area springs next Sunday March the 14th. I'm thinking about Blue Spring, or Alexander Springs. I'll only likely be able to spend the one day (I'm down for work...) starting around noon.

What I'm looking for is suggestions, (maybe there's a better place to dive) and if someone's available, a buddy as well!

It's pretty cold here in Toronto these days, and the prospect of even one nice dive is enticing.... :cool:

Aaron
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Hi Aaron

If you are looking for depth, Blue Springs is the call. It goes down over 100 ft. but it is tight and a little spooky, also dangerous if you are not familiar with it. Be Careful! I haven't dove Alexander. jeff.richardson is the expert on Fla Springs, try him on email if he doesn't chime in pretty soon. Wish I could join you.

Connor
 

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
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Connor,
Thanks! Maybe I'll settle on Blue Springs then! Sounds like fun. I sent a PM to Jeff already and a couple others from the area. Is that 100+ feet freedivable? or is that a cave?

Aaron
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Aaron,

It is a cave, skinny in places, 50 ft in a straight down hole and the rest in a narrow room going down at 45 degrees. I freedive it, but cautiously. Very beautiful under the right circumstances, manatees too. For those with cojones larger than their brains, there is supposed to be a big room beyond 110 ft.
If you want to try Blue and can't raise Jeff, pm me and I will give you as much info as I can. There are a lot of details which make for a much better dive. Also, Jeffs www site has a lot of info on all sorts of springs.


Connor
 

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
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Connor,
Fantastic! Thanks! I'll be careful to be sure. Still hoping to line up someone for a buddy, but we'll see. I might be there again on Wednesday for a large portion of the day as well. I'll have to see how my course goes!

I think I'll leave the "room" at 110' alone though... ;)

Jeff,
Yes I took a good look at your site, it's great! I didn't know there were so many Blue Spring(s) in FL though!

Sounds like a great time in Coz, bring back a story or two and maybe some pics for us!

My little guy (4 yrs old) is snorkeling around the pool at this point, I'd like to be able to take him along on some of these trips as he gets older. I'm sure your daughter will love the trip! So what if you spoil her a bit??

All the best,
Aaron
 

SThompson

Nekton Pelagic
Apr 15, 2002
68
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Aaron -

Blue spring is a fantastic spot for a little freediving in Orlando. I go there fairly often as it's open year round at a constant 72 degrees. It's normally a little cooler at the bottom, no colder than 68 though. Sometimes there are manatees there, but the weather here in the sunshine state has been too warm recently for it being very likely for them to be around.

The spring is pretty shallow on the surface with a large hole in the center like a diagonal split where it drops down. There is a pretty kicking current boiling out of the hole so it's a little different from most constant wieght diving. You are actually swimming (or pulling, which is easier) against the current down and then swimming with the current back up. It drops pretty much straight down to about 70 feet or so before angling back and down (overhead environment) to the opening at the bottom. Once you reach the "floor" at 70 to 75 feet you will need a light to go further because it gets dark, fast. I haven't penetrated all the way down to the cave yet but I can tell you it's a loooooong swim against the current once you pass 80 feet. The spring normally has GREAT visibility due to the water flow. As you are normally sharing the spring with teenage swimmers and perhaps a few scuba divers this is nice because even when they kick up the bottom it normally clears in a few minutes. The water is cool enough that most of the bikini/swimming trunk clad crew rarely stay long.

The spring is home to a few small bottomfeeding fish and the karst topography that formed it makes it really interesting to look at. One of my favorite things to do in this spring is to lay on one of the ledges at 50 feet or so and "watch the world float by". It can be very relaxing and fun to dive there.

Even though the spring is 72 degrees, remember that it is COLD. If you have a 3 mil apnea suit you are set, I normally go in my 5mil scuba suit and hood. A hood is required if you want any modicum of warmth. You won't need gloves. Open cell is not the best option as you normally bump the edges and sides on the way down going hand-over-hand.

This is a great spot for families too. The park has bathrooms to change in, and a small concession stand as well. There is a dedicated swimming spot too. To get to the spring head you follow a wooden path down to the water, then walk up the stream about 50 yards or so to get to the spring head. If you have little ones the walk up to the head can be very educational as there are lots of minnows and river life to be found where it is only 3 to 4 feet deep.

Here are some pics of the site, hope you enjoy em. No housing for the 5060 yet so they are all dry, but should give you an idea of what to expect. I will check my schedule and see if I can get out there this weekend, I would love to meet up with you if I get a chance. There is a good chance on any weekend day to meet other freedivers there as several people on the boards frequent that area.
 

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SThompson

Nekton Pelagic
Apr 15, 2002
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The spring itself. Feel free to pm me with any questions or if you would like some more pics. Sorry for all the seperate posts....I can't figure out how to get multiple attachments into one post.
 

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SThompson

Nekton Pelagic
Apr 15, 2002
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In the above pic you can see the opening of the spring. While there is a large log over the opening, it doesn't really obstruct coming back up. In fact, you can dive with no overhead till 75 feet or so. After that there is a roof, but it's a good 30 feet above your head when you are diving. Good safe cavern diving.

Here is the spring from another angle.
 

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flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
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Scot,
Great pics and excellent info, thanks! Hope you can make it on Sunday, that'd be alot of fun. I may be there on Wednesday for most of the day as well, but it depends on how my schedule pans out.

I'll bring along my 5/6.5 mm apnea suit. It's warm enough for water temps well below 40, but I tried it out on the reef off of Key Largo a few weeks ago (water temp 70ish) and I was fine. I don't overheat easily!

Hope you can make it!
Aaron
 

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
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Thanks Ted!

I hadn't seen that thread in spite of a few searches for Blue Springs...

Nope, haven't left yet, not till Sunday morning! Found a buddy though fortuneatly! I'll try to post a few underwater shots when I get back!

Cheers,
Aaron
 

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
118
We came, we saw, we dove....

Scot (SThompson) met me at the spring on Sunday, and although there were no manatees there, we had a great time!

Took lots of underwater pics, but although the prints turned out well, the scanner didn't do them justice.

Here's one of my favourites, Scot decending....

Aaron
 

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unirdna

tropical wuss
Sep 16, 2002
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Very nice, Aaron. I don't remember the water being that green. Maybe the spring varies by time of year, or it could just be the photo too.

Did you see my name on the 'beware' sign at @ 60 feet? :D
 

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
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Ted,
The water was very clear, but it did have a green tinge to it. Maybe it does change.

We dove to 80 feet at the deepest, and there was no sign! It's been removed or stolen apparently... I was looking for it though!

The highlight was passing the scuba divers at 40-60 feet and disappearing into the darkness below them! Scot brought lights fortunately, and we needed them below 70 feet. Although we were still directly under the vent, I don't think it would be light enough there unless the sun was directly overhead. 80 feet was the deepest we could get without getting into an overhead situation.

A very cool place to dive!!! :D

Aaron
 
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xsaul

New Member
Jan 13, 2004
136
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Hi Guys,

Water Rat here...DROOLING...slobber, slobber.... This is MY idea of HEAVEN--short of the REAL PLACE. :)
Water Rat
 

xsaul

New Member
Jan 13, 2004
136
3
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HI Guys....
Finally got Official Permission to dive--from doctor--IN THE POOL, at least--FOR NOW--till the rapid-cycling bipolar eases up. Dr. Remington doesn't want me diving IN THE OCEAN--when my judgement might be impaired. She's a GREAT doc. :)
She also ordered me to get my bloodwork done on my med levels. That's my psychiatrist's job, to set that up. He has NO problem with me FREEDIVING either...ENCOURAGES it, in fact.
Water Rat--at 2:03--static--WET... . :) <wink> 75 Feet--dynamic...I'm an AMERICAN--no metric system here....
 

unirdna

tropical wuss
Sep 16, 2002
1,016
220
153
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The site has come a long way, Jeff. You've really become the one-stop-shop of Fla spring diving. I'll definitely make use of this next time I fly down to see my buddy in Orlando. Great stuff, thanks.

Ted
 

xsaul

New Member
Jan 13, 2004
136
3
0
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JEFF, DON'T TORTURE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
I gotta STAY in the POOL---Sob, sob, gurgle, gurgle, drooooool....
Still, I found I don't seem to do Depth well AT ALL--Guess my ears and sinuses are too screwed up--Darlene and Israel tried to teach me equalizing techniques....
Either I'm not doin' 'em right--and I practiced over and over, with Darlene, a SCUBA person, coaching me....or I need to stick with Statics and Dynamics. I went to bed at night in pain.
BUT--I'm at 3:35 Static--still at 75 feet, Dynamic. AND LOVIN' IT :) NO PAIN--with THESE....
Water Rat
 
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