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Cavern Diving Class & Adventure

Classroom Feb 24th - Pool March 6th - Caverns March 12, 13, 14, 15

A drive-to dive trip, inexpensive hotels & food, learning to be safe and enjoying a selection of Florida caverns.
No airline rules, no baggage limits, no huge costs for families.

Open water divers are welcome to come along but only students and certified cavern divers may enter overhead environments.


Caverns are fascinating to dive. Light streaming in from the entrance and filtering through the water. Often you see fossils and other artifacts and well as the interesting geology that formed the cave.

Cavern diving is not dark and creepy - it's not going miles underground. By definition cavern diving is within the light zone, within direct sight of the entrance, and within 130 total distance (combining depth and linear distance) of surface.

Still cavern diving must be respected as should any environment that sometimes has objects between you and the surface.

This trip is designed to provide the training to dive caverns safely and also to provide several cavern to dive and enjoy. Cavern training focusses on understanding caverns, buoyancy, navigation, guidelines, gear streamlining and procedures that allow you to handle unexpected problems.


The travel plan:

Individuals or groups drive to northern Florida to our first destination - Vortex Spring near Ponce de Leon.This is about 12-13 hours of driving. Create your own driving plan to arrive in time for class on March 12th about 11am. All addresses will be provided to facillitate navigation.


Vortex Springs & Morrison Spring

March 12 & 13 - Vortex Spring and Morrison Spring

Vortex Spring is a large pond with a cavern and cave leading from one side of the bottom of the pond. The pond has been prepared for dive training with gravel, things to play with and three large simulated caverns. It is a good place to learn cavern diving techniques in an open environment and clear water.

The pond has many fish and plenty of room for non-cavern divers to enjoy themselves.

There is a substantial dive shop on the grounds, showers, changing areas, picnic tables, air fills. There is a swimming area.

While at Vortex we plan to stay at an inexpensive motel in the area. Details to be provided on the motel, each person or group makes their own reservations. If you prefer camping and lodges are availabe right at Vortex.

Vortex charges divers $19.00 per day to dive and $8 for non divers.


High Springs

March 13th afternoon - after 1-2 days of diving at Vortex the group moves 3 hours south to High Springs, Florida. This is central to cave country. This will be our home base for the next two cavern locations.

High Springs is a very small town with some shops and restaurants. It is the home of cave diving in Florida and within an hour or two are hundreds of caverns and caves.

In High Springs we stay at a hotel that is a lot like staying at Beaver Lake, that means old motels but in High Springs lodging is pretty cheap. The motel we stay at has large refrigerators and microwaves in each room and many places to hang wetsuits. It's old, some peeling paint but comfortable and diver friendly. Details to be provided on the motel, each makes their own reservations. If you prefer more modern hotels are about ten miles away but we like to be in High Springs.

There are also good places to eat that are also cheap. In fact 3 minutes walking from the motel is a large diner with great food and a 10% discount if you show your c-card. If you can eat $10 there you're eating a ton.

One night it would be nice to dine as a group in a nice restaurant called The Great Outdoors, which actually has a diving theme. That's the neat thing about High Springs, diving is a visible part of the culture.

A couple of manufacturers of dive gear are located near High Springs, Halcyon, Dive Rite and Light Monkey (used to be Salvo).

High Springs is also home to a small cave diving museum that is interesting and several dive shops are in the area. We'll get air fills at one shop there that is among the most sophisticated shops around. The home of Global Underwater Explorers group is also in High Springs. These are the folks doing incredible cave penetrations lasting over 24 hours.




Paradise Spring

March 14th - diving at Paradise Spring

Paradise Spring is near Ocala.
This is just over an hour drive from High Springs.

Paradise Spring is really just a spring that is in the middle of nowhere, on the land of an individual. He charges divers to dive it and has provided pretty nice facilities including picnic tables, a covered area, changing area and a nice boardwalk near the water.

In the cavern are fossils of whale bones and large sand dollars, interesting geology and a number of areas to look back and see the light entering the water, There are two main large areas of cavern. The larger of the two is about 100 feet high.

It's a relaxed atmosphere where we can picnic and dive at our leisure. We'll bring lunch and picnic at the cavern.

The owner charges $30 per person to dive the spring. This is paid when you enter the area, literally at the man's garage.

Ginnie Springs

March 15th - diving at Ginnie Springs.

Ginnie is 10 minutes from High Springs. Crystal clear water (Gin clear - hence the name)

Ginnie Springs is right on the SantaFe River.

At Ginnie our primary dive will be a great cavern called The Ballroom. It is located in a crystal clear pond pictured on the right. From the cavern there is a wonderful view back out through the entrance. You'll also get to experience some outward water flow.

After the ballroom we'll dive an offshoot of the river where the entrances to two caves are, we'll just be in the cavern areas. The Devil's Eye and Devil's Ear are two of the most famous dive sites in Florida and in cave diving history. As cavern divers we can take a look at the entrances and feel the amazing flow of water coming out of the caves.

Ginnie Springs has been around for a long time and well developed. There is a park entry fee: $30 per day for divers, $12 day for non divers. This is paid when you enter the park.

There is a large dive shop, sandwich shop and air fills on premises. They also have picnic tables, showers, rest rooms, canoes to rent, rafting, swimming, volleyball etc etc etc.





The cavern class details:

Classroom session (Tulsa)- Feb 24th, 6pm (Thurs evening)
Pool session (Tulsa) - March 6th - 3pm (Sunday afternoon)
4 Class Cavern dives (Florida) - March 12th & 13th (Sat & Sun)
Additional Cavern dives (Florida) - March 14th & 15th (Mon & Tues)

Prerequisites for this class:
Advanced open water

Provided for the class:
Cavern diving fundamental book
Use of line reels as needed for class
Certification card

Required equipment:
All normal open water gear.
Good if you have a light and backup.

Dive conditions:
All the springs will be 70-72 degrees and HUGE visibility.

Class cost is $250 per person
Travel, food, park entry fees, hotels separate


For more information and to sign up:

Contact Chad Engler


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