Here at DRIS we are all active divers who love nothing more than enjoying a day off from work blowing a few bubbles underwater. Whether in a local quarry, the wrecks of Lake Michigan, or somewhere out of town we all simply love diving. With that in mind it is easy to understand the heated debates we get into around the shop about what is the best dive destination and where the next shop trip should take us and our customers. Given that I’m the one that writes these articles, I’m going to take the microphone and tell you about one of my favorite places to head to for an amazing dive experience whenever the boss allows me a few days off. Ladies and Gents, let us take a quick tour of The Florida Springs!
What Are The Florida Springs?
The Florida Springs is in an area in Northern Florida that actually spans a rather large area between Jacksonville to the East, Pensacola to the West, and Orlando to the South. My personal favorite locale of The Florida Springs resides around the quaint little town of High Springs, Florida. While the name may conjure images of only the hardcore of the hardcore cave divers splashing into the gin clear 72 degree water, there are actually just as many places for the recreational diver to enjoy!
Where Can I Dive Recreationally In The Florida Springs?
Even with our small focus on the High Springs area, there are enough dive sites for the recreational diver to experience. You could do an extended multi week trip to the area and never have to dive the same site twice! One can spend a day at Ginnie Springs and dive the ballroom, hover over Devil’s Eye and Ear, or take a drift dive down the river. The next day you can pay a visit to Manatee Springs and embrace the beauty of Catfish Hotel. A large spring head with depths reaching 75 feet and covered in duckweed most of the time a recreational diver only need to hover and take in the eerie beauty of this gem. Round out your long weekend in the Florida Springs with a trip to Devil’s Den and embrace the prehistoric beauty of this amazing site! You can take your trip even further by exploring sites like Orange Grove Sink in the Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, or the Blue Springs of Gilchrist County-just up the road from Ginnie Springs!
What About Cavern and Cave Diving?
Feel like exploring out of open water and into the overhead world of The Florida Springs? Well, the team of instructors at DRIS have got you covered with the advanced training needed to safely explore these beautiful areas in the Florida Springs! Start off with a Cavern Diver Course and gain some experience exploring the overhead environment provided you can still see natural light. Experienced and ready to explore where dive lights are your only source of illumination? Then check out our line up of progressive cave diving courses!
While I know that some of my colleagues around the shop will grin at my writing about the Florida Springs, it is a place that I love to travel to and dive. Where else can you experience amazing diving year round, southern hospitality and charm for the cost equivalent to a car payment for a long weekend? Oh yeah, it’s inexpensive too! So, next time the snow is piling up at your door point the car(or plane) south and take a long weekend trip to the Florida Springs!