After Christmas ended, we started calling around to see who would be open on New Year's day so we could get some dives in. The choice was easy since most places were closed. Lucky for us though, a place we’ve been doing to check off our list was Ginnie Springs.
Ginnie Springs is in High Springs, Florida and sits just off the Santa Fe River. There are five e different dive options. You can drift dive the Santa Fe in certain parts of the year when visibility is decent.
Then you've got the Devil Spring system which is three cave entrances. The first is Little Devil. Basically it's a four foot wide crack that drops down to 40 feet or so with an opening in the bottom. Next, there's Devil's eye and Devil's ear, which are two more cave openings. Devil's Ear is actually in the Santa Fe and the clear water flowing out mixes with the muddier river water, creating some really cool visual effects.
For the first dive of the day, we picked Ginnie Ballroom. It’s a cavern dive deemed safe enough for open water divers to explore. Up to that point, we had never been in a cavern. Well, if you don't count the cave mouth at Vortex Spring anyway. The site itself isn't very big but we were the only divers there and it was nice having the place to ourselves!
The water was 72F but the air was cold at 40 degrees. Thankfully, we had the foresight to bring the drysuits! We dropped in and headed into the cavern. They’ve set up a nice guideline leading inside. Toward the back is a grate where fresh spring water flows out so the current inside the cavern was pretty strong. I kicked against it for awhile and realized I wasn't going anywhere, so I just relaxed and let it push me back up and out towards daylight. Well, mostly. Actually, I ended up drifting towards Ben and grabbing the guideline with my glove. As I gently swung around, I blinded myself in the camera lights. Facepalm.
We made our way back to the spring pool and ran into two divers on their way in, as well as a group of guys swimming and blowing bubbles rings which we will share coming up. The dive was a blast and we finished by shooting some video in the shallows. Have a look!