Waaaaay back in January, we packed up and drove down to Vortex Spring near Ponce De Leon, FL. We had been told by our good friend Randy Smith that nearby was a great little spot called Morrison. The story went on to say there was a nice current coming out of the cave entrance here caused by the outflow of 48 to 70 million gallons of freshwater per day.
We didn't get to dive Morrison that weekend. It's prone to seasonal flooding and when it's overrun with water from the nearby Choctawhatchee River, the viz drops to a few feet and the water becomes polluted with unhealthy bacteria that isn't safe for divers. This is exactly what happened and the dive was out of the question.
Last week, we made the drive to Vortex to test out some gear that had been recently serviced. We got a solid dive in there, then decided we'd stop by Morrison just to see where it was so we could dive it later.
The spring is only a few miles from Vortex. There's a couple small back roads that lead you into a small park. When we pulled in, we had the place to ourselves, save for a dog walker.
We got out and made for the beach area. It was low and Sandy from all the ebbs and flows from rising and receding water levels. We crossed the beach and hopped on the wooden bridge which led out to the floating dock for divers.
I can't describe how beautiful this spot is, so here’s a couple photos:
We were absolutely struck by the clarity of the water. It was more clear than the ocean in Nassau. With the spring pumping out cool, clear cave water at such a high rate, we probably shouldn't have been surprised but wow!
The trees growing in and around the water display their adaptations and scars from the in and out flow of water. We could tell the water was much lower than usual and we guessed that conditions would likely never be better than this. I found the county's number and asked if it was safe to dive. They assured us the bacteria levels were low and we would be good to go.
We hustled over to the truck and started unloading our gear. We were diving dry on this one because our earlier dive at Vortex had chilled us to the bone. By the time we got organized and suited up, we were sweating heavily into our masks and couldn't wait to jump in. When we finally splashed, Morrison took our breath away!
By the way, this dive is free. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better….
Enjoy the video guys and as always:
Be excellent to each other!