Naturally enough, you can also dive in Florida:
We have put together a few tips on this page.
But you will surely find a lot more on the internet.
Cape Coral itself is not really interesting for divers, although there are a few wrecks there.
Within a 3 hour drive you are at the Crystal River and its tributaries.
Crystal River is located 90 miles northeast of Orlando and is the only place in the United States where you can officially dive and snorkel with wild manatees. This is certainly a very special kind of experience.
You shouldn’t miss it!
Cave diving for non-experts:
Also in the area there are great caves with crystal clear spring water, which are also worth a visit.
What sounds like a paradox at first sight is in reality an exciting and profound adventure. The Sunshine State is even considered the American cradle of this discipline.
Florida’s scenery is beautiful in a rather unspectacular way: forests, meadows and fields alternate on a seemingly endless plain.
But cave diving? Where do you get that without mountains? But in fact, thanks to its many diveable springs, northern Florida is considered the birthplace of American cave diving. The areas around Tallahassee, Live Oak, Branford or High Springs have a high density of deep well wells. And new systems are still being explored and developed.
For divers, Ginnie Springs is the best “entry” in the truest sense of the word. The resort of the same name is a spacious complex with diving centre, dive shop, camping ground and parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the respective entrances to the foothills of the Santa Fee River. The actual cave entrances have the promising names “Devil’s Eye”,”Devil’s Ear” and “Little Devil”. These three are only a few metres apart and lead into a vast, impressive cave system.
A dive here gives you the feeling of floating in a huge bottle of crystal clear spring water. All in all, Ginnie Springs offers a variety of possibilities to explore the cave sections – as long as you have a sufficient number of jump reels and directional arrows with you as a diver.
Located near the small town of Williston, the funnel-shaped limestone depression “Devil’s Den”, which is covered by ferns, is worth seeing and diving. In fact, this place was feared by the first settlers as a “cave of hell” because they assumed that the steam rising in winter came directly from Hades. Divers enter the open stairs from the entrance above ground to explore the underground pool, which is more than 18 metres deep. Just a stone’s throw from Devil’s Den lies the “Blue Grotto”, Florida’s largest freshwater grotto with crystal-clear water. It can be explored by divers of all levels, the maximum possible depth is 30 meters. The special feature of Blue Grotto is an air bell at a depth of nine metres. Here divers can take the regulator out of their mouth and talk to their buddy.
The Peacock Springs State Park consists of a number of spring pots whose water flows into the Suwannee-River – an interesting and versatile cave system, which is also one of the few in Florida where there is hardly any current and which still offers excellent visibility of over 50 meters.
Isabella Spring is a small, crystal-clear spring pot, hidden in the forest two kilometres south of Aripeka, which is usually much less frequented than the larger systems.
Telford Springs, on the other hand, originates directly below a natural underwater arch which can be clearly seen from the surface. Divers can reach the beginning of the “Main Line” by diving straight ahead into the cave’s entrance, which is completely covered with fine, dark sediment. The diffuse, greenish light lends this source system its very own charm.
All in all, Florida’s caves are very versatile, well developed, usually have excellent visibility and are pleasantly tempered at 21°C throughout. A medium wetsuit with a hood is sufficient to keep you warm even during longer dives. Around the springs there are a variety of dive centres, which are adapted to the needs of cave divers.
Kurt Huber, the owner of DiveBlueGrotto gives Werner-Lau regulars a 10% discount. He can also give you the best tips on how to dive with the Manatees.
For more information, visit www.floridacaves.com and www.cavediveflorida.com.
Key West has 3 of the wrecks of the Florida Keys Wreck Treks, the Vandenberg, the Cayman Salvager and Joe’s Tug. They all lie in deeper water (25-40m) and are great dive sites because they have been specially prepared and secured for diving.
My tip for a dive centre:
This dive centre also gives Werner-Lau guests 10 % discount.
On their website there are many useful tips about diving in Florida.