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Diving springs from the Clearwater Beach area.

Discussion in 'Florida' started by dwellerbottom, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. dwellerbottom

    dwellerbottom Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL
    161
    58
    28
    My wife & I are going to the Clearwater Beach area March 20th for 8 days and want to dive 2 or 3 springs as we have never dived any springs in Florida. I was hoping I could get some information as to which springs would be best for us to make a day trip to dive? Any info on drive time and or which springs you would recommend we should take the time to dive?
    We are both rescue divers with over 200 dives under our belt, mostly lake, quarry, and some springs in Missouri although we travel a couple of times a year for blue water diving.
    Thanks in advance for any helpful information.
     
  2. Avonthediver

    Avonthediver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ocala, Florida
    811
    133
    43
    Dweller give give me a yell I'll give you your hook up
     
    dwellerbottom likes this.
  3. SNS-Mike

    SNS-Mike Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: N/A
    33
    20
    8
  4. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    6,683
    3,806
    113
    You're in my neck of the woods. For OW divers, it's mostly the two that SNS-Mike mentioned plus Ginnie Springs

    It's a couple hours of driving to any of these springs. The only one that REALLY matters for is Blue Grotto. That site has no water flow, so if you're not one of the first people in, the vis will be ruined by all the training dives that occur there. It's a great site, but it's critical that you're there right when they open and get in the water before the classes do.

    My favorite of the three is Ginnie. Devil's den is interesting but it's also very small. You can explore pretty much all of it in 30-45 minutes. I'm not sure there is a lot of flow, but it's a rocky bottom so the sediment doesn't get stirred up like it does at Blue Grotto.

    One other thing.

    Blue Grotto and Devil's Den are about 5 minutes drive from each other. I'd recommend planning to do both in one day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    dwellerbottom and sportxlh like this.
  5. sportxlh

    sportxlh Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: formerly Palm Beach Gardens, FL: now Atlanta
    2,599
    1,374
    113
    Blue Grotto and Devils Den are worth diving once. As Kelemvor noted, they are close together. Because Blue Grotto has a sediment bottom, I'd dive there first thing in the morning, before training classes start, and then go to Devils Den in the late morning or afternoon. I enjoyed Devils Den a bit more because of all the swim throughs. Do one dive clockwise and the second counterclockwise
     
    dwellerbottom likes this.
  6. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    428
    205
    43
    Agreed. Blue Grotto and Devil's Den are good for a dive. Both are in Williston, so about 2 1/2 hour drive from Clearwater. Blue Grotto will silt up, so arrive early. Especially, if going on a weekend when the dive shops are doing checkout dives. Dove both BG and DD with my daughter on her checkout dive. We got to BG prior to opening, so were the first group in. It was pretty clear. DD was definitely more enjoyable, though. Entry was easier at BG. Since Devil's Den is underground, you have to suit up at your table (including tank), then walk down a small stairway (1 person limit) to get to the entry dock. Sometimes, that entry dock is underwater. Again, I'd recommend getting there earlier, so you can get the closest table. BG has deeper water, but DD is more interesting. Both BG and DD are accessible to Open Water Divers.

    Ginnie Springs is very nice. Lots of areas to dive. Some are not accessible to Open Water Divers. Ginnie is a bit further out, so maybe right around a 3 hour drive.
     
    dwellerbottom likes this.
  7. Jonny Wishbone

    Jonny Wishbone Barracuda

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: West Central Florida
    338
    189
    43
    DD looses viz after a bunch of divers ravage through it too. The stairway to HE** at DD is not too fun. I have heard they re-built it all and the dock at the bottom is now aluminum. Haven't been there since the rebuild. Crystal River "Kings Bay Spring" is a good dive if you are into Caverns.Not huge and about 50 feet deep if you stick your head in the sand. Its free to dive there but you will need to rent one of the small boats right there at the dock. Air fills are tank back to the car and down the road so it is best to just bring extra tanks. There is a nice restaurant right there too that overlooks the bay.
     
    dwellerbottom likes this.
  8. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    428
    205
    43
    Not sure about the re-build, but I hope so, as it sways quite a bit. When I went, we recently had a lot of rain. The landing platform was about 2' underwater, so that made final gear-up a bit more challenging.

    That reminds me, though. If you are taller than average. Duck farther than you think you need to (and for longer) at the entrance. I clocked my reg on the ceiling on my first trip down. I'm 6'.
     
    dwellerbottom likes this.

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