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December 17, 2000: Williston, Florida

"Blue Grotto"
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Originally planned to be a dive in Blue Spring, we ended up practically on the other side of the state before we hit water.
Diving in Williston's freshwater springs:
  • Directions from Tampa: Go north on I75 until exit 70. Go north on 27 until you get to Williston. At the light (clearly marked), ALT-27 goes straight while regular 27 takes a right. Take ALT-27. There's a sign on the right for Devil's Den (to the right); two miles down from that sign, there's a sign for Blue Grotto pointing to the left. Follow the signs to get to the site you're looking for.
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Sunny and very cool, almost cold.

  • Personal Notes: My sister, after discovering that the scuba Nazis at Blue Spring wouldn't let her take an uncertified student in for a dive without additional licensing, led the trek from Blue Spring near Orange City (the other side of Orlando from Tampa) all the way back across the state to Blue Grotto (a bit southwest of Gainesville). This was my first visit back to one of the sites I did my certification dives at, and was, for the most part, unremarkable. The more interesting things to note:

    I discovered during one dive to a part of the spring where an overhead condition develops, that you could inflate your BC and stand upside down. With a little practice this could become a really cool thing to try, if you could work on walking.

    My sister led me through the cavern, around on the guideline ... but I had no light. It's enough to say that I would never do this again. Not having a light is near terrifying when under water and in complete darkness. My sister wondered why I never took my hand off the guideline until we surfaced and I told her why. I almost always have a light of some sort on my BC ... except this one time. Blue Spring doesn't allow non-cave divers to take lights into the spring ... it's a $100 fine. So I had left mine at home. I had no clue that we'd end up at Blue Grotto.


Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
90 Blue Grotto 49 feet 18 min. 72 F
91 Blue Grotto 86 feet 23 min. 72 F
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