Ginnie Springs FL Scuba Diving
Ginnie Springs FL is a fantastic place to come experience the great outdoors of the Florida wilderness, and also cool off on those hot summer days… There is also great scuba diving and cave diving here, so if you are certified or would like to learn…
There are many great activities that you can do on a hot summer’s day, but by far the most fun has to do with the water! Getting out there in an old swimming hole somewhere or waterskiing behind a boat in a lake, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re getting wet! If you’ve ever been down to Florida in the summertime, you know that it gets especially hot and humid there, and extreme measures are needed for cooling off… Ginnie Springs FL is the sure cure for that, with its crystal clear spring water and tubing activities!
Ginnie Springs FL is located about 40 minutes north of Gainesville, close to the northern border with Georgia. You’ll find all types of activities here including swimming, tubing down the Santa Fe River, mountain biking, road biking, cave or cavern scuba diving, and camping among others… Most people may come here for a day visit for the fantastic drift tubing that is available. You can rent a tube or bring your own, and spend a relaxing time just lolling down the river enjoying the scenery. Just be sure to bring your own bottle of “Alligator Away” just in case… You never know who you’ll meet in the dense jungle like environment of the Florida wetlands… Remember, the old Tarzan movies were filmed close to here many years ago!
If you are looking to spend a whole weekend or even longer here, feel free to pitch a tent or bring your RV along for a good night’s sleep, as camping is permitted. Spending a night or two in the Florida wild is really where you will meet some of the more “friendly” critters such as possums, raccoons, and the occasional black bear? Anyway, be sure to keep your campsite clean and your food locked up in containers. It may not help, but it can’t hurt! Camping is very popular here, so be sure to plan ahead and book it in advance if you are interested.
Even though swimming and tubing down the Santa Fe River probably take precedence over other more intense physical activities, there are also plenty of trails available for those wishing to sweat a little and burn off some calories with either mountain biking, road biking, or just plain hiking. Now everyone who has ever been to Florida knows there are no mountains to be found, but you can still have a great time in the forest trails on your bike navigating between trees or rocks and ducking any low hanging branches you may find… Biking in Florida is really lots of fun, and highly recommended!
If you are a scuba diver, or are interested in learning, then Ginnie Springs is perfect for you! They have a full service dive facility available, and you can rent any equipment you need or purchase it there at the shop. Just flash your PADI or NAUI card and you’ll be able to rent scuba tanks also. If you would like to learn to how dive and get certified, they can also definitely help you in that area. Scuba diving is a fantastic sport, and you’ll be able to use your newfound skills pretty much anywhere you go on vacation in the future… You will start out getting your Open Water Certificate, or C card. This allows you to dive independently anywhere, including the open ocean or inland lakes or rivers. After getting some experience under your belt with several dives, you may feel like this is for you and want to take further advanced scuba diving courses. The next step up would be the Advanced Open Certificate, and that will include specialized knowledge such as underwater searches and compass work, in addition to a lot more… You can advance as far as a Master Diver, which is a highly respected rank in the diving world, and your skills and knowledge will have greatly increased by that point. It’s a great goal to shoot for if you’re interested!
If you are already a diver and are interested in more of a challenge, then try the Cave or Cavern Diving courses taught right there at the facility. One of the unique things about Ginnie Springs is the caves or caverns located right there in the springs area, but be warned, this is a highly specialized area of scuba diving and you need to have a lot of training and experience before attempting any of these dives! If you run into trouble with your air flow for some reason, you won’t just be able to pop right up to the surface and start breathing normally again… There will constantly be a roof over your head, a solid rock roof to be more exact! So don’t take this lightly, cave or cavern diving can be very rewarding but also very dangerous. Every few years there are always divers that drown down there because they can’t find their way back and run out of air beforehand.
The Ginnie Springs Park has blocked off the most dangerous part of the cave entrance so that newbie’s can’t just wander in, but the cavern is still open to anyone who wants to visit. Just remember, it may be a tight and narrow opening to get into the cavern and you will want to also be able to find your way back out. Years ago I did this dive, and to make things even more dangerous it was at night! Just imagine being underwater in a pitch black cavern at night with only your dive partner around for back up! Needless to say, we had to place special lights at the opening to the cavern to find our way back, but it was definitely a unique experience… However, I would NOT recommend anyone doing this without taking the special cavern diving course AND the special night diving course offered by either PADI or NAUI…
There is a great deal of underwater and above water fun to be had in Ginnie Springs, and I hope you all get a chance to go and visit this wonderful park. Bring a tent, set up camp, and enjoy a long weekend with the many activities available here. If it’s not too hot, even bring your bike, I know you’ll enjoy it! Have fun!
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