MARCH 29TH, 2017 – DIVE AND DRIVE TO A FRESH SPRING
Miles Driven: 370 miles since Crystal River – Total Miles Driven 903 miles in four days
We read Vortex Springs had a great place to both camp and scuba dive in “gin clear water”, so we headed over there from South Walton beach on the afternoon of Day 4 of Dive and Drive USA. We only had to drive about 30 miles to get to this massive dive, snorkel and swim complex that is actually the birthplace of the red and white striped dive flag! This place is full of interesting history.
Christine and I rented some tanks upon arrival, set up our tent, put on our gear and walked from our camp area to the water’s edge for our first dive by 4pm. And it was… COLD!!!!! Seriously, we need to get some hoods on. Or get tougher. Or both. We definitely thought our hands were never going to stop shaking.
I expected it to be around 75 degrees Farenheit, but Vortex Spring is clear and ICY! We both slowly made our way down around 30 feet, then into a cavern area and took a look around, watching loads of fish and even an eel! This was my first fresh water spring dive and it was pretty different from the ocean. The bottom of the whole has areas to swim thru, a bunch of diverse life and fish that are very interested in saying hello.
The water was extremely calm and full of so many fish we had never dived with. However, our first dive was cut short by frigid temperatures for sure.
We stopped after 25 minutes, got out and had another dive around 5pm. Then burgers on the grill and asleep by 10pm. WE SLEPT LIKE ROCKS.
It was such a great day of exploring new places and meeting great people (Strangers become acquaintances SUPER fast in this region. Locals are so very friendly and time spent in even the supermarket in this county is extremely social!) We’re loving the trip and feeling very lucky.