Diving in Florida

Yay, Florida! I’ve been looking forward to this leg of our trip ever since the idea for a cross-country RV trip was set in motion.

Florida simply has plenty of the activities we love: swimming, snorkeling, diving, camping, beach bumming, eating seafood, etc. The added bonus is the water is warmer than it is in Southern CA. As a result, I’ve been slow with posting blog updates because there’s so much to see and do.

First on the list: cave diving in northern Florida. I did a little research, and settled on checking out Ginnie Springs and Blue Grotto. I also found an experienced cavern diving instructor/guide who would be able to show us around since we don’t have our cavern diving certification.

Blue Grotto, Williston, FL

  • Suited more for divers than casual swimmers or waders.
  • Has an on-site campground (4 or 5 spaces with water and electricity nestled closely together), only steps away from the cave. While we were there, we were the only RVers; most other visitors were there only for the day, but I can see if there are multiple RV campers, the area could feel tight. There are also a few rental cabins. Price was right at $15/night. Good deal!
  • Well maintained, spacious property with dive shop. As you can see in the photos below, the diving platform is clean and provides easy, comfortable entry into the water.
  • Max depth of the cave itself is around 50-60 feet
    • Interesting sights: dive bell (a submerged glass cylinder which divers can enter, breathe the air and talk to one another), cave fossils, etc.
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Blue Grotto diving platform & cave entrance
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Blue Grotto diving platform/deck
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Blue Grotto diving gear pavillions
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Cave diving in the Blue Grotto
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Inside the diving bell at Blue Grotto

Ginnie Springs, High Springs, FL

  • Open to divers and recreational swimmers/waders. We visited on a Sunday and it was busy! That made for siltier water since people were walking about and stirring up the sandy bottom. Most people were making a day of it, floating on inflatable donuts and rafts, and picnicking.
  • They also have an on-site campground, but unfortunately, they don’t allow pets! 😕 🐶
  • There’s a concession store and dive/rental shop.
  • Parking in their general parking lot near the river can be tight on weekends. We were worried about having to park our 25-foot RV but lucked out and found a spot near the restroom building. I wouldn’t count on there being spots for larger sized RVs.
  • Points of interest: Devil’s ear, Devil’s eye, river streams
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Ginnie Springs caverns
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Clear diving conditions at Ginnie Springs

Molasses Reef, Key Largo, FL

Owing to the marine sanctuary off-shore, Key Largo has quite a number of interesting dive sites. I kept hearing about Molasses Reef so while camping at John Pennekamp State Park, I decided to take the plunge! The state park conveniently offers dives and snorkel trips. (Check out my Instagram for video of my shark encounter!)

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Rainbow parrotfish at Molasses Reef
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Reef shark sighting at Molasses Reef!
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Wonderful, colorful coral
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Can you spot the sting ray laying on the bottom?
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Fish galore!
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School of Barracuda

Ichetucknee Springs, Fort White, FL

We stayed at nearby Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins campground, which is close to the north entrance to the Ichetucknee Springs. During the non-summer season (Memorial to Labor Day), the North entrance area is open only for swimming/snorkeling and the South entrance area is open to tubing down the river.

Will you look at the clarity of the water?!? Amazing! Want to go back already.

We also visited Rainbow Springs state park, which also has clear water. Unfortunately, we don’t have photos to share as the next day, when we brought our GoPro, the battery died and we hit some rainy weather.

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Head spring at Ichetucknee
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Like swimming in an aquarium!
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Blue hole

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Snorkeling closer to the Blue Hole
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Tubing down the river! Fun and relaxing!

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11 thoughts on “Diving in Florida

  1. Wow! This post brought back so many memories of diving in Florida. I haven’t been diving in many years but once upon a time we dove in some of the springs and made many dives in Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary in the lower keys. Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like so much fun Joycelynn! Love those rays of light through the water at Ichetucknee Springs.

    Like

  3. Did you see me sinking at the bottom there, next to one of those pretty fish?

    That makes sense. I didn’t see you posting anything for 2 weeks. I was going to text you but here you are having a ton of fun. Super!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joycelynn!!! This post and the photos are amazing!!! I’m truly living vicariously through you because I would have swam away as fast I could when I spotted the shark and the barracuda. I’m so glad your stop in Florida was all you hoped it would be (and maybe even more). Makes me want to take a visit there because the water looks absolutely stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of our cruise stops were fantastic but there was something amazing about going through the Panama Canal. The girls liked Costa Rica best because of all the sloths they got to see 🙂

      Like

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