Crystal River / Rainbow river ?

Discussion in 'Florida Diving' started by Life-Is-Good-Diver, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Life-Is-Good-Diver

    Life-Is-Good-Diver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Space Coast, Florida
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    I was thinking of doing maybe Crystal River, or Rainbow river, but never dove there

    I live in Melbourne, so looks like a 3 hour drive over

    Can you tell me Is it accessible off the shore? Or do you need to book a dive charter over there?

    Also is it possible to drive over 3 hours, get a few hours of diving in and drive back, or do you really need all weekend there

    Fills, or rental tanks also available?

    I was thinking of riding of this Sunday morning for the day

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic PADI Pro

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    You will need a boat for both places. There is only one place on the Crystal River you're allowed to dive that I know of and that's King's Cavern, located a pretty far swim from shore. You can get in at the boat ramp at Rainbow River, but the flow there is enough that it's better to get a boat and do a slow drift dive down the river. I've done the 3 hour drive each way with diving in between. It makes for a long, tiring day. Most shops start their "tours" around 8am. I'm sure you can rent tanks at Birds Underwater.
     
  3. Diver Lori

    Diver Lori Scuba Instructor

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    On Rainbow River you can rent a canoe at KP Hole. Paddle up to the preserve, stick a dive flag up in the canoe and tow it back while drift diving. We did this a couple years ago and had a ball. We had some parachute line with us and it's light, but also strong. I bet it looked odd from the shore!
     
  4. RetMTFE

    RetMTFE Barracuda

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    Our group did Crystal River a couple weeks ago. At Kings Spring, the alge blooms were bad so be prepared for some low visibility when you first go under. As you descend to the spring, it clears up a lot and is pretty good inside the cavern depending on how many divers are there.
     
  5. Life-Is-Good-Diver

    Life-Is-Good-Diver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Space Coast, Florida
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    Thanks for your input. I was thinking of trying a different place to dive.

    I keep hearing how beautiful it is over there

    If the boats leave at 8 am, it would be hard to get there from Melbourne.

    Maybe I'll wait for a few friends to go, and rent a boat there for the day

    Is there any other diving that you dont need a boat to get to around there?

    I have some new gear I would like to try out, and I like trying it out in springs at first, getting weighted etc
     
  6. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Orca

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    Is diving allowed in the 3 sisters spring? I always thought it was
     
  7. RetMTFE

    RetMTFE Barracuda

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    You can dive in Three Sisters but...........it's very shallow and on weekends will be packed with snorkelers.
    Several of the state parks have springs. Go to the Florida state parks website and click on "activities". Click on the scuba icon and it will list the state parks that allow diving. Most charge ten bucks to dive and require certification and a buddy. Of course, there are always the "commercial" springs too.
     
  8. pickens_46929

    pickens_46929 Single Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Indianapolis, IN
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    The Crystal River trips usually leave in the morning to dive King Spring, snorkel with the manatees.

    The Rainbow River trips are usually in the afternoon.

    It's hit or miss on viz at King Spring but Rainbow River is always decent.

    I would be a shame though to go all that way and miss out on all the other diving in the area. Weecheewachee springs is now open too from what I understand.
     
  9. svm

    svm Guest

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    We plan our holiday in Florida in november. We are also interested in diving/snorkeling with the manatees. Which operator do you recommend ? Is it even possible to dive with them or only snorkeling ?

    Sabine
     
  10. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic PADI Pro

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    Go with Birds Underwater. Also, there is no diving allowed with the manatees, only snorkeling. This is state law.
     
  11. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Orca

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    ? How can you dive 3 sisters springs then? Last time I was there we had 30+ manatees around.
     
  12. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic PADI Pro

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    Certain areas of the river are exempt, such as King Cavern and 3 sisters. However, if you are caught harassing the manatees, you will be fined. Places like Blue Spring, Orange City close the spring to divers and swimmers when just one manatee makes its way up the run.
     
  13. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
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    Thnx we go to the 3 sisters 2x a year and we always snorkeled but do consider burning a tank every now and then.
     
  14. Life-Is-Good-Diver

    Life-Is-Good-Diver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Space Coast, Florida
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    I'm trying to plan a over nighter, so we can hit them both. Sounds like a blast

    Any place around there preferred for over night accommodations?
     
  15. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
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    I like the Best Western with the onsite scuba, restaurants and right on the bay.
    The Days Inn is half the price a little further down 19 and has a Dennys right there
     

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