View Full Version : Florida Springs - In February???? COLD???
January 15th, 2003, 02:08 PM
We are planning a dive at two of the Floride Springs (Vortex & Morrison) in mid-February. I have been told that the water is going to be pretty cold. Like in the high 50's - low 60's. I'm assuming that is surface temperature.
What do you recommend we wear? I have a farmer john when worn together my torso area is 6mm and 3mm elsewhere.
My wife has a 3/2. Obviousely that won't work
January 15th, 2003, 02:16 PM
I've never heard of the springs changing in temperature that much. It'll probably be between 68-72. I'm sure the outside temp will be a little cool. All depends on your tolerance to cold.
I use a farmer john 2pc and I'm fine. A hood would be a nice addition. The 3/2 probably won't work for very long. I mostly dive in the springs near Ocala (just south of the Vortex area). I've been meaning to try Vortex. I've been told it's HUGE.
January 15th, 2003, 05:36 PM
The water will be around 72ºF and no colder than 62ºF. This will feel nice and toasty compared to the outside temps, which could be anywhere bwtween 80ºF and 30ºF (we've had some crazy winter weather here lately.
I wear a 3mm farmer john and a 3mm long sleeve shorty. I've spent 2 hours at a time in the springs without getting really cold, but I think I've built up a tolerence of sorts to it. A hood should help you alot keep in body heat.
Some hints for staying warm......bring a bathrobe to wrap yourself in when you change out of your wetsuit at the dive site. Better than standing there in a wet bathing suit. Also if your wetsuit doesn't dry over night and you are getting ready for a second day of diving, the last thing you want to do is get into a freezing wet wetsuit (trust me), so what I do is I get a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, fill it with hot water and stick my wetsuit in there and close the lid. By the time I get to the dive site i have a nice warm wetsuit (it stays warm until about the time I hit the water).
Have a good trip and dive safe. Don't go beyond your personal comfort level or your level of dive training. There is nothing in a cave to see worth dying for (that was just my good deed of the day public service announcement :) )
January 15th, 2003, 05:38 PM
Wendy once bubbled...
...just my good dead of the day...
Wendy, your Freudian slip is showing!
January 15th, 2003, 06:01 PM
Both Vortex and Morrison are 68 degrees 365 days a year, 366 in leap years. You may get a little variation around the edges near the surface, but both have sufficient flow to be reliably 68 all the time once you get under water.
January 15th, 2003, 08:57 PM
Good advice Wendy, Rick, & Dr. Jay.
Anyone else have any suggestions. 3 of the 4 going are novices and we don't want to learn what to wear the hard way. I can hear my wife now..."You should have gotten me a thicker suit, I froze my a** off down there." and then a fun drive back to Atlanta.
January 16th, 2003, 10:44 AM
chris_b once bubbled...
Wendy, your Freudian slip is showing!
Hehe, I fixed it. Occupational mix up I guess.
January 16th, 2003, 12:57 PM
Just for a couple of data points, I dive a 7mm jumpsuit (with a beanie, no gloves) in the caves in Akumal, which is in the high 70s. For Florida I wear a drysuit; the High Springs/Mayo area caves are in the low 70s.
January 16th, 2003, 04:41 PM
I'm female and I get cold easily. I just spent a week in Akumal last month and wore a 7mm jumpsuit and small hood too. I got chilly on those dives and plan on bringing a hooded vest with me next year.
I wear a drysuit when I dive the Florida Springs and prior to having a drysuit I wore a 7mm jacket/john and got chilly toward the end of my dives.
My personal opinion is your wife will be miserable in a 3/2. And you may be miserable as a result!;-0
January 16th, 2003, 05:39 PM
I am going to buy a couple of hoods for this trip, and will come in handy when we hit the GA coast in the off season. What is an adequate thickness at these temperatures.
January 16th, 2003, 07:08 PM
This time of year, what you wear in the spring is not nearly so important as what you do once out of the water. Temperatures and conditions can be positively brutal if you aren't prepared for it. For example, Saturday morning it's likely going to be in the teens, windy and dry, with literally dangerous wind chill factors for anyone standing around in a wet wetsuit, no matter how thick it is.
I've also seen it get up into the 70's and sunny and still this time of year... but, best prepare for the worst. Bring big, bulky, heavy jackets. Get out of wetsuits, get dry and get warm between dives. As uncomfortable as getting into a cold wet wetsuit is, it's better than letting your core temp drop dangerously low in the misguided belief you'll be warmer staying in a wetsuit during your surface interval.
Vortex is more expensive than Morrison, but you get what you pay for... there's much more shelter at Vortex if you need to get out of the weather.
January 17th, 2003, 01:40 AM
I've got a 6mm hood. I have yet to try it, but I know it will be sufficient. You can probably survive with a 3mm though. I never even used a hood before and I would only get cold if I was down for a long time.
The hood I bought was Body Glove. Look for one online. I'm sure you'll find it cheaper. It's a hood for God's sake. I'm sure you'll be fine if you don't "support your LDS on this one" :D
Your hood is normally the same size as your wetsuit. Just make sure it's not too small (may want to go to a dive shop and try one on first). If it's too small, it will cut off blood flow to your brain (not a good thing).
January 21st, 2003, 12:49 AM
The springs will be nowhere near that cold. They maintain a constant year-round temperature around 71F I was there in late December. Air temp was very cold but water felt great! I wore a 5ml and my buddy a 3ml. I have yet to be cold in springs and could easily dive with less protection.
January 30th, 2003, 05:04 PM
I agree with the rest of you... I'm planning a dive in blue springs and possibly blue grotto for this weekend... I've got a 3mm and was told that was plenty! If you look on their websites, you'll notice the water temperature is around 70-72 degrees. HAVE FUN!
February 1st, 2003, 05:35 PM
I have only dived Vortex, so I cannot comment on the other springs. Vortex remains a constant 68F year-round. For me, I dive a 3-2 with a lycra skin, 3mm beanie, 5mm boots and 5mm gloves.
The water is REALLY cold when it first enters your suit, but fine after that. I have been in with just the suit (no skin, gloves, or beanie) and I froze my :bonk: off. The head protection REALLY makes a difference!
Now, my wife wears a 5mm two piece with a skin, and the same gloves, boots, and beanie. She is toasty warm.
We did our check-out dives at Vortex in January, and the ambiant temperature was nice (mid 60's). Since then, we have been back and the temp was in the low 30's...HUGE DIFFERENCE! Once you get out of the water, I highly recommend you take advantage of their outdoor hot showers.
A lot of "regulars" at Vortex seem to dive dry, but the issued rentals for classes are the 5mm two pieces. Anything thicker than that in a wetsuit is too uncomfortable for me. I really think you would look out of place (overkill) there with a 7mm suit...but that's just my $.02. ;)
So, if you are normally cold-natured, I would go with a 5mm two-peice. Otherwise, a 3mm with all the accessories I mentioned will be fine for a few days of two or three dives.
Good luck and have fun!
February 4th, 2003, 09:24 PM
I was at vortex jsut before New Years day. I rented a 6mm 2 piece suit there and wore a 0.5 mm suit underneath and would have been pretty comfortable has I actually been able to dive. Unfortunatley, my dive buddy fiance couldn't get a proper fit in the 6mm suit and we had to call the dive before we even got started. I think had we been able to keep the water from flowing through the her suit should would ahve been able to tolerate the cool water. Of course considering that the temps ni the quarries have a hard time getting near 70 except at the surface, the 68 degree water at Vortex was like heaven. I will be visiting Blue Grotto and Ginnie next month and will be taking my 0.5mm and a 7mm with me, and maybe a hooded vest.