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Is Ginnie Springs good for OW?

Discussion in 'Florida' started by BekaLynn, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. BekaLynn

    BekaLynn Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    With the New Year weekend coming up, 4 days off work... :D , my husband and I are looking for a fun place to dive. I have just gotten my cert, as of Dec 9th and have dove at Blue Grotto and Alexander Springs... both of which were so wonderful. My husband has been certified for many years longer, and is really being a great sport and enjoying my baby steps to getting some dives under my belt.

    We were thinking of going to Ginnie Springs this weekend, but as I read about it, all the sites I find are talking about how great the caves/caverns are... there's not much about what to expect if you are limited to the OW cert allowed areas. So, I was hoping that someone here who has been there would share your experience of the OW areas and help me decide if its a good place for someone not doing any cave diving.

    Also, if you have a suggestion of somewhere that we might enjoy more, please let me know that too. We are in the Orlando area, and really don't want to do more than a day trip. Also, I'm not interested in ocean dives right now. I did an ocean dive for my check out dive... and while it was great once I got to 60 feet, I had many other issues :depressed:... and I'm not too sure about getting back to a boat dive at this time.

    Thanks for all your help...
  2. giles45shop

    giles45shop Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Odessa, FL
    You might want to try Rainbow River in Dunellon. It's a nice drift dive where you take a pontoon boat ride from KP Hole Park up towards the head spring and then drift back down the river to KP Hole and exit. Max depth is ~ 20', water is very clear.

    As far as Ginnie, I don't think there's a lot of open water type stuff, but my perspective may be a little off as I'm a newly certified Basic Cave diver and of the two times I've been, both were for for cavern/cave class so we didn't really do any open water diving. I thought the Ballroom was neat and that's okay for open water divers (as far as Ginnie Management is concerned) , but it's really a cavern environment which can be a little disconcerting for some divers and probably not a good idea if you are really new to diving.

    Maybe some people w/ more OW experience at Ginnie can chime in on this.

  3. IceBergSlim

    IceBergSlim Instructor, Scuba

    It's not the best site for OW divers. A great way to have fun there would be to at least explore the caverns. That would require some training for overhead environments.

    It's not that that type of diving is difficult but if you were nervous in the ocean a cavern would most likely be un-apealing to you at this time. If you desired to take a course showing you the ways to safely dive caverns I am sure the folks at Ginnie would be most happy to assist you.

    Still, if you wanted to splash around in shallow waters there are some nice opportunities there for you to explore. You can swim along the river and see the beauty of the vegetation indigenous to Florida. There are also chances to descend within the rock formations and see some awesome natural architecture.

    Lastly you might like to drop down into the entrances of the cave systems themselves and view the myriad of scuba gear left behind for safe keeping by the hardy souls that have ventured into the depths. (just don't touch anything!)

    Whatever you desire there you will find no clearer water than at Ginnie Springs.
  4. BekaLynn

    BekaLynn Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    I've dove Blue Grotto and it has a cavern, with a large opening. I loved it... and had no issues with that cavern... so I think it would depend on what the opening was like. Is it anything like that cavern?

    Thanks again!
  5. dive_forever

    dive_forever Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Antonio
    If you are looking for a place to see things like fish and critters, Ginnie is not the place for you. The beauty of the rock formations is the main attraction.

    Check out the link below, when I lived in FL I used it many times.

    Florida Springs: Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Florida Springs

    You may want to check out Blue Springs, the manatee should be there this time of year.
  6. John_B

    John_B Grasshopper

    FWIW, there are two "Blue Springs". I've done the dive at the Blue Springs in Volusia County a few times, its two attractions are the manatees and the cavern, so not much to see there if someone isn't interested in those things. I have been there a few times in winter (when I was blown out for ocean dives) where they wouldn't let you dive because the manatees were hanging out near the entrance for divers.
  7. BekaLynn

    BekaLynn Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    We looked into Blue Springs, but I called and they said it's closed to divers because of the manatee being there... but thanks for the link... I'll check it out!
  8. cyberfed

    cyberfed Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Jasksonville
    I dove Ginnie many times when I had just my OW cert. Its a fairly large cavern that allows OW divers. Bring a light if you plan to dive it. The entrance is kinda small enough for 2 or 3 divers at once to enter. Silt is not much of an issue it settles fast. Compared to blue grotto the cavern is MUCH smaller. Blue grotto's cavern is huge with a huge opening.

    If you and your buddy are comfortable with diving in an overhead setting you will be fine. Make sure you monitor your air. Leave enough air for you + your buddy to exit incase of an air emergency. Don't find yourself at the bottom of the cavern with 500 PSI in your tank. Max depth at Ginnie is about 50-55 feet at the grate. Flow is heavy at the grate but goes away quickly when you move away from it.

    Some other non overhead dive sites good for OW divers are:

    Troy Springs
    Orange Grove Sink (Part of Peacock Springs)
    Crystal River
    Devils Den

    Here is a picture of the entrance to the main ballroom at Ginnie Springs I took awhile back to give you an idea of the opening.

  9. scubablond

    scubablond Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Metropolis, IL
    I have dove the Blue Grotto and Ginnie. There both nice frest water pool dives if you will.

    Both have the same to offer.


    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: LAKE COUNTY FL
    I am diving Paradise Spings in Ocala this Friday , If you are interested PM me , we will be there @8:30

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