Vortex Springs

Vortex Springs
Florida
USA East

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Site Review by
 Chris in Woodstock
Date: 10/18/2006

Reviewer

Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Chris in Woodstock Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    4.00
City:   Woodstock Reef:    3.00
State:   GA Animal:    4.00
Country:   USA Plant:    3.00
Diving:   1 years Facilities:    4.00
 Dives:   50 Solitude   4.00
    Roads:    4.00

Evaluation

*Average:    3.81
I have dove Vortex numerous times over a period of two different weeks. The first week in Mar '06 I was doing my AOW training. The second week in Sep '06 when my daughter was doing her OW training. This is an excellent place to do training because it is clear and calm with very easy entry at docks and stairs and a gradually sloping bottom. They have a platform about 20 ft. down for practicing skills. The mouth of the cave is about 45-60 ft. down so it is perfect for beginners. In the mouth of the cave it is common to see freshwater eels and fish. Intermediate divers may enjoy the swim-thru's in the spring outside the cave. Experienced divers can also enjoy going into the large cave. Though diving in any overhead environment should not be taken lightly, this cave has a rock bottom with little silt and lighted strips to follow in and out. It goes back in a few hundred feet in the ground before you reach a locked steel grate. (My depth gauge said 111 ft. at the grate.) You must be fully cave certified to go beyond the grate as it becomes more narrow and difficult. Usually the water at Vortex is very clear (50-100ft vis). Although the last time I was there it was rainy and the staff was pulling weeds, so visibility went down to about 10 feet in the main basin. I decided to dive Morrison Springs toward the end of the week and it was like diving in an aquarium (although no other divers were in the water when I went). My family and I tent-camped at Vortex which was nice since we had easy access to the water anytime throughout the day. However, you definitely pay for this convenience. They tend to nickel-dime you at this privately-owned spring. Camping for 2 people isn't too bad at $17.50/night, but it costs an additional $12 for my two children per night. Plus and additional charge each for electricity and water of $3.50/tent. When you total it up, we were paying $33/night to tent camp! It doesn't cost much more to stay at a local hotel. Diving costs $32/day/diver in addition to the camping fees which include a single air fill. The main reason I like Vortex is that it has things for non-divers to do. They have swings, diving boards, and slides to play on. My son was still too young to get scuba certified, but he was able to play and enjoy the water while my daughter completed her certification. Once my son is old enough to get certified, we'll probably opt for other locations due to the cost. The water at nearby Morrison Springs can be just as clear and free! Nonetheless, Vortex is a very nice dive if you are traveling with other non-divers and need the facilities.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    3.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    5.00
Advanced:    5.00
Night diving:    3.00
   

Seasonal Information

Season:    Fall
Year:    2006
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    5.00
Surf:    5.00
 
 


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