Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
04/10/2012 3.44 Ginnie Springs Florida, USA East
Ginnie Springs is pretty much the 'party and get drunk' destination for the local college age group. Since the public parks in the area don't allow alcohol and this is a private park which does allow it, they do a lot of business that way. Having said that, it seems that the partiers, inner-tubers, kayakers, snorkelers, and divers manage to coexist pretty well even when it's crowded so if you really want to dive, don't let that discourage you. With < 30 dives and doing first open dive with my own equipment, I found the diving itself for the inexperienced is fairly safe, simple and easy. The staff is super - they have people stationed at the dive entries that are happy to explain everything as detailed as you need, and the rental shop offers pretty much everything you could need. There are apparently some extensive caves and we met quite a few advanced divers doing deco and equipped appropriately but even for the novice there are about 4 'cave-like' structures that can be safely (with all the usual precautions) entered without having extra cave training. Visibility in the two springs (Ginnie and Devils) is usually excellent, and the river section that connects the two springs was ok in the morning but got a bit cloudy during the day with the traffic. There was not a lot of aquatic life to see in the springs except for some small fish but the river holds a lot of surprises. We saw snakes, turtles, lots of fish including gar(?) and catfish, and one crawfish that was first interested in us then took off like a rocket. A well planned dive going easy on the air can probably see everything there in one tank but less experienced people can enjoy splitting it between two tanks. I tend to need more warmth so I used a 5mm long-john and was fairly comfortable. But others wearing less protection complained of the cold. All in all, a bit pricey at $80+ for two, a bit crowded on holiday weekends, but beautifully clear water and certainly worth having in the diving bucket list.