You may be cave diving in north-central Florida this weekend after all. As of today, most of the region’s popular cave systems are either open or about to open. The only exceptions are Devil’s Eye and Ear, and (possibly) Little River. And, according to Ginnie’s Facebook page, they are shooting for opening this coming Tuesday, September 26.
This photo shows the dramatic drop in water that has taken place at Canoe Outpost, located at the US-441 bridge just north of High Springs. On Thursday, the water was three inches deep in side their second-story office. Today the entire building is high and dry, and they expect to be back in operation soon. Additionally:
- The US-441 and US-27 bridges leading out of High Springs have both re-opened, as has the SR-47 bridge between Ginnie and Fort White.
- Madison Blue is still listed on the State Parks website as closed but, according to Jared Hires, is supposed to be opening back up Real Soon Now.
- Both Tom at Cave Excursions and Cathy at Cave Outpost report the Peacock is re-opening today. Apparently Peacock did not flood, but was closed due to storm damage. It also supposed to be looking very blue and very clear now.
- Several people have reported that Cow also did not flood, despite its close proximity to the river.
- Little River remains covered with a layer of tannic; however, if you see evidence of a boil, and the tannic does not extend past the stake, it has reached the point where many experienced cave divers feel comfortable diving it (just don’t expect great visibility). However, if you cannot see the basin clearly from inside the cave, do not tie off to the stake. Don’t tie off in the basin, for that matter. Tie off to the stairs, as this is the only way you can guarantee you will make it all the way back to the stairs without swimming around in circles.
- Manatee is supposedly open to divers, even though the bath houses have yet to re-open.
Bear in mind, a lot of this information comes from people saying, “I heard that…” and isn’t always 100 percent accurate. What is accurate is that, even if this information is up to date as of this morning (Tuesday, September 19), it is subject to change at any moment.
One of the best sources of up-to-date info is local dive operator Facebook pages. Here are some links:
- Ginnie Springs Facebook page
- Cave Country Dive Shop Facebook page
- Cave Excursions Facebook page
- Cave Outpost Facebook page
- Sate Park website closure page
If anything changes substantially, we will post it on Facebook.