|Lucky me, this is only about 10 minutes away from PFHQ.|
Double lucky me ... the cold breeze had the few morning visitors all bundled up and not swimming.
Even the scuba divers I saw unloading weren't in the spring.
They must have chosen the nearby "Catfish Hotel" sink to dive in.
Except for 3 little boys who were being indecisive about getting in the water, I had the main spring to myself.
There was a lone manatee nearby, maybe 75 feet away, but the rules are stay 50 feet away from them in the spring, so I'm not counting him since he never shortened that distance.
|I took this picture completely by accident ... one of those thumb fumbles that hits the shutter button.|
I really like it.
You can get all the details on Manatee Springs just by going to the Florida State Parks website, but here are just a few bits ...
It's a Magnitude 1 spring with over a 100 million gallons a day flowing into the nearby Suwannee River.
The main spring "bowl" where I spent my time is around 25 feet deep ... it fluctuates.
On this day the Suwannee water level was high due to our abundant rainfall in 2014.
Tannin stained, tea-colored Suwannee water had pushed far up the short spring run, but the ground water issuing from the spring was keeping it at bay so I had pretty clear water to work with.
|I love free diving ... accent on the "FREE"!|
Minimal gear, just you, your lungs, and some air.
|This is the view when you stand chest deep on the limestone rim of the main spring bowl.|
|One neat thing about the water level being so high is that you can snorkel into the flooded river forest of cypress trees that surrounds the spring.|
|Pretty, yet a little eerie at the same time.|
Feels like a cave doesn't it?
|Me ... dreading getting out of the warm spring water ...|