Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Catfish Hotel

At Manatee Springs State Park, there is a sinkhole adjacent to the main spring boil. This quiet, duckweed covered "pond" is called "The Catfish Hotel".

I assume that is because there is, or perhaps was, large amounts of catfish hanging out in the crystal clear water hidden by the duckweed.
If you take your hand and stir the surface, the duckweed will part momentarily so that you can peer into the clear depths of the hotel. Remove your hand and the tiny plants seal off the wound in the surface so that little light penetrates.

I have never dipped my head beneath the lime green frosting of the Catfish Hotel, but I have snorkeled every inch of the main spring boil a few yards away. If you are a certified cave diver, you can enter the Catfish Hotel and swim through a cave to the main spring.
Cave diving never appealed to me, I've been inside a few, but never out of sight of the entrance.
That's technically cavern diving, not CAVE diving, and requires no special equipment or training.
I just never saw the appeal of cave diving and did not pursue it.

The walk down to the hotel.

Jump in, the water's fine!


Sandcastle Momma said...

I've always found any duckweed covered water fascinating because what's in there is left completely to the imagination.
I'm with you on cave diving - not something I want to do. I'll swim around the entrance but I like to see the surface when I'm under water LOL
Very nice photos.

threecollie said...

I like caving. I like diving.
I have no desire whatsoever to combine the two in any form. Very interesting post!

Dani said...

I don't think cave diving will ever be in my future.They have to give me happy pills just to roll me in those MRI machines.

Rurality said...

Even just plain old diving is not for me... I tried out the equipment once on dry land and didn't like the feeling of it. I like watching other people do it on tv, though. :)

elpbulls said...

This makes me think of the home video and with the snake hiding on the steps lol :). Love ya and I will see you tomorrow!!!

amarkonmywall said...

Oooo- sending this post to the Snarl. She will be interested, seeing as how she loves to dive into strange places.

TROLL said...

People assume I'm into cave-diving, caving, cave-dwelling etc... for some reason.

Floridacracker said...

True, no telling what lurks beneath duck weed.

That's about where I am too.

And you definitely wouldn't want to cave dive on happy pills ... dangerous enough sober.

You DON'T Like breathing like Darth Vader??

Emma, I looked for that snake when I walked down the steps, but no luck!
Love you!

Good! She should love this place ... she might also try Devils Den and Blue Grotto nearby.

Just the Right Size said...

Yuck! Ther's no telling WHAT'S down there! I've never understood cave diving either.

BTW, come on over to my blog, you've been nominated for something special!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks, I guess I need to head that way!

Woodduck said...

Used to visit Live Oak and enjoyed a bunch of springs, from Bathatub to Little River. They come in many sizes and are, oh, so nice. Thanks for sharing..happy trails.