Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I spent the first two weeks of July at training down in Orlando ... Lake Mary actually. The training was great, but it went until 4:30 each day, so I didn't get out exploring as much as I wanted.

Even with a busy schedule, I did squeeze one good afternoon of free diving in Wekiwa Springs State Park. It was one of those stormy summer afternoons where I almost talked myself out of going to Wekiwa due to the lateness of the day and the big cumulonimbussy clouds scattered around the area.

Lucky for me, I ditched the idea of just taking a nap in the motel room or working out in the fitness room at the Marriot.

"What the heck ... the worst thing that happens is I get rained out and if so, I'll just use my smart phone to find the nearest Chipotle" ... my inner negotiator said.

As luck would have it, a big summer thunderstorm pounded the area just before I got to Wekiwa Springs State Park. At the gate, I flashed my Florida State Parks Annual Pass like the high roller that I am (Thanks Mom!), parked quickly and hit the water with GoPro and snorkeling gear.

The park was almost empty and the actual spring was completely empty when I slipped into the cool 72 degree F water. Wekiwa's water gushes from several cave openings at the bottom of a really neat fissure in the limestone. Instead of a big open bowl at the cave mouth like Manatee Springs, Wekiwa has a skinny crack in the limestone with near vertical walls.

I had a great couple of hours diving down into the spring and scouting around in the surrounding basin. Not much to see fishwise, as the area around the spring forms a shallow natural pool that is heavily used by people as a natural swimming pool.
Still, I did see a mix of native and exotic fishes around a boulder not far from the spring mouth. In the video, the large fish that you see is a "Pleco" ... yes, the same Pleco you buy at the tropical fish store when they are 2 inches long.
They are just one more invader of our Florida waterways.

Wekiwa Springs is definitely worth a visit. I only scratched the surface of what the park has to offer in my short visit, so I will have to come back.


pablo said...

Very nice. I'm glad I had the audio on.

Is that the current that is "blowing" back your long locks at about 4 minutes?

lisa said...

That is pretty awesome! Loved it, I need to visit more often ;)

R.Powers said...

Yes. That was the purpose of that clip. A powerful floe issues from the caves.

It is a really unique spring formation with that Grand Canyon effect.

R.Powers said...


Vicki said...

Great video. Reminds me again about that whole other world and makes me want to go diving again. Maybe this winter when I visit with Abby in Mexico. That's some big finned Pleco!

Mark P said...

Neat that you have places like that. We have Radio Springs, a formerly popular source of drinking water with reputed healing properties because of its radioactivity.