Central Florida's Premier Dive Shop
Another great weekend in the keys! Hope everyone had a great Mothers Day weekend diving. Come join us next time for another fantastic trip on June 1st & 2nd, all future trip dates are posted on the calendar! ... See more
This little guy is going to be one heck of a diver some day. Come by and see us so we can get your little ones started on their underwater adventure. We offer scuba gear in all shapes and sizes as well as infant swim classes, swimming lessons for all ages, and quality scuba instruction for all levels of diving. ... See more
During the 20 years that KUR has been exploring the Weeki Wachee cave system, with its enormous passages and first magnitude spring flow, one crucial question has remained unanswered: where is the water coming from? A month ago Brett Hemphill, Matt Vinzant and I shot HD video in the deepest part of the cave, known as Mount Doom, and with the aid of the video lights Brett spotted a possible passage on the opposite side of the room we were traversing. The typical decline in Twin Dees spring flow at this time of the year meant that we had just one opportunity to explore this lead before the diving window closed. With the help of a very efficient support team Matt and I got going a little after 9am yesterday and it took us only 50 minutes to get to Mount Doom (by way of the Dark Door shortcut to pick up the safety bottle there). Dropping from 230 ffw to over 400 ffw through this incredible series of rooms is always exciting and by the time we arrived in the beautiful passage on the other side of the Mount Doom restriction I was definitely breathing faster from the excitement. There are two distinctive horizontal white stripes in the wall of this tunnel and as Matt scootered over to check out the lead I hovered above the Deeping Stream T and marveled at how many years of sediment deposits it must have taken to produce those two stripes alone. The blue glow of Matt’s light glimmered above the breakdown in the middle of the passage and then flicked up and down repeatedly, our pre-arranged signal that the lead was good. The opening in the southeast side of the passage expanded into a 60 foot wide, 20 feet high tunnel with a dark brown ceiling and pale silt on the floor dotted with numerous brown “bacteriothems” (small stalactites that are believed to be formed by microbial colonies over many centuries). After a few hundred feet the passage turned sharply to the right and then went left again with a possible lead on the right (south). Rounding the corner I could see that we were approaching a large breakdown pile and after ham-fistedly changing reels I followed Matt up into a huge white breakdown room. Finally we reached the crest at 320 ffw, some 50 feet shallower than where we had entered the room. The ceiling was at least another 50 feet above our heads. An archway ahead and to the left continued north at the more moderate depth of 340 ffw into another white room filled with silt-covered boulders. An opening on the right (northeast) turned out to be just an alcove whereas a small opening about the size of the Peanut tunnel in the far left corner behind the rockpile looked like it had some flow, with clean limestone and ripples in the sand on the floor. No diver can avoid stirring up some silt in an opening of that size when you are the first human being ever to go through it so, not wanting that hazy cloud to separate Matt from our guideline, I hastily scootered after him as he shone his light back to help light the way. We were now coming up even shallower into another large room but I had to shout to Matt to stop because my second reel was now out of line. Neither of us were able to see the other side of the room from where we tied off at 317 ffw, the shallowest point of our exploration, but we have little doubt that this section of the cave continues. Matt handed me the tow scooter and started the survey as we made our way out, while I tidied up the line and looked around. I was particularly interested in looking at the east wall of the large room where the cave turned from northeast to northwest. There turned out to be two small openings about 20 feet below the top of the breakdown pile that were easily visible, but scootering closer to look over the side of the breakdown was rewarded with an unmistakable opening into more passage down at the same 370 ffw depth of the passage that entered this room. Matt was surveying very efficiently and before long we were back where we started in the “Two Stripe Tunnel”. Coming up through Mount Doom is a spectacular experience, and I didn’t notice a 250 ffw decompression stop on my computer until I was clipping on the stage we had left at the Mega-Y. I knew we would be down at the 300 ffw level soon anyway, so we continued up the huge main Weeki Wachee passage, picked up the next stage at the Sirion 4-way intersection, and scootered out through the new East Gate short cut into Post Mortem, Deja Vue and finally the Alph tunnel, picking up the last two deep stage bottles as we went. We explored 1285 feet of new passage at depths between 320 and 370 ffw, identifying several new leads along the way. This new section is most likely to be a significant, if not the primary, water source for the entire Weeki Wachee/Twin Dees cave system. Its depth and distance from the entrance means that just getting there is a very significant dive. Because of its many white-walled rooms we have decided to name it Minas Tirith, after the capital city of Gondor in the Lord of the Rings. Once again we would like to thank everyone on the team who contributed to making this dive a success, especially Eric Deister, Gary Donahue, Bob Beckner, Derek Covington, and Kyle Moschell. KUR would like to thank Submerge Scooters, OC Lugo, Lamar Hires and Dive Rite, Jake Rehacek and Golem Gear, Cave Country Dive Shop and ScubaForce USA. I would especially like to thank Brett Hemphill: it takes a special kind of person to give one of the best exploration leads of your life to your friends and be happy that it went. You’re up next Brett! ... See more
Three months till WHALE SHARKS!!!!!!!!!!!! and MANTA RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still a few spots for this life changing experience.
Please help us congratulate Macy for being the newest diver certified by Deep Six. She came all the way down from New York to do it with us. You did an amazing job. We are looking forward to diving with you this summer in the Keys and watching your passion for diving continue to grow with your future classes. ... See more
Had some great dives Easter weekend. Always a joy playing with the sharks and eels! Come join us next time for mothers day weekend at Captain Slates!
Awesome check out dive at the lake this morning. Looking forward to getting down to the Keys and seeing all those beautiful tropical fish.
Hey guys, we have two Nitrox classes coming up this month. The first is Saturday April 13th at 10 A.M. and the second is April 27th at 9 A.M. Come enjoy longer bottom times and shorter shorter surface intervals. Call or come by the shop to reserve your spot now. Look forward to seeing you all there. ... See more
A big thanks to Deep Six Divers and Shawn Blakeslee for helping us achieve our IANDT Advance Open Water Certification!!!
It wasn't exactly the tale of Jonah, but one man still has a whale of a storyto tell