I love diving. But even the thought of cave-diving scares the crap out of me. Cave divers don’t have a very long life expectancy – even experienced cave divers frequently go to the giant cave in the sky. That said, what Jarrod Jablonski and Casey McKinlay just did is cool. During the longest ever dive between two cave mouths, they proved that two of Florida’s famed springs are connected.
It took Jablonsky & McKinlay 20 hours, though only 6 were spent traveling. The other 14 hours were spent gradually decompressing before they could surface. I really can’t imagine taking 14 hours to surface – I hope they had a book. (Commercial divers who frequently do this really do take books. Apparently the books don’t fall apart as long as you keep them immersed.)
Wakulla Springs, where the divers surfaced, is one of the biggest and most famous of Florida’s springs. It has mastodon bones at the bottom and used to be famed for its crystal-clear water. It’s really been trashed by nutrient pollution – the visibility is toast, there’s a nasty invasive plant problem, and the signature bird that lived there has fled. But maybe Creature from the Black Lagoon (which was filmed in Wakulla) still lurks…
Of course, you might prefer Weeki Wachee Springs. It has mermaids.