Devil's Den Florida Freshwater Cavern Dive

  • Updated: December 28, 2018
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

December 28th, 2018

Devil's Den is easy to find online because the pictures taken there are spectacular. It's hard to see the blue water cavern with sunlight streaming down from above and not want to go visit.

This was our second day of diving activity on our Florida News Years 2019 Dive-cation of Amazing Awesomeness after the previous days drift dive in Rainbow River. This was a whole different experience since there are less fish and no plants inside the cavern.
Other than just experiencing something different we had picked this and Ginnie Springs because they offer Open Water certified divers a chance to dive in a quasi-overhead environment.

A big part of recreational diving is that if anything goes wrong you can always go up. You might give yourself decompression sickness if you go up too fast but still it's always an option to just go up. Then there are advanced types of diving where you are penetrating a wreck or a cave and you have to be able to find your way out. As a result they hold a much higher level of risk and require extra training.

Devil's Den advertises as an Open Water cert friendly cavern dive which gives you a taste of diving in an overhead environment but where it's obvious how to find your way to the surface.

That is unless you go past these decidedly nonsubtle signs.

This was the map they showed us during the dive briefing. We didn't find it overly useful since it doesn't show the full shape of the cavern but it's basically a bit mushroom with a dive platform in the middle but it's enough to give a general idea.

This is the entrance you go down to get to the spot shown at the top of the post. You go down maybe two flights of stairs and then get to the dive platform.

You can also look into the den from a viewing platform above which is also where sunlight enters the cavern. And before you ask no you're not allowed to jump in from here. They have signs.

(This was taken when we came out when things become gotten much busier)

There is a large staging yard with bathrooms and showers though we didn't use the latter since it was fresh water and we were planning to dive at another spring a few hours later.

There's a full-on dive shop with rentals in the main building and Jen once again rented most of her gear. We both rented lights though I should have just made due with my little secondary light as every dive shop in Florida only seems to rent soso lights.

We geared up, tested our setups, and we were ready!

The GoPro didn't do an ideal job in the low light below but you get the general idea. We were the first divers down the stairs that morning at 8:15 am and only had a few snorkelers tooling around near the surface.

Apparently the dive platform is out of the water but thanks to the recent heavy rains it was about waist deep.

There are additional levels of the platform under water which must make things rather convinent for training people. No newbies kicking up sand and killing the vis for everyone!

They have a bright light shining down into the water making it very easy to tell which way to get out no matter how deep you go.

We saw a few different fish including a rather large catfish down near the bottom though it was past the grate and I couldn't get Jen's attention in time for her to see it.

The center of the chamber is large and open but around the sides there are boulders and sloped walls.

They basically amount to short swim throughs because again you can always see where the dive platform is.

According to my dive computer we maxed out at about 58 ft which must have been at the grates. The lowest parts were all barred off with wire and the various side passages all have friendly signs like this:

Towards the end of the dive we did see a few other divers wandering around bottom of the cavern but most of the activity was on the surface. We stayed down for about 50 minutes which was enough time to circle the cavern twice and see pretty much everything there was to see.

When we surfaced after our safety stop the diving platform was packed with kids who seemed to be going through a diving class. We didn't dally and lugged our heavy gear back up the stairs. (They do make people dive right of way to divers coming up which was nice)

Again we had a blast and would highly recommend this to anyone visiting the area. Just don't expect to do more than a single tank of air here and it's probably best to be there right when they open.

Fortunately there are plenty of other springs to dive at in the area which brought us to our next activity the Ginnie Springs Ballroom.

You Might Also Like