Cave diving is a sport that has evolved with its infancy in the 60’s, to a sport that has become a more mainstream recreational activity in the scuba industry today, and many manufacturers cater exclusively to the cave diving community. Cave diving is enjoyed throughout the world on all continents, and has realized tremendous success in Florida due to its unique geology. Florida has many sinks and springs with a variety of caves that attract people from across the nation and world due to the world class recreational cave diving, including Wakulla County.
Why would anybody want to go into a water filled cave? This is probably the hardest question to answer because the answer is different for everyone who cave dives. Most underwater caves are quite beautiful, especially in the clear water regions of north Florida. This beauty can be attributed to their cave formations, passageways, mineral encrustations, silt formations, unique fauna such as blind cave fish, and even bacteria colonies. Most anyone who has been in a cavern zone has seen the beauty of the sunlight shining through the opening. Other cave divers are entranced with the difficulty: they enjoy a challenge. The cave passageways are usually complex and the trained cave diver must plan carefully. The planning for and successful execution of a cave dive through a cave can be enormously satisfying. With the advancements in equipment and rigorous training standards cave diving is a safe sport, in fact a cave diver has more risk driving their car to the site to enjoy the sport.
The National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section (CDS) is the largest cave diving organization with over 1000 members from around the world. Our mission is to support training, education, safety, and conservation. We provide an affiliation with instructors that teach how to perform the sport safely at several different levels which include cavern diving, introduction to cave diving, apprentice cave diving, and full cave diver. These rigorous standards provide for a well trained cave/cavern diver to perform within the limits of their curriculum. We provide further education to trained cave divers, as well as education to the public, government, and land owner about the sport of cave diving. Safety is a very important component of our organization, and we recognize safety by providing awards to safe cave divers. The CDS is committed to providing materials to protect recreational divers who aren’t trained for the sport of cave diving, as well as for the trained cave diver too. We work closely with conservation in mind, to not only preserve the cave environment, but protection of the water resource through education or science. Interested people can view our organization at nsscds.org.
Cave diving has had a strong history in Wakulla county with some historical cave dives being conducted at Leon sinks and Wakulla Springs. Recreational cave diving enjoyed its zenith in the 80’s, but due to landowner changes that occurred in the mid-90’s, it went into a state of decline. Cave diving has become acknowledged by many Florida counties as source of tourism. Cave divers from around the world visit Florida to enjoy the sport, and are attracted to the springs and sinks that pepper the landscape. Cave divers have recently been granted recreational access to Emerald sink and Indian Springs, which has generated interest in Wakulla County, and cave tourism.
Wakulla Diving Center is a retail establishment that has opened to address the needs of the cave divers visiting Wakulla County. Our organization is committed to promoting safe cave diving in Wakulla County.