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Little River Springs - Branford FL


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Despite the crowds and erosion, Little River is one of the most physically alluring natural sights in Florida. When the water is not high or stirred by visitors, the smooth and curving flow of this spring and its run to the Suwannee is breathtakingly beautiful. Under the right conditions, the water in the run is virtually invisible. Because the limestone shelf in the run is just below the surface, visitors have the rare opportunity to stand and peer directly over the cavern entrance and barely get their knees wet. Breaks in the limestone near the vent create a pool that is perfect for wading, swimming, and snorkeling. Even in times of high water, the spring remains attractive. Its flow is strong enough that it remains relatively clear even when the river is up to 10 feet above the normal high watermark.

This spring is quite interesting. Although the actual pool is small, there is a vent that leads to an extensive cave system for the certified. Pool depths are about 4 feet with a cavern that leads to a vent at about 20 ft. From there you have over 1,200 ft. of caves reaching depths over 100 ft. The outflow spills into the Suwannee via a small river, hence the name, Little River springs. Where the river pours into the Suwannee there are a set of rocks creating rapids. A good snorkel and pretty scenery to enjoy. Excellent dive if your cave certified.

Often used as a training spot for cave diving.

Comments

SantaFeSandy - 4/19/2017 11:50 PM
I went scuba diving here on 4/19/2017. Average viz: 51-60ft/16-18m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
The 3 of us took our stage bottles in as we dropped our O2 bottles, and assisted the cave shoot by taking additional strobes in for our photographers, Dan Wright and Gene Page. Richard Black, on a CCR went in earlier, and stayed longer to help the guys.

After we dropped the lights, we went topside for 45" as we waited for them to test all the gear. Then we returned for the photoshoot.
SantaFeSandy - 12/22/2016 9:13 AM
I went scuba diving here on 12/21/2016. Average viz: 81-90ft/25-27m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Photoshoot dive. flickr.com/photos/santafesandy/albums/72157674315715893
SantaFeSandy - 10/12/2016 8:57 PM
I went scuba diving here on 10/12/2016. Average viz: 81-90ft/25-27m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Today we scootered back to the Dome Room, parked the scooter, and then swam to the Well casing, where we turned the dive. Wow! what an impressive well, and what an impressive room that the farmer just happened to sink his well into!

Max. penetration was around 2200+ feet. Started with 3500 psi x 2, and ended with 1500 & 1900 after 12 mins. of deco.

Being that my buddy dives using air, I gave him my O2, as the mouthpiece on his O2 reg tore off, and I was diving 32% anyway.
SantaFeSandy - 9/15/2016 11:14 AM
I went scuba diving here on 9/14/2016. Average viz: 51-60ft/16-18m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Dove Harper’s Tunnel. Beautiful.
mangoman1 - 8/20/2016 1:50 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/19/2016. Average viz: 31-35ft/9-11m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Cavern dives in higher than normal flow and slightly reduced viz(milky) due to recent heavy rainfall.
SantaFeSandy - 5/26/2016 6:07 PM
I went scuba diving here on 5/25/2016. Average viz: 36-40ft/11-12m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Water levels were below the first cement step to the right of the sidewalk. The waters reflected a healthy, clear green, but inside the cave the flow was kicking, and the particulate was abundant, making it a bad time for photography or video.

No swimming in the cave on this day, as without a scooter, it was all pull and glide. We made it around 50 foot past the Dome Room, and with around 350 foot remaining until we hit the well, we called the dive.

Next time I’ll get some pics. :-)
SantaFeSandy - 3/31/2016 8:46 AM
I went scuba diving here on 3/30/2016. Average viz: 41-50ft/12-15m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Guy and I had a beautiful dive together on a warm, sunny day in Branford. Water levels were up over the fourth step, and over the wall into the rocks. The flow inside the cave was moderate. We went left at the split, onto the Serpentine, through the Florida Room, and turned the dive at the Dome. Max depth was 111 ft., dive time ending at 99 mins., and on EAN 32 my deco was 12 mins., which was spent looking out the beautiful cavern window at all the happy little fish.

This dive was my 3rd dive practicing with a stage bottle (dropped between the 2 splits), while being my 55th full cave dive, but only the 22nd full cave after receiving my fc certification card. Total lifetime dives are now at 296. Time to print more dive log sheets. :-)
SantaFeSandy - 2/03/2016 7:37 PM
I went scuba diving here on 2/3/2016. Average viz: 101-110ft/31-34m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - Guy & Me, hoping to get some shots. Not as tannic as one week ago, but maybe we will get some good shots anyway, despite the lack of sunshine.
SantaFeSandy - 1/28/2016 9:49 AM
I went scuba diving here on 1/27/2016. Average viz: 81-90ft/25-27m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Wednesday Jan. 28, 2016 - Water levels way up, along with the tannins completely to the steps. Visibility to the cavern entrance was about 1%, though the boil could be seen on the surface. Once inside the cavern zone the waters cleared completely up. Vis was great and the flow low. I totally LOVE Little River, as she has so much to offer.

There are a ton of jumps to explore, the white limestone walls make for excellent photography, the small passageways are a lot of fun to navigate, and the tannins in the run, or in this case, right at the cavern entryway, make for such a dramatic impact on the mind, body, spirit and soul.
siboles2000 - 1/18/2016 10:09 AM
Rating Added: 5
Very little Flow on 1-16-2016. Excellent dive in January...no one was there.
SantaFeSandy - 1/11/2016 8:38 AM
I went scuba diving here on 1/10/2016. Average viz: 101-110ft/31-34m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
What an awesome, mind blowing dive at Little River today for all of us. My team member, Steve Jackson led our dive with his beam switching Big Blue on floodlight, and for me as a photographer, given the low flow and high vis, my trip was enhanced to the max. I will now seek to buy the same Big Blue Primary that he has, or better, since that one is no longer in production. That’s a great light, that will help my camera focus on my subjects in low lighting, all the better.

Meanwhile, the inside of Little River is magnificent. Absolutely a favorite dive site.
mangoman1 - 12/30/2015 7:43 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/16/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
mangoman1 - 12/30/2015 7:41 PM
I went scuba diving here on 10/20/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 66-70°F/19-21°C.
mangoman1 - 12/30/2015 6:54 PM
I went scuba diving here on 12/21/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
SantaFeSandy - 9/30/2015 6:37 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/30/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Water levels up, flow strong, viz excellent. Nice dive circling the circuit, getting shots along the way.
SantaFeSandy - 9/02/2015 4:33 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/2/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
For our second dive, we came to Little River to check out the tannin plumb by the river run. We were the only divers among a few swimmers. The water levels are beginning to rise onto the walkway again, and I suspect that soon they will be up to the rocks on the embankment. What a lovely dive, but a more enticing cave system for the next time I return. :-)
SantaFeSandy - 8/19/2015 5:50 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/19/2015. Average viz: 41-50ft/12-15m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Wednesday August 19, 2015. Fun day exploring the cavern zone and run of Little River with first timer, dive buddy Eric Albrecht.

Water levels are rising since 2 weeks ago, & up to the walkway now. Flow is up too.
SantaFeSandy - 8/05/2015 2:07 PM
I went scuba diving here on 8/5/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
SantaFeSandy - 7/10/2015 4:42 AM
I went scuba diving here on 7/9/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Took Mud tunnel jump, left of Serpentine, and upon exit, the Merry Go Rounds.
SantaFeSandy - 4/16/2015 9:03 AM
I went scuba diving here on 4/15/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Our dive was great fun despite a bit of a flow. This was our second dive of the day, having dove Peacock1 first. We penetrated approximately 610 ft. to just past the first 3-way split, where Merry Go Rounds goes to the right, and Serpentine to the left.

Water levels were up, we were the only divers there, and no swimmers had arrived until we surfaced. Tons of screaming kids, & cigarette smokers greeted us upon our re-entry into the gravity bound world, which being my first time diving there, I wasn’t expecting. Needless to say, I hustled to my truck. I look forward to diving it again, especially during the winter time.

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