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Cow Spring is a fresh water dive site, located in Florida Springs, FL. This dive site has an average rating of 5.00 out of 5 from 1 scuba divers.

Strictly speaking, Cow Spring is not a spring at all, but rather an in-line sinkhole which provides diver access to an underground river that surfaces for the last time at nearby Running Spring. Cow Spring is owned by the NSS-CDS, and is open only to CDS members and their guests. Visitors must first sign waivers at Bill Rennaker’s Cave Excursions, then get the current combination to the gate. No open water divers are allowed.

Cow Spring makes an excellent cavern dive, with numerous openings, and lots of dramatic lighting effects. From the main cavern, cave divers can travel downstream for approximately 600 feet in either of two directions. These two downstream legs are assumed to connect to the two primary resurgences at Running Springs. Explorers such as Woody Jasper and Sheck Exley have all tried to make the connection; no one has succeeded — or is likely to.

At one time, the upstream side of the cave was accessible only via sidemount. Then, in 1994, two open water divers accidentally discovered an upstream entrance that made this breathtaking tunnel accessible to divers wearing back-mounted tanks. The down side of this discovery is that the upstream leg now shows damage to stratified clay banks and other delicate formations caused by the influx of less-than-careful divers.

The upstream leg of the cave consists largely of one tunnel — although there are a few offshoots that generally go only a short distance or loop back to the main line. Eight hundred feet into the cave, depths drop from the 70- to 80-foot range to 100 feet or more, depending on water levels. This means the likelihood of deco. Fortunately, you start offgassing as soon as you reach the shallower water near the cave entrance, and can spend some of your deco time exploring the beautiful caverns.

Because of strong currents, a stretch of passageway from approximately 400 to 800 feet has what Woody Jasper calls the “poor man’s scooter.” This is a piece of polypropelene line that parallels the main line, and is intended to give divers something to pull on. It saves time, energy and a considerable amount of breathing gas.

Students in training are prohibited from diving anything but the downstream side. To help protect the clay banks and other fragile formations, scooters are also prohibited.

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SantaFeSandy - 7/14/2018 3:50 PM
I went scuba diving here on 7/13/2018. Average viz: 61-70ft/19-21m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Friday 13th. After being dry for 45 days due to working 2 jobs...Guy and I were finally able to hook up again for a dive.

Unfortunately, I decided to experiment, and changed all my camera and flash settings. This album will serve as a reminder that "if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it."

However, like Guy reminds me, "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

So...I gained some knowledge and will continue to look back on the EXIF data attached to this images in order to remind myself, what not to do.

Mind you, when you’re in a dark cave, and shooting through a view finder with a bifocal mask on, using a 12mm lens, it’s rather difficult to fully confirm if what you think you’re seeing is actually any good or not. Especially, when there is a lot of particulate floating around in the water and you can’t seem to get away from your flash.
SantaFeSandy - 9/21/2016 4:38 PM
I went scuba diving here on 9/21/2016. Average viz: 61-70ft/19-21m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
High flow, a wee bit of particulate in the water, vis around 60-70 feet, and a beautiful dive, despite lots of mosquitoes.
SantaFeSandy - 8/09/2016 8:13 AM
I went scuba diving here on 8/8/2016. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
With enormous amounts of rainfall, the surface of the spring was clouded up to zero visibility. After descending 10 ft. it opened up again, and inside the cave averaged 80-100, with a bit of particulate coursing through. The flow was high requiring approximately 45 mins. to penetrate 1400 ft., and 22 mins. to exit. It was a beautiful ride out. :-)

Tom had to exit early due to a small leak in one of his hoses.
SantaFeSandy - 1/27/2016 6:34 AM
I went scuba diving here on 1/26/2016. Average viz: 61-70ft/19-21m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Tuesday January 26, 2016 - What a lovely dive with my buddy, Guy Bryant, in a beautiful system.
Water levels higher than on Jan. 20, with the flow a bit stronger too. A bit of particulate in the water. Photos okay, but not spectacular.
SantaFeSandy - 1/20/2016 6:58 PM
I went scuba diving here on 1/20/2016. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
Great dive. Low flow, high vis., water levels up.
SantaFeSandy - 7/10/2015 8:51 AM
I went scuba diving here on 7/9/2015. Average viz: 91-100ft/28-30m. Water temp: 71-75°F/22-24°C.
To conclude my NSS-CDS full cave certification, with buddy Rachel Voeltzel (all of us in Sidemount), Lamar took us to Cow Sink. First we went upstream to the pull rope, then came back to the entrance area, checked our gas, and proceeded downstream approximately 300+ feet, at which point we tied off our primary reel.

Then we proceeded to do zero viz (lights out), out of air, bump and go, drills. Each of us took turns setting the primary, leading the way out of the cave system, and then retrieving the line.

Not only did we learn a tremendous amount of valuable skills, but had a ton of fun in the process. Cow was perfect at perfecting hooking ones’ steel bottles on while treading water too. All of this training will be extremely useful for in water attachment off a boat. Yes, you can indeed attach your sidemount bottles away from the entry point, off a boat, with steels. At 5 ft., using LP steel 85’s, if I can do it, so can you!