PDA

View Full Version : Devil's Den worth it?



Largo
04-23-2008, 20:15
Is Devil's Den worth the trip to dive it?

By trip, I mean a 4 hour drive, and the user fees.

Dive-aholic
04-23-2008, 21:17
I haven't been there, but probably not. There are 3 "open water friendly" springs in that area - Blue Grotto, Devil's Den, and Paradise Springs. Of the 3, I liked Paradise the best, but it also has the least amount of non-overhead. Blue Grotto wasn't too bad, either. I didn't go to Devil's Den because they were closed and I couldn't see paying another $20 for what I had heard wasn't that great a dive.

reactive
04-23-2008, 21:19
Is this the place with all the fossils embedded in the walls?

DollFin
04-23-2008, 21:25
Phil, I thought you were in OK. How can Devil's Den be a 4 hour drive for you?

Largo
04-23-2008, 21:25
I don't know. One of my friends dived it. She said that after the dive, she was pissed that she had paid $35 to dive there. She said that it was like the feeling she had after watching, "The Blair Witch Project."

But, the website looked interesting, and I have heard good things from other divers.

DollFin
04-23-2008, 21:26
Is this the place with all the fossils embedded in the walls?

Yeah, I have a friend who lives right by there so I'd love to make a trip out there to visit, plus go diving!

Largo
04-23-2008, 21:26
When I am in Florida, I am in Sarasota, which is about 4 hours from Devil's Den.

DollFin
04-23-2008, 21:29
I'd love to do a "springs road trip" one day, just find a few buddies and drive along the panhandle and down into Florida, hitting different springs along the way.

reactive
04-23-2008, 21:41
I'd love to do a "springs road trip" one day, just find a few buddies and drive along the panhandle and down into Florida, hitting different springs along the way.


Count me in. I'm not crazy about cold water, but it'd be a great experience.

Largo
04-23-2008, 22:08
I'm in.

scubasamurai
04-23-2008, 22:14
When I am in Florida, I am in Sarasota, which is about 4 hours from Devil's Den.

sarasota, heck for four hours you should head to key largo on 75. i came from north of tampa and made it there in 4 and half hours to key largo and sarasota is about an hour and change from me. if your into caves and sinks than devils is ok, but wrecks and open water than key largo would be my choice.

Largo
04-24-2008, 08:55
Which is the best route to take from Sarasota, to Key Largo?

No Misses
04-24-2008, 09:14
I dived Ginnie Springs about 4 years ago. It was OK, for the novelty. We camped there and did some diving. Except for the topside activities, I found the springs to be too sterile. There are no fish or coral to look at. Sometimes, you might run into a catfish or two. My buddy did find a gold bracelet on the bottom. It was probably dropped by one of the hundreds of “kids” doing the rafting trips down the river.

If you want to go camping and do some easy diving. You might enjoy this trip. If you want to see fish, corals, and sponges go to the ocean.

scubasamurai
04-24-2008, 13:10
the best route would be 75 to rt27 first exit after the toll booth on alligator alley part of 75 i believe) to the florida turnpike onto rt 1 and your there. just depends where you are. i used mapquest myself. type in your address and see 75 is pretty close to you.

Largo
04-24-2008, 13:21
Is it better to avoid Miami?

BSea
04-24-2008, 13:59
Is this the place with all the fossils embedded in the walls?

Yeah, I have a friend who lives right by there so I'd love to make a trip out there to visit, plus go diving!

I don't recall any fossils in Devil's Den, but they are all over the 1st 20 to 30 feet in paradise. There is one dinner plate sized sand dollar on the ceiling of one of the overhangs. Most of the other fossils are small petrified bones sticking out of the walls. Don't go too fast or you'll miss them.

As to the ops question, I'd dive Devil's Den again, and I've made 2 trips there so far. It's a really unique place. Kind of like a subteranean lake. It has just a minimal amount of overhead. But it has the feel of a cave because of the roof with the hole in it. Above the water is lighted, so you are never toally in the dark, even on the swim throughs.

scubasamurai
04-24-2008, 14:27
Is it better to avoid Miami?

you really do avoid miami just hit the outskirrts. i drove that route on a saturday afternoon and the only reall traffic i hit was entering the island of key largo. draw bridge and every redneck with boat and trailer were trying to get into there. so you might be waiting.

on the regular weekday (tuesday) i had no problem taking that route, some construction on 75 but that is the norm.

good luck

Largo
04-24-2008, 14:35
It will be summer time before I have a chance to visit FLA again.

What an amazing state.

allknighter237
04-24-2008, 14:52
i have personally never been to devil's den, but my friends said that although the topside stuff is nice and has some cool stuff to see, the actual dive was not that great. especially when you need to pay about 30 dollars for a hole in the ground.

allknighter237
04-24-2008, 14:56
Paradise is my favorite spring in that area. its fun for the open water diver because you get to go down to about 100ft and has many fossils and such embedded in the walls. apparently there is a whale bone too but i have still not found it... don't know how i can miss an entire whale bone...:smiley29:

the price is either 30 or 40 dollars to get in and bring your own tanks because air fills can get pricey...

Goober
04-24-2008, 16:08
The springs are cool to see if you never have, although I'd have to agree if your willing to make a 4 hour truck hit the Keys.

I lived in Brunswick, Ga. for years before coming to work for Gulfstream here in Savannah. I usually leave about 1:00am and the turnpike will dump me out at the mouth of the Keys by 7:00am.

Now it takes me another 45 minutes, and you'd be much closer than I am.

Do yourself a favor though. If you are going to make the trip don't just hit Largo and leave. At the very least get south of Marathon for a day. I love the the Big Pine Key area. Good times!

Largo
04-24-2008, 20:54
I think that American flies in to Marathon. With gas being what it is, it might be cheaper to fly.

scubasamurai
04-25-2008, 12:46
better check the prices spirit might be cheaper .

Goober
04-25-2008, 19:38
I suppose if you are driving a large truck or suv....two tanks to get me there, travel and key hopping. I fill up right there at the start of the turnpike and then in orlando/daytona headed home.

Keep in mind I'm not close to "E" everytime I fill up.

Last time, I spent $160.00 in gas keeping the car rolling 80-85 except to fuel and turning there at Ft. Pierce......6-7 hours of it.

Take into consideration rental when you get there.....fuel and milage limitations.....I'd drive. Flying would be convenant for sure.....But driving your own car in the keys......yup...you guessed it....priceless.

scubasamurai
04-25-2008, 19:56
3/4 tank from tampa to key largo door to door driving at 90 mph (most of the time) in my bmw.

another point is you loose a day diving because of the fly rule. i dove in the morning, threw the gear in the trunk and and by 530pm i was rising it in my backyard tank.

Largo
04-25-2008, 20:00
Have you taken that hydrofoil from Tampa to Key West?

scubasamurai
04-25-2008, 21:42
no i haven;t, it would take an hour and change and than 3 hours to get to key west. some say it is good and your closer to that route as well. so it might be a goood thing. just if your prone to seasickness it might be a little rough.

wolfen42
04-30-2008, 06:01
We did part of our OW training at Devils Den and Blue Grotto. Of the two, Blue Grotto was the more interesting dive. The water level in Devils Den is really low right now and I'm not sure what is there to attract anything but instructors and students. The above ground stuff is quite nice but I don't think we'll ever go back. If the air at blue grotto wasn't so insanely expensive we might go back there. $10 a tank for compressed air? With really bad underfilling. (My instructors HP steel tank was filled to 2400... LOL)

robanna
04-30-2008, 12:17
apparently there is a whale bone too but i have still not found it... don't know how i can miss an entire whale bone

Immediately upon submerging, turn around and peer beneath the deck. A petrified whale's hip bone is embedded in the cavern wall.

reef
05-01-2008, 15:57
We live 5 hours from the Den and love it. It's a bit different for sure. I don't think it's more than a days worth of diving.

Beaucoupfishies
05-02-2008, 17:08
Have you taken that hydrofoil from Tampa to Key West?

Is this the one you guys are talking about or is it a different one?

The Key West Express sails to America's Caribbean (http://www.seakeywestexpress.com/Default.htm)

Murloc
05-02-2008, 18:03
Devil's Den is not really what you are expecting....it's basically a hole in the ground and pretty much the entire dive if you look up you can see light through the entrance....the dive is more for those who have never dove cavern or such to get a feel for what cave diving may be like, although the stalagtites are not your every day sight while diving

bottom line is it's not the worst dive you can do, but afterwards you will get a feeling that you paid too much to do it

Devil's Den is located in Williston, FL which is about 11 miles from Bronson, FL the county seat of Levy Co. the county is all farm land and woods and economically depressed so you will need to expect the motels to be the "pay by the hour" type if you need to stay over night....Bronson is located 24 miles from Gainesville, FL which is really the closest point of civilization (GO GATORS!)

Levy Co. is funny enough home to numerous springs and while most are privately owned there are a couple that are good swimming holes...Blue Springs (near Bronson...not to be confused with the "famous" Blue Springs) is about 35' deep depending on water levels and as all springs it's crystal clear///Wekiva Springs as well but that's on private land

35 miles from Bronson on the coast is Cedar Key....a isolated fishing village that is in my opinion one of the best places in Florida to get smashed...think Key West about 50-60 years ago, but much smaller (graduating class of Cedar Key high school in 1981 was 6)

the fishing is excellent and the seafood dining is top notch...one of the local forms of entertainment is the local "airport"....it's a small strip and I do mean small....flyers on day vacation will often fly up from Tampa or such for dinner and fly back...a common form of communication between pilot and the ground is the pilot upon arrival will buzz the local restaurant and the manager will phone the only taxi in town to go to the strip and pickup the pilot and passengers....now the entertainment comers into play when you have some pilot who's never landed at cedar key before....if you approach that strip and you're stupid enough to land with even a whisper of a tailwind you are screwed, 30' from end of strip is the gulf and it takes a good pilot to land anything big in any kind of wind conditions...which is always since it's on the coast....one time we were there a KingAir was under water about 30 yards off the strip...if you're rusty on your touch and goes you won't once you land at Cedar Key

no, unless you're just dying to add another dive spot under your belt I'd stick with Ginnie Springs or go down to Crystal River


a few pics for those pilots out there
Dockside Motel at Cedar Key, Florida on the dock (http://www.dockside-cedarkey.com/suites.htm)

Largo
05-02-2008, 19:17
Thanks, Murloc.

Can you expand on that?

I am not being funny, I am interested in learning more about this area.

Murloc
05-02-2008, 19:32
no problem Largo...can you be a bit more specific what it is you wish to know?.... or justpop me a PM and I'll answer what I can

Murloc
05-02-2008, 19:46
if any of you guys are down in the keys go to Islamorada...go to Tiki Jons....order the pichers of frozen Rum Runners....trust me on this

Largo
05-02-2008, 19:55
Is the Cedar Key area a good place to live?

Largo
05-02-2008, 19:57
Murloc, Why are you using a picture of my ex-girlfriend as your avatar???!!!

Murloc
05-02-2008, 20:18
lol...cheap date

seriously, Cedar Key is one of those areas still lost in time....the people are friendly and the area is just slower, not hectic....there are a number of restaurants and some antique stores and such but it's not a "tourist" spot per se...number of years back the town took quite a beating from hurricanes and rebuilt and the local economy also was hard hit with the fishing....govn stepped in and had a program to retrain the fishermen for oyster farming which is pretty much the blood coming into cedar key now

there are no big grocery stores nearby so unless you just want to pick up staples at the local store you'll need to drive to Chiefland which is about 30 miles or so away.....chiefland is a little bigger with such things as a taco bell and a Winn Dixie.....also medical care is something to consider....I think there might be a family practise on the island (maybe not) and maybe a dentist....for serious care I'd say Chiefland or Gainesville...Gainesville especially if you happen to be a veteran....cedar key to G'ville is about 60 miles though

if you're looking for an area to play shuffle board or see a movie or enjoy the fine arts then Cedar Key is not what you're looking for....but if you want to be in an area where you can sit on the porch and sip iced tea, walk to the post office and check your mail, leave your cars unlocked and doors unlocked, go to the pub and drink a few beers and walk home, and fish every day then Cedar Key is your place

one cop in town, everyone knows each other, the list goes on.....the place is Mayberry on the water

Murloc
05-02-2008, 20:28
Florida-Cedar Key pictures from florida photos on webshots (http://community.webshots.com/album/58235366gwAvuQ)
Travel Photos From Cedar Key, Florida | Florida vacation information, VISIT FLORIDA (http://www.visitflorida.com/Cedar_Key/photos)
Cedar Key Florida Property Tour, Cedar Key Florida Real Estate Links (http://www.cedarkeybandb.com/property_tour___cedar_key_links.htm)

just a few links I pulled real quick from the web

CPTOZZY
05-07-2008, 14:21
3/4 tank from tampa to key largo door to door driving at 90 mph (most of the time) in my bmw.

another point is you loose a day diving because of the fly rule. i dove in the morning, threw the gear in the trunk and and by 530pm i was rising it in my backyard tank.

I was given a surprise long weekend back in January. I drove from Savannah to the Keys, slept a bit did a two tank afternoon dive, and did a morning and afternoon two tank dives, rinsed off and got in my car and headed north for home. Worked out great !