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The Blue Grotto is an amazing natural spring located in Williston, Florida. Williston itself, as a town, is really nothing anyone would want to visit on its own merit. It is your typical rural Florida. None of the beauty of the coast, none of the glamour of Orlando. It’s small, rundown, and if you have to venture into the grocery store, you get the terrible feeling that at least one-third of the people around you might be on methamphetamines. The other two-thirds just look really tired and slightly angry. However, about five miles outside of town, off a nondescript dirt road, you will find something that makes visiting this area completely worth it. Williston’s diamond in the rough, the Blue Grotto.

The Blue Grotto Dive Resort is a privately owned operation. It has all the things you would expect of a modern day scuba diving destination. It has a dive shop that can fill scuba tanks and rent or sell you the essentials you may have forgotten. They have a number of small cabins, one of which we stayed in. They are nice and clean. There is no television or internet. If this bothers you just remember that you will have to get up early to get the most diving in and it also gives you an opportunity to finally get in some recreational reading. Just remember to bring a good book. The only negative I could really find is the shower has terrible water pressure, and by terrible I mean flat out sad. A small child could cry tears with more force than their shower head could provide. Closer to the Grotto itself, there are a number of pavilion type shelters with picnic tables with hanger rails meant to be used as convenient staging areas for dive groups. In the middle of the park sits the real star of the show. Surrounded by a large wooden viewing deck/ staging area, the Blue Grotto itself sits resembling a set piece from a Jurassic Park or King Kong movie.bluegrottouwmap

The dive at Blue Grotto begins at the mouth of the cavern, which is 80ft wide and 20ft high. Approximately 30ft below the surface is the only air bell available to spring divers in the region; filled with fresh compressed air, the bell allows you a unique opportunity to stop, remove your regulator, and talk with your buddy under the water. Descending from there, at about 50ft, a permanent guideline brings you to the crescent shaped cavern where you might find fossils embedded in the walls of the chamber and aquatic life such as Virgil, the Blue Grotto’s people friendly soft shell turtle. The best way to describe it is really with video. So check out our dive videos above and  below!

If you have any questions or have anything that you’d like featured in a future post on The Renaissance Beard, don’t hesitate to contact me or leave it in the comments.