Devils Eye and Ear

The Devils Eye cave system is among the most popular and frequently dived caves in the world. With over 10,000 m/30,000 ft of mapped passageway, divers can spend a lifetime of active cave diving and still not see all of it. There are still portions of the cave that have yet to be adequately explored and mapped.

Getting there

Ginnie Springs is located approximately ten minutes west of High Springs off County Road 340. It shows up readily on virtually any smart phone map or GPS system.

Devils Eye is part of the Ginnie Springs resort complex, and provides visiting divers with unusual amenities, such as access to warm showers before and after the dive. Its location on the Santa Fe river means that, even after Suwannee River caves have flooded, it will remain diveable. In fact, Devils Eye generally becomes undiveable only once or twice every decade.

It’s important to note that, on weekends from May through September, Ginnie can be unbelievably crowded with swimmers, tubers and snorkelers. They can take up all the available parking spaces and tie up the stairs divers need to enter the water.  It can also take an hour or more just to check in. It’s best to simply avoid Ginnie at these times.

Diving Devils Eye and Ear

The system has two entrances, Devils Eye and Devils Ear, located in close proximity to one another. They quickly join each other under water in a large passageway known as the Gallery. Devils Eye generally provides faster and easier access; however, divers frequently use the Devils Ear entrance for training purposes or simply a change of pace.

Parallelling the Gallery are a series of interconnecting tunnels known as the Catacombs. These are the only popular passageways in the cave that are not lined. This is intentional, as instructors rely on these tunnels to give students practice running reels.

At the end of the Gallery, the cave makes an abrupt right turn, and divers must pass through a wide restriction known as the Lips. Beyond the Lips is a large room, at the far side of which the line passes through the Key Hole, Here divers drop from 21 m/70 ft to 27 m/90 ft, and begin snaking through a short, winding section known as the Cornflakes.

At the far side of the Cornflakes, some 150 m/500 ft into the cave, divers emerge into the Junction Room. From here the cave begins branching off in several directions, providing the opportunity for numerous circuits and exploration of offshoot tunnels.

The furthest point of penetration in the cave is almost a mile from the entrance. Exploration in this region of the cave makes use of scooters almost mandatory.

Fortunately, divers can make hundreds of dives in the downstream portion of the cave before they need DPVs to see new passageway. By then they will have gained sufficient experience to graduate to scooters and staging. Ginnie Springs requires 100 cave dives or DPV certification to use scooters in Devils Eye.

Also nearby

The closest popular cave diving sites to Devils Eye/Ear are Jug Hole and Little River. It’s worth noting that nearby High Springs has one of the best selections of eateries in the area, including the Great Outdoors and The Diner.

Gas fills are also plentiful, and available at Cave Country Dive Shop and Extreme Exposure in High Springs, and Amigos Dive Center in Fort White. In addition to the High Springs Country Inn and Cadillac Motel in High Springs, the area has several rental cottages that cater to divers.

More sites to explore

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