We swam in the cold waters of the Ichetucknee Headspring, where several million gallons of 72° aquifer water pour out of the (apparently) 72° earth every day. Please enjoy someone else's photo of this beauty. It's hard to get a body-picture of what 72° water feels like. Seventy-two degrees? That's balmy! Picture the last time your kid sneaked up on you with the garden hose. Remember the sounds you made before you could get control again. That's Ichetucknee.
We went to, but did not swim in, the Blue Hole. Standing on the deck looking at it will make your breath catch a little bit, but be prepared to leave your breath wrapped up in your beach towel if you jump in. There's no wading at this spring, and flippers are essential to get above the hole itself; it will repel you with the force of 67,000,000 gallons/day. If you control your panic and stay in for one minute, it will be spewing its 46,528th gallon at you as you haul your frozen butt onto the steps. That's 775 gallons per second. The point you should take away is, the cave is not interested in sucking you in. Instead, it will blow your trunks off in its haste to disgorge you.
Here's another picture I didn't take:
|Photo by Wes C. Skiles|
Ichetucknee inspires even an aquaphobe like me to get a waterproof baggie for my camera. Do any of you use such a thing?
ETA: This photo is my current wallpaper. You can get it, too, on this National Geographic page.
ETA, A: The AdSense ads next to this post:
I'm not sure I could love this more if it were a bed-wetting cure.