Got2Dive This Florida Sinkhole


40 Fathom Grotto Dive Video Log
In this video: Good Roll Model  & SeaDragon Girls Scuba Club 

 Our Scuba friends, Scuba Diving instructors Felicia and Michael Berg from Good Roll Model invited us to scuba dive along their guided “40 Fathom Grotto” tour with the SeaDragon Scuba Girls, an all female Scuba Dive Club from Rockledge Florida.Forty Fathom Grotto is a very unique scuba dive site located in beautiful Ocala Florida. First of all you just can’t show up and Scuba Dive 40 Fathom Grotto because it is a private training facility and is not open to the general diving public. You must have a Grotto qualified scuba dive guide to explore this Florida sink.

What is a Fathom you might ask, well the term fathom is a form of measuring depth or length. There are six feet in one fathom (6 fathom’s x 40 = 240). So the name “40 Fathom Grotto” is actually the total depth of the Grotto measured in fathom’s, 240 feet of fresh water crazy deep!

Got2Dive This Unique Sink
Forty Fathom Grotto is considered the ultimate training facility in the eastern U.S. for Advanced Open Water Scuba Diving certification and Deep Scuba Diver specialty training courses. Back in the day before 40 Fathom Grotto became a  Scuba Dive Training Facility, and was cleaned out, it was commonly used as a trash dump. Not all the trash has been removed from the sinkhole. During our scuba dive exploration of the Grotto we saw boats at 111′ to 142′, some vintage cars such as a 1955 Chevy,  a 1965 Vette  and a 1969 Pontiac. Also an airplane and Satellite Dish at 99 feet.

Baby Blue 1955 Chevy

The Grotto is a 240 foot deep “naturally” formed limestone sinkhole. The Fathom sink  like all sinkholes is a part of a slow, natural process of erosion in Florida’s limestone when the ground above collapses from the flow of water underneath creating a sinkhole. 40 Fathom Grotto’s limestone walls are embedded with fossils, sea biscuits, sand dollars and shells that experts say are from 30 million years ago!

Bottle of Rum wedged on a ledge of the Grotto

Water temperature in the Grotto can range from a seasonal low of  65° to a high of 72°. The day we were diving the Grotto Saturday January 15th 2012 the morning air temperature was 57° and the water temperature was 71°.  It is recommended to wear a 7mm wetsuit. I actually wore my 5mm wetsuit with a hooded vest and I was very comfortable even at my maximum depth of 125′ feet in the Grotto I never got cold during our dive.
You won’t find pristine visibility in 40 Fathom Grotto. The visibility in the Grotto is subject to local rain fall, algae bloom and surface duck weed that prevents sunlight from penetrating the Grotto water. What makes this dive so awesome is that you are descending and then all of a sudden a satellite dish and an airplane seems to come from out of no where at 99′. Or as you are swimming along the limestone walls a Suzuki motorcycle suspended by cables at 42′ feet just appears in front of you. This is what makes 40 Fathom Grotto fun and unique to explore and scuba dive! We had a fin-tastic two tank scuba dive with Good Roll Model and the SeaDragon Scuba Girls!

Suzuki Motorcycle makes for a great photo opportunity!

I highly recommend that you add 40 Fathom Grotto to your Got2Dive fresh water Scuba Dive plan. You won’t be disappointed! To see more pics of this this dive site “Like”  us on Facebook…Got2Dive