Hospital Hole

 

Location:
    Hospital Hole (aka Fish Hospital) is in a sharp bend of the Weeki Wachee River 1,000 feet upstream from State Hwy 595 bridge.

Description:
    For some unknown reason, this is one of my favorite dive sites. The hole itself is in the third bend south of Roger's Park on the Weeki Wachee River. The name comes from local legend where it is told that injured fish come to this site to be healed before returning to the sea. Access is restricted from land due to private homes, but one can easily canoe or even walk upriver from the park to the dive site. Roger's Park is open year round with a boat dock and launch ramp, but there is a $2 park fee ( per vehicle) during daylight hours in the summer. The main hole is about 150 ft in diameter and reaches a depth of 135-140 feet. There are several solution tubes in the overhangs along the south and southwest wall. One of the tubes goes to the surface, but the others, while large enough for a diver to enter, are blocked at the top (around 20 ft). Water from the spring flowed through these tubes long ago before the ceiling of the cavern collapsed (now the main sink). There are a few flowing springs coming from the wall around 70 feet, just above the hydrogen sulfide layer. Between 70 and 80 feet there is a thick cloud like layer of hydrogen sulfide that blocks most light below it. Below the layer, whose depth fluctuates with the tide, visibility is usually very good. There is a small john boat on the bottom around 135 feet. There is not much of interest away from the boat until you get to the walls. Graffiti from divers over the past decade written into the walls adds to the fun of the dive. The shape of the sink itself is like a small boot with no passage or major overhangs observed yet. The ceiling gently slopes upward towards the opening. This site is great for any open water diver, although only those who are cavern certified should attempt to go below the cloud layer, even during daylight hours, as the low light, foul smell, and high silt can be challenging to those without depth experience.
 
 
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The pencil sketch is by Mr. Hart who lived on Mullet Canal off the Weeki Wachee River

 

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