Exploration of the cave system below Weeki Wachee Springs in Hernando County. Divers Brett Hemphill and Matt Vinzant explore the cave system to locate a possible connection to other springs such as the well-known Hospital Hole on the Weeki Wachee River.
Entry to the cave system is made at Twin D’s, located 0.5 mile southwest of the main spring.
- Conducted further exploration of the “Alph Tunnel”, Twin Dees’ deep source tunnel, adding 2,908 feet of additional passage in 2013 and 3,760 feet of additional passage explored in 2014 at an average depth of 320 ffw.
- Explored a previous lead referred to as “Deep Earth” to a new deep passage (dubbed “The Beleriand Loop”) that parallels the Alph tunnel and is the most westerly branch of the cave. This was explored for an additional 1261 feet of passage at an average depth of 280 ffw.
- Explored a westerly offshoot of the Beleriand Tunnel to discover the White Pillar and Jupiter Room for 560 feet of new passage to a maximum depth of 336 ffw.
- Located SWFWMD F-Well within Twin Dees Cave. This is a 2 inch PVC pipe that protrudes from the ceiling of the cave passage. F- Well was believed to intersect Weeki Wachee cave passage and was unsuccessfully searched for in 2007, 2009 and 2012.
- Discovered the Emerald Room, currently the end of the River Alph Passage. The depth there is 250 ffw with a slight green haze in the water.
- Connected Twin Dees Cave to Weeki Wachee Cave with 1475’ of new passage. Tied into Weeki Wachee to the north of the “Mega T” (the point at which the main Weeki Wachee passage splits at its southern end).
- Discovered the Mirkwood Passage, a southern branch with abundant cave life and stratified water.
- Explored the Post Mortem Passage, the deepest section of Twin Dees Cave. 1360’ of new passage was found, trending north in a soft white limestone layer.
- Obtained high-definition video of the Beach, Grand Central, Near Earth, Far Earth, Middle Earth, Alph Tunnel, and Post Mortem Passage. This footage will aid in drafting an updated map (in progress) and will prove useful for comparative reference in the future.
- Installed a temporary decompression habitat in the first staging room (“Fitting Room”) for increased safety and diver comfort on long decompression dives.
- Conducted set-up dives to stage safety gas within the cave at appropriate depths for exploration of deep section.
- Conducted YSI Data Sonde analysis of the Alph passage waters.