May 29, 2008
Only a privileged few have ever experienced the natural wonders that have lain for centuries just a few feet below the surface of Jackson County. In order to see these spectacular natural creations a person must have special skills and a brave heart. Most of us will never see these wonders first hand. We have all seen the Florida Caverns at the local State Park, but much, much more in cave beauty is here and until recently has been inaccessible for the average citizen.
However, because of tremendous steps forward taken by local diving experts such as Edd Sorenson with Cave Adventures, who has recently engaged in extensive filming and mapping of the vast network of caves around Blue Springs and other local springs, we can now all get a glimpse of what beauty God has created below our feet in miles of underwater caverns. If you have not yet seen the film they produced, you are missing an enlightening treat.
During Memorial Day weekend they hosted a NSS-CDS convention workshop at the local armory which brought over 300 visitors to Jackson County from all over the world. I visited the event on Saturday morning and found the National Guard Armory converted into a convention center. After passing the registration desks in the entrance area, I entered an area filled with convention type booths displaying a wide assortment of diving gear, tanks, ropes, clips, underwater lights, safety equipment, and much more. Behind this display area was a large area set up with auditorium seating. It was here that over two hundred attendees were sitting and enjoying the films of our local caverns. It was not a small event.
At the mid day presentation, the organization awarded two local students $500 scholarships. The winners of these benefits were Margaret Mathis and Stephanie Rabon, both MHS Seniors.
On Sunday the group enjoyed a cook out on the grounds of Cave Adventures on the Mill Pond. Several groups participated in underwater diving adventures into the many caves which can be accessed from the lake. Photos with this story show divers from Sarasota about to enter the cave known as the "Hole in the Wall". Other photos show expert diver Jason Richards and his wife Crissy from Ft. Campbell Kentucky who were diving at the cave near Shangri Lai. Jason is one of the divers that has been assisting Edd Sorensen in mapping Blue Springs Cave.
We should all be supportive and appreciative of the work being done by the local diving group. Because of their work, Jackson County is becoming known internationally for the wonderful "cave adventures" and God given wonders that we fortunately have so near. Our Creator blessed our area by creating amazing natural beauty upon and below the fertile lands of Jackson County.
For more information about the films or the underwater caves contact Edd Sorenson at Cave Adventures at 850-482-6016, or Bill Rotello at 386-663-5163 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.