Exploration Chronology (Casey McKinlay, Mike Wisenbaker)
A Capsule History of Cave Exploration in the Woodville Karst Plain and the WKPP
By Mike Wisenbaker
This past fall, NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai a.k.a. Japan Broadcasting Corporation) contacted me about writing a brief history of cave explorations in the Woodville Karst Plain by the WKPP and their predecessors. I did so with trepidation, knowing that omissions (either because of time and space limitations or from being selective regarding what events were most significant) would occur. I also deliberately have omitted unauthorized explorations at Wakulla and Sally Ward (both before and after they were part of Wakulla Springs State Park) and Indian Springs because these dives were done on posted lands without permission of the owners and/or managers. Since much of the public already perceives cave diving explorers to be suicidal maniacs, sneak diving does nothing but add to that perception. Another problem in putting together a truly comprehensive history stems from some of the early exploration efforts being buried in dive logs and sketch maps that are unavailable to dive historians and researchers. In other words, if explorers want credit for something that theyve done they, or someone else, must publish their achievements.
Although I had wanted to write a brief history of cave exploration for some time, I kept putting it off because the task was so daunting. Ironically, Parker Turner, the founding father of the WKPP, had asked me to become the publicist and historian for the group back in 1990. I was flattered but declined due to the amount of time and research that would be required. I did, however, try and document some of the teams accomplishments. Ironically, ten years later I find myself trying to play that role, with even less free time than I had when Parker was running the WKPP.
In any event, I would like to thank all the cave explorers and dreamers that have made Floridas Woodville Karst Plain the focus of the most demanding and serious underwater cave explorations in the United States–if not the world. For the past dozen years or so, the Woodville Karst Plain Project has continued and expanded exploration efforts. As we enter a new millennium, let us hope that intrepid cave adventurers will continue to unravel the mysteries of this underwater maze.
By Casey McKinlay and Mike Wisenbaker
November 15, 1955-June 1, 1957: Wally Jenkins, Gary Salsman and other students from Florida State University conducted 450 cave dives in Wakulla Springs at depths of 200 to 250 feet/61 to 76 meters and made penetrations from 200 to 1,100 feet/61 to 335 meters.
May 23, 1965: Ed Henderson, John Crotty, Bill Osgood (for whom Osgood Sink in the eastern portion of the Woodville Karst Plain is named) and Aubrey Morris penetrated McBrides Slough cave to 130 feet, labeling it a highly dangerous cave. In the 1970s, Bob Goodman, Kirby Sullivan and others explored a couple of thousand feet of passages in this small cave, just northeast of Wakulla Springs.
July 23, 1965: Ed Henderson, John Crotty, Richard Bonde and Hayward Matthews explored Gopher Sinks (a.k.a. Oak Ridge Blue and Crystal Sink) cavern and two caves, one of which extended several hundred feet back.
December 30, 1965: Walter Culley (now a local mortician for whom the cave is named), John Crotty, Ed Henderson and Russell Spencer penetrated Culleys Cave (a.k.a. Gopher Hole) in the Apalachicola National Forest 170 feet and reached a maximum depth of 50 feet. This small cave now falls within the Leon Sinks Geological Area and is often confused with Gopher Sink, which is across the road on the east side of U.S. Highway 319. The U.S. Forest Service was told of this problem but still refer to Culleys Cave as Gopher Hole. Culleys does bear a resemblance to a giant gopher tortoise burrow.
October 31, 1971: The local caving diving duo of Bob Goodman and Kirby Sullivan made the first ever dive in Fish Hole Sink.
November 1972: Dan Lenihan and Tex Chalkley made the first cave diving traverse in the Woodville Karst Plain when they connected Lower River Sink with Upper River Sink.
Winter 1972: Wayne Wilson was the first diver to discover Promise and Go-Between sinks. A narrow natural bridge separates the two sinks.
January 4, 1973: Bob Goodman, Kirby Sullivan and Tex Chalkley swam upstream from Go-Between Sink and discovered Fern, Cream, Wood and Trench Sinks.
January 11, 1973: Bob Goodman, Kirby Sullivan and Tex Chalkley swam upstream from Trench Sink and discovered a cypress-lined karst window that they named Venture.
March 16, 1973: Bob Goodman, Kirby Sullivan and Tex Chalkley finned their way against the current in Venture Sink and wound up at Clearcut Sink, surrounded by a low-lying swampy area.
March 23, 1974: Bob Goodman and Kirby Sullivan linked Chips Hole with Cals Cave of the Pipeline System.
July 14, 1974: Court Smith, Billy Young and Paul DeLoach linked Lower River Sink to Whiskey Still (which they called Valhalla) Sink.
July 18, 1974: Bob Goodman and Tex Chalkley used DPVs (Farallon scooters) for the first time in the Woodville Karst Plain. It was not until five years later, however, that DPVs became feasible for extending the range of cave explorations.
August 3, 1974: Court Smith, Louis Holtzendorff, Dana Turner and Sheck Exley linked Whiskey Still Sink with the downstream karst windows of Ashee and Innisfree sinks.
September 27, 1976: Bob Goodman and Kirby Sullivan dropped into Split Sink for a dive and ended up a few minutes later in Cheryl Sink (formerly called Tiny Sink by Sheck Exley), renamed in honor of the woman who later would become Goodman’s wife.
October 7, 1976: Bob Goodman, Kirby Sullivan, Tex Chalkley and John Zumrick entered Cheryl Sink and later surfaced in a small sink they named Circle Chasm.
April 17, 1976: Bob Goodman and Kirby Sullivan powered their way upstream in Cheryl Sink and discovered a gigantic room that they dubbed the Black Abyss.
May 1, 1977: Kirby Sullivan, Bob Goodman, Tex Chalkley and John Zumrick once again dropped into Cheryl Sink and swam downstream; they passed through Circle Chasm, and emerged in Emerald Sink, which they described as possibly the most beautiful sink in Florida.
July 1, 1977: Bob Goodman and Kirby Sullivan linked Clearcut Sink with Malloy Memorial (or M.M.) named in dishonor of local cave diver Dale Malloy. The Fish Hole/Emerald tunnel runs under the sink but does not open into it.
March 3, 1979: Kirby Sullivan and Bob Goodman discovered and dived a log-choked offset sink in a low swampy area of the Apalachicola National Forest. Bob called it Sullivan Sink as a tribute to Kirby.
August 4, 1980: Court Smith, Louis Holtzendorff and Sheck Exley unwittingly discovered the connection between Upper River and Fish Hole sinks while swimming downstream from Promise Sink.
September 13, 1980: After many seasons of protracted rains and poor visibility, Sheck Exley and Paul DeLoach connected downstream Emerald with a line that they had placed upstream from Clearcut Sink. The next day the duo did the actual swim through between the two sinks.
Fall 1980: Sheck Exley and Paul DeLoach swam into the siphon of Promise Sink and ended up linking it to a line leading to the Fish Hole/Upper River Sink tunnel.
April 1981: Sheck Exley and Bob Goodman predicted in a 1981 NSS News article, The Search for Wakulla, that Emerald Sink might be linked to Upper River Sink via the Fish Hole Conduit. They also predicted that Cheryl Sink might be tied into Sullivan and Big Dismal Sinks. The cave diving duo also believed that passages south of Innisfree Sink led to Indian Springs and ultimately to a connection with Wakulla Springs.
1981: Sheck Exley, Paul DeLoach, Clark Pitcairn, Mary Ellen Eckhoff and John Zumrick used scooters to push huge sections of more than a mile in Big Dismal Sink, now the northernmost known opening into the Leon Sinks Cave System.
November 18, 1984: Sheck Exley, Paul DeLoach and John Zumrick made the traverse from Promise to Fish Hole.
June 1, 1985: Paul DeLoach and John Zumrick used Farallon scooters and four stage bottles to connect Fish Hole with Emerald. They used scooters on low power and had to swim the last 1,800 feet/550 meters.
October 1987: Charter members of what later would become the Woodville Karst Plain Project (WKPP) gathered for the first time. This group, which included Lamar English, Bill Gavin, Bill Main and Parker Turner, felt that Tallahassee and the Woodville Karst Plain were of such great significance that the group should focus on linking cave systems in this region. Parker Turner was the driving force that brought everyone together and began leading them toward achieving the group’s lofty goals. Turner and Gavin solicited advice from Dr. Bill Hamilton, regarding adding helium to their mixes for deep dives.
Winter 1987: Bill Stone and his U.S. Deep Caving Team conducted the Wakulla Project, spending several months exploring and mapping Wakullas conduits. They also did some limited testing of the prototypical Cis-Lunar rebreathers. Their farthest penetration into Wakulla was just over 4,000 feet/1220 meters.
May 1988: Bill McFaden drowned 50 feet/15meters short of the entrance of Little Dismal Sink after experiencing a series of problems during the dive. Most of these difficulties stemmed from diving deep on air. After this tragedy, the founders of the WKPP established more stringent standards, one of which prohibited any deep dives on air.
June 18, 1988: Bill Gavin, Lamar English, Bill Main and Parker Turner completed an 8,700 foot/2,652 meter traverse from Sullivan Sink to Cheryl Sink. At the time of the dive, this traverse was a world’s record.
January 28, 1989: Sheck Exley made a world record dive (solo) in the Chips Hole Cave System in Wakulla County, Florida, by traveling 10,444 feet/3,684 meters from the nearest air space.
September 1, 1990: WKPP explorers began exploring the downstream tunnel of Innisfree Sink (also called Clarks Sink).
November 26, 1990: The WKPP was granted official project status by the National Speleological Society. This meant the group began operating as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization.
May 12, 1991: WKPP explorers began exploring and documenting Indian Springs owned by the YMCA of Tallahassee.
October 20, 1991: The WKPP began conducting sanctioned explorations and studies in Wakulla Springs. They built on Salsman and Jenkins work as well as Stone’s first Wakulla Project.
November 17, 1991: WKPP founder Parker Turner drowned at Indian Springs when an underwater avalanche of silt completely buried the permanent line leading from the restriction separating the cave from the spring’s twilight zone. Bill Gavin assumed the role of project director of the WKPP.
December 1991: Mike Wisenbaker discovered another small sink that he dubbed Smokey’s Chimney and presumed that it dropped into the underwater conduit running between Clearcut and Venture Sink. In the 1970s, Bob Goodman mentioned in his logbook some chimneys in the Venture/Clearcut conduit but apparently did not learn that one of them led to an opening to the surface.
1991: Bill Gavin, charter member of the WKPP and U.S. Navy Engineer developed the prototype for the Gavin Scooter used by the WKPP. Since that time, the scooter has gone through a number of modifications and improvements. Now assembled by George Irvine, the scooters are engineered for depth, duration and dependability and have been instrumental in exploration efforts by the WKPP.
April 4, 1992: WKPP explorers Steve Irving and Tim Norkus did the first exploration dive in Turner Sink, named in honor of Parker. They had discovered this sink on aerial photos and topo maps and felt it might be a continuation of the Leon Sinks Cave System. Irving arranged access to the sink with a private landowner.
April 5, 1992: WKPP explorers Steve Irving, Tim Norkus and Greg Knecht connected Darkwater Sink, an offset sink, with the line from downstream Innisfree after traveling about 1,200 feet/366 meters. A couple of weeks (April 19) later Sherwood Schile and Hoyt Schmitt made a dive there and were told by the landowner that Sheck Exley had visited the sink several years earlier and told her that the sinks caves did not go anywhere. Schile, on the other hand, discovered that Exley’s line ended at a restriction but the passage continued.
April 25, 1992: WKPP explorers Steve Irving, Sherwood Schile and Tim Norkus entered Darkwater Sink and penetrated 866 feet/264 meters, thus tying the passage in with the upstream line from Turner Sink.
May 7, 1992: Mike Wisenbaker and Frank Richardson established the connection between Smokey’s Chimney, marked by a large debris cone on the cave floor, and Venture Sink. In so doing, Richardson also discovered a side-tunnel just below Venture that led to a sink that he named Logjam. On May 14, Richardson returned and mapped two sinks, Middle River Sink and Hidden River Chimney, between Upper River and Lower River Sinks. Wisenbaker had noted that although previous cave divers observed these sinks, the divers made no effort to name or complete surveys of them.
Winter 1994: George Irvine assumed the role of project director of the WKPP. He brought new vigor and ideas to the project and made the group and its accomplishments known to divers throughout the world. Jarrod Jablonski and Todd Kincaid establish a new North American distance record at Manatee Springs with a 10,800 feet/3,576 meters penetration into the upstream siphon
December 30, 1994: WKPP explorers George Irvine and Casey McKinlay discover going passageway beyond the Wakulla Room in Indian Springs. Over the next year the WKPP would discover and survey almost one mile of new passageway in Indian Springs.
March-July 1995: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Jarrod Jablonski, Bill Gavin and Casey McKinlay discover and survey close to 5,000 feet/ 1,656 meters of new passageway in upstream and downstream Sally Ward Spring. The team would also discover and survey several thousand feet of cave passageway in upstream Sally Ward Spring directly under Ken Kirton’s property adjacent to Wakulla Springs State Park. The discovery and expert testimony by WKPP explorers would prove pivotal in the state’s efforts to curtail development and eventually purchase the property to protect Sally Ward Spring.
December 1995: The WKPP negotiated access and began exploration of several sinks on the Ferrell Property NW of Wakulla Springs State Park.
January 28, 1996: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Brent Scarabin and Casey McKinlay at the request of the DEP travel over 4,000 feet/ 1,325 meters downstream from Sullivan Sink in the Leon Sinks Geological area to verify source of tannic water intrusion. Upon reaching the junction with the tunnel suspected to connect to Big Dismal Sink the team discovers a wall of black water presumably from Fisher Creek Sink in the Geological area.
May 1996: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Jarrod Jablonski and Casey McKinlay connected Big Dismal Sink with the Leon Sinks Cave System when they reached the line in the Bitter End Tunnel leading from Cheryl Sink. This connection confirmed the system as the most extensive submerged cave in North America north of Mexico and placed it among the 30 longest caves, wet or dry, in the United States. It may be the worlds longest underwater cave, but with average depths averaging anywhere from five to ten times deeper than the warm shallower systems in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, which hold the worlds longest caves, exploration efforts remained gradual. The depth factor alone complicated dive plans exponentially as compared to diving in shallower cave systems in other regions.
Summer 1996: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Jarrod Jablonski and Brent Scarabin reached, with open circuit scuba, 10,000 feet/3,048 meters from the Wakulla Springs cave entrance, maintaining an average depth of 285 feet/87 meters.
November 30, 1996: The WKPP team of Rick Sankey and Brent Scarabin set a world penetration record of 14,104 feet/4,299 meters in the Chips Hole siphon in northern Wakulla County, Florida. The team added 3,165 feet/965 meters of line to the legendary Sheck Exley’s great effort of 1989.
April 25, 1997: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Jarrod Jablonski and Brent Scarabin set a new penetration record of 11,000 feet/ 3,353 meters in Wakulla Springs using Halcyon semi-closed circuit rebreathers at an average depth of 285 feet/87 meters. In addition to Gavin Scooters, the Halcyon rebreathers have allowed the team to make significant strides in increasing the range of exploration.
June 28, 1998: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Jarrod Jablonski and Brent Scarabin broke the WKPP’s world penetration record, earlier established in Chips Hole, by traveling 14,340 feet/4,372 meters into Wakulla Springs O-Tunnel.
July 24, 1998: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Jarrod Jablonski and Brent Scarabin traveled 18,000 feet/ 5,500 meters in Wakulla Springs O-Tunnel. The massive conduit they explored appeared to be headed toward Spring Creek Springs on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. They again used Halcyon rebreathers and spent about 15 hours of in-water decompression on this monumental dive.
Winter 1998: Bill Stone and his U.S. Deep Cave Team worked several months on their Wakulla 2 project at Wakulla Springs using modified Cis-Lunar rebreathers and digital mapper to probe and record the caves in three dimensions. However, their maximum penetrations reached less than half as far as those done by the WKPP.
May 29, 1999: WKPP explorers Ted Cole, George Irvine and Jarrod Jablonski, using conventional open circuit scuba, set a new world’s record cave traverse of 14,000 feet/4,628 meters traveling from Big Dismal Sink in Leon County to Cheryl Sink in Wakulla County, Florida. They broke the traverse record, which covered a distance of 10,700 feet/3,262 meters at a maximum depth of 100 feet/30 meters, previously held by two British cave divers in the Three Counties System of northern England in 1991. The WKPP trio also broke the previous North American traverse record held by earlier WKPP divers Parker Turner, Lamar English, Bill Gavin and Bill Main when they cruised 8,700 feet/2,652 meters from Sullivan Sink to Cheryl Sink in 1988.
May-July 2000: WKPP explorers George Irvine and Jarrod Jablonski traveled to the far reaches of Wakulla’s O-Tunnel, discovered P-Tunnel and explored and surveyed close to one mile of new cave passageway. The team broke the WKPP’s world penetration record with maximum penetration of 19,100 feet/6,325 meters from the Wakulla Springs basin. Visibility conditions in the cave are quite possibly the best in more than 10 years.
June 2002: WKPP explorers George Irvine, Jarrod Jablonski and Casey McKinlay added 700feet/232 meters of surveyed passageway to downstream Turner Sink. The cave system continued to trend S-SW at an average depth of 280 feet/85 meters. Dr. Todd Kincaid began flow and dye trace work in the northern part of the Leon Sinks Cave System.
August 2002: Heavy rainfall in North Florida floods Leon Sinks Cave System with tannic water and suspends survey and exploration operations.
June 2003: WKPP divers transported, deployed and activated the cave radio transmission device at the B/C-Tunnel junction in Wakulla Springs. Surface teams located the signal and marked the well location. Several weeks later the first of three successful well installations would pave the way for live flow meter deployment.
November 2003: Casey McKinlay assumed the role of Project Director of the WKPP. Priorities included physical connection of the Leon Sinks, Chip’s Hole and Wakulla Springs Cave Systems and leveraging team capabilities to facilitate research. WKPP divers transported, deployed and configured the first of seven Falmouth Scientific flow meters in the Wakulla Springs Cave system.
February 2004: WKPP divers transported, deployed and configured the final flow meters in the Wakulla Springs Cave system. Successful well installations at B/C, A/D and A/K Tunnel junctions along with successful deployment of all meters allows the Wakulla Springs Cave System to go “live” as it becomes the most instrumented underwater cave system in the world.
Summer 2004: WKPP divers Marc Singer and Dave Sweetin explored and connected Greyhound Sink on the Ferrell property to the upstream Turner Tunnel in the Leon Sinks cave system. Visibility in the cave system delayed the actual confirmation until June, 2006 when Casey McKinlay, Derek Bennett and Robert Bognar located the incoming tunnel on a dive upstream from Turner Sink.
2003-2005: WKPP divers supported and facilitated Dr. Todd Kincaid and the State of Florida with several dye traces that linked the following karst features in the Woodville Karst Plain:
Fisher Creek Sink to Emerald Sink
Black Creek Sink to Emerald Sink
Emerald Sink to Wakulla Spring
Ames Sink to Indian and Wakulla Springs
October 2005: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski extended the Chip’s Hole Cave System to 16,500 feet/5,029 meters downstream from Cal’s Cave. The team exceeded the 1996 penetration of 14,104 feet/4,670 meters by Rick Sankey and Brent Scarabin.
April 2006: After almost 6 years, dry conditions in North Florida presented the WKPP with numerous exploration opportunities in Wakulla Springs and Turner Sink as they push for the connection.
May 20, 2006: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski explored the far reaches of Wakulla’s P-Tunnel and discovered Q-Tunnel at 17,000 feet/5,182 meters. The team explored and mapped 3,000 feet/993 meters of new cave passageway heading S-SW towards the Gulf of Mexico and possibly Spring Creek Spring. The dive exceeded 400 minutes at an average depth of 260 feet/79 meters requiring an additional 14 hours of decompression. Maximum distance from the Wakulla Springs entrance now stands at 20,000 feet/6,096 meters.
June 3, 2006: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay, Jarrod Jablonski and David Rhea explored downstream from Turner Sink in the Leon Sinks Cave system. Conditions cleared for the first time in 4 years as the WKPP pushed to close the distance between the Leon Sinks and Wakulla cave systems. The team explored and mapped 6,000 feet/1,829 meters of new cave passageway heading S-SE towards Wakulla Springs at an average depth of 270 feet/82 meters. Direct line distance between the two cave systems is 15,000 feet/4,572 meters with the cave increasing in size, water velocity and depth.
June 10, 2006: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski traveled 16,000 feet/4,879 meters to Wakulla’s P-Tunnel to evaluate and explore possible incoming tunnels to the north. The team discovered and explored 2,000 feet/610 meters of new cave passageway heading W-SW that eventually looped back around and connected to downstream P-Tunnel. The team identified a possible incoming tunnel slightly north of the entrance to Q-Tunnel in addition to some unique surface features. Visibility in the far reaches of the cave system has deteriorated but the team makes the most of the opportunity. The dive exceeded 450 minutes at an average depth of 260 feet/79 meters requiring an additional 15 hours of decompression.
July 1, 2006: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski continued the June 3, 2006 downstream exploration from Turner Sink in the Leon Sinks Cave system. The team explored an additional 5,000 feet/1,525 meters of new cave passageway heading S-SE towards Wakulla Springs. Total distance from Turner Sink is 15,500 feet/4,724 meters; closing in on Wakulla.
September 2006: Water clarity continued to deteriorate in Wakulla Springs but the WKPP decided to press onward for the elusive connection. Leon Sinks water remained clear and the team decided to investigate the western side of the Wakulla system in an attempt to identify whether clear water was leaking in from the Leon Sinks system through a yet to be discovered tunnel. WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski successfully executed 20+ hour dives on September 15 and September 31 in search of clear water. The gamble paid off as the team discovered a clear water divide in the western bypass tunnel but not the specific source of the water.
December 30, 2006: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski returned to the western bypass section of Wakulla Springs to investigate the possibility of a western tunnel channeling water to Wakulla. The team discovered a small tunnel with high flow and explored 2,500 feet/762 meters of new cave passageway trending due west. After more than 17 years, this appeared to be the big break.
May 5, 2007: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski returned to Wakulla and continued the exploration of the newly discovered “R-Tunnel” from December 30. The team explored and surveyed 6,000 feet/1,828 meters of new cave passageway trending west and then north for a total distance from Wakulla Springs of 16,500 feet/5,029 meters. Distance to the limit of exploration from Leon Sinks is approximately 3,000 feet/914 meters straight-line.
May 19, 2007: The WKPP returned to Turner Sink in hopes of connecting the cave systems from the north. Unfortunately, despite executing a perfect dive plan and the biggest dive in the history of the WKPP, the cave system breaks down past 15,500 feet/4,724 meters. The exploration team of Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski returned to Turner Sink empty handed after 7.5 hours at depth followed by an additional 16 hours of decompression.
June 23, 2007: Undeterred by the May 19 defeat at Turner Sink, the WKPP returned to Wakulla Springs. The exploration team of Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski returned to the end of R-Tunnel and continued the exploration N-NW towards Turner Sink. The team did not encounter a breakdown in the cave passageway and instead, the cave stayed large and continued its N-NW trend. The exploration team explored an additional 7,640 feet/2,328 meters of cave passageway for a record distance from Wakulla Springs of 23,810 feet/7,257 meters. Total dive time exceeded 26 hours with 10 hours spent at 260 feet/79 meters.
July 28, 2007: The WKPP returned to Turner Sink in an effort to find the missing cave passageway and finally connect the systems. The exploration team of Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski traveled 11,100 feet/3,383 meters downstream from Turner Sink and explored a large side tunnel trending S-SW. The tunnel opened up and the team explored and surveyed 1,100 feet/335 meters of new cave passageway before connecting to the guideline from the June 23, 2007 dive from Wakulla Springs. The cave systems were finally connected on July 28, 2007 at 12:20pm EST.
December 15, 2007: WKPP explorers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski entered Turner Sink on Saturday afternoon at 2pm and traveled 36,000 feet/10,972 meters downstream to Wakulla Springs. The team spent 6.5 hours traveling through the cave system followed by 13 hours of decompression at Wakulla Springs. The team surfaced Sunday morning to a large crowd of team members, citizens and government officials there to express their support of the WKPP and their efforts over the past 17 years to explore and protect the cave systems feeding water to the incredible natural and cultural resource that is Wakulla Springs.
Future Plans: The WKPP will continue its exploration south towards the Gulf of Mexico.