Bennett Springs - February 2011
It’s February and that can only mean one thing – only a few more weeks of diving Bennett Springs before the trout fisherman take over on March 1, the spring in open for diving Nov 1 – Feb 29. The MWMD crew (at least part of us, for some it was a little too cold) met up with Shoot2Retieve and his wife for an afternoon of diving. Although there was snow on the ground the conditions were great – ambient temp in the mid 50’s. Water temp is a constant 55ish year around. I have to say once again my theory has proven out, “There are no strangers amongst divers”. We all had a great time and enjoyed not only the diving but the dive stories as well. You know what happens when a group of divers gather.
If you have never dove Bennett it’s an awesome dive. The water clarity is 2nd to nothing you will find in the Midwest. At the mouth of the cavern, trout hang out and become very interested when they see divers. The cavern drops down to about 85 feet with the noted popcorn room at the bottom. This is where the current is entering the cavern and lifts the rocks up resembling popcorn popping. You have to monitor the flow. For me, if the flow is too much over 100 cfs, it’s really not worth diving because you cannot get too far. Today the flow was just over 100 cfs, almost perfect conditions for making the journey to the bottom. There is a rope about halfway down on the right that helps out tremendously.
Probably the first question that is asked is if “cave certification is required”. The answer – no, but you do have to have at least an open water certification. You also must register with Diane and provide a copy of your C-card and a pictured I.D. The park keeps records on who has dove the spring. They do have some strict rules such as only 6 divers a day can dive the spring and there must be surface support when divers are in the water. Diane is very strict on this rule. Those that violate the rules are put on a “black list” and not permitted to ever dive the spring again.
On this trip, Diane hung out with us for most of the day. She is great to talk too and does a great job for the divers. She is very personable and you have to watch out for her wit and sense of humor. All in all, she just wants everybody to be safe and really enjoys interacting with the divers. Best advice is to contact Diane if you are interested in diving. She can be reached at 417-532-3925, 417-532-4338 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org (This is the current email address for Diane – she prefers email because she can answer quicker)