» Hospital Hole

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Rated 3.3/5 stars (156 ratings)

Overview Location & Specifics Conditions Resources Nearby Systems  
Hospital Hole is a submarine sink located in the Weeki Wachee River. It is in a sharp bend (third bend) 1,000 feet upstream from State Hwy 595 bridge. 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, but the site can be easily accessed via boat or canoe from Roger's Park. The park is open year round and has a boat dock with a launch ramp. The park collects a $2 fee (per vehicle) during daylight hours in the summer. The opening of the sink is about 30 ft across is easily seen through the river water. Visibility is usually excellent down to the hydrogen sulfide layer at about 70'. Since this is an artifical ceiling (blocks daylight) you should dive this as though it were a cave dive. However, finding a tie off for your primary may prove difficult as the walls of the sink are very smooth. The maximum width of the sink is about 150 ft and maximum depth is around 140 feet. There is quite a bit of graffiti on the walls and makes for a laugh. The shape of the sink itself is like a small boot with no passage or major overhangs. The ceiling gently slopes upward towards the opening.
5490 Darlene St, Weeki Wachee, FL 34607, USA
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Latitude: 28.53057
Longitude: -82.6233
Coordinate System:
Maximum Depth: 143'
 Cave Diving
 Cavern Diving
 Open Water Diving
Access via Rodgers Park
Date Submitter Visbility Remarks
10/10/2013 Robert brooks 25ft The cloud was from 30ft to 90 ft. After 90ft it cleared but hydrogen sulfite was so bad that it burn your eyes the hole time below 90ft.
11/11/2012 Divingbum 20 Did 2 dives at high tide. Lotta fish and about 7 manatee. Lots of particulate in water and the hydrogen sulfide was bad enough my lips went numb and my buddy was nauseous after the second dive. Hit 141 ft and did a short deco. LOTS of trash on the bottom.not a bad day of diving but not great either. Will prob be better in Dec or Jan.
5/1/2011 Derick Wilson 20-30 feet Hydrogen Sulfide layer was around 30 feet till abought 115 feet , i have never see it so clouded. i thing the flow was reversed in the river as well, i hop we get some rain to clear it up and get a good flow going
3/17/2011 Bill and Kim 50 Took some open water friends here today. Vis was much better than last week when we visited. Could almost see clear across the sinkhole! Hydrogen Sulfide layer at 75-80ft. had such a unique looks, I swear it looked like the rings of saturn! Dropped to 100ft, bottom of the rope. Looked around and circled back up to the surface. Nice dive, if the rain keeps away, vis should only improve!
3/5/2011 Bill and Kim 20ft. First dive here, nice easy dive, followed the wall around at 75 feet, just above the sulfide layer. Saw a few tubes the went into the walls, small no-mounts. Wonder if they've been explored? A lot of boat traffic and swimmers around the be careful of. Temp. 74 degrees in the sinkhole
8/12/2010 Steve 30 Greeted by a couple manatees hanging around the rim for my first dive at this site. First 15 feet very low vis, clearded up as expected soon after. We circled around the sides to check out the graffiti as we decended to 80ft, just above the hydrogen sulfide layer. Sun was pretty much directly overhead and had good light at depth. Overall conditions were great, and made for a fun dive. I didnt go much deeper than the HS layer, but Im looking forward to coming back again sometime to do a little deeper exploring.
5/10/2010 scuba dew diving 60 hit 147 feet .great dive still have not hit the end of the cavern.
5/31/2009 Fed 25ft An early start to a wonderful day of diving. We met up at Dayo at 7:00 a.m. and headed off. We arrived to the park right next to river somewhere around 9:30 - 10:00 a.m. While on the ride up we were discussing our options, rent a boat? Rent a kayak/canoe? Swim? Once we got to the park and took a look at the river and it 'appeared' to have no current. We contemplated for a good 15 minutes and decided "What the hell lets swim up river". We entered the water right next to the boat ramp, as soon as we had geared up a small jon boat with 3 women came by. We kindly asked them if they would be generous enough to give us a tow they agreed and were happy to help. There were two problems with this 1. 4 Divers gear 3 women 1 jon boat with a tiny motor = not moving anywhere. They revved up the motor and we barely moved, it was clear that there was no way this little boat could tow us. 2. at around this exact time we saw a police officer on a jetski coming, surely being towed by a boat is probably not the best idea. so we gave up. So up the river we went, then we met our new friend: the current It was strong, real strong, we weren't smart enough to take our fins off so we were struggling trying to get up the river finally after two stops to catch our breath and relax we made it to hospital hole. The dive... Dive 1: Pretty basic dive, drop down to the bottom swim around, avoid deco and get a general overall feel for the hole. Looking back at some of the dive reports I have read, I found that they were not entirely accurate. Here are the facts we learned today. Daylight is NOT lost at 80 feet, or 100 feet, or even 110 feet, there was never a point that we could not look up and 'clearly' see the sun (albeit green). None of us experienced our eyes burning due to the sulfur at any point pre/post dive(s). We went through a series of "layers" that was really awesome. Layer 1: 0-5 feet - basic river water - dark - lots of particles almost zero viz Layer 2: 5-10 feet - mix of salt and fresh water appearing all blurry halocline Layer 2: 10-25 feet - thermocline - got warmer going down the first dive, crystal clear almost spring like viz Layer 3: 25-75 feet - darker and darker tannic water, clear no particles, sun now starts to appear greenish Layer4: 75-80 feet - almost exactly at 80 feet the hydrogen sulfide layer appeared. Quite beautiful actually, it was like a 5 foot layer of white liquid smoke. Layer 5: 80 - 130 feet - clear tannic water, some particulate viz was about 20-25 feet Viz was a lot better than I expected it to be overall. We did a great job of not silting the place up too. We saw all the graffiti on the walls, some of it funny, some of it vulgar which I kindly erased. At the bottom temps were around 73 degrees (not the reported 68 degrees). We saw a few crab traps but not the sunken boat. Lots of bottles and cans too (clean up dive anyone?). On dive 1 we only saw one very very small solution tube. We did our safety stop, I deployed a safety sausage at 20 feet just in case boaters were above us and deployed it to the surface. We floated down the river and let the current do all the work We sat out, got some lunch and relaxed for a bit. Sunny day very hot. After a good meal we geared up again, hoping again for a lift from someone. We asked 3 different boats and they all denied us this time it was low tide and we were smart enough not to put on our fins. The walk was MUCH easier than the first, still a workout though. We saw a river otter swimming along the shore Dive 2: Similar to the first only this time we spent most of our dive at around 40-80 feet. We found all the solution tubes, they were huge! Very impressive. We found one of them that goes all the way up to around 10 feet. We don't know however, which one it is down from 50 feet as we did not go up them all the way. All of the big tubes were between 40-50 feet. Very cool stuff!! Overall Hospital Hole was pretty darn cool, I don't know why people don't go there more often. Maybe we got lucky but viz was good, warm enough water, and plenty of things to check out. Oh and it cost us a whopping $3.00 to dive there
5/25/2008 PolarbearBen Under 5ft Logged one dive at this site today. Vis was poor arms length even with HIDs. The tide was going out so that could have something to do with it. As soon as I started down I could smell the sulfur so I think the sulfur cloud rose and felt the thermocline around 60ft. It was interesting to feel the reverse thermocline. This was my first dive at this site and even though I was disappointed I believe this could be an awesome site if you time it right. If you read this report and know the science of how to time diving this site please send me an email. See you in the water.
1/27/2008 Kurt turbid, mod. poor Top 50 feet seemed to have a lot of hanging turbidity in the water. Very green in color and visibility was moderately poor. Sulfur layer at about 80 feet was thick and pungent. Bottom visibility was fair at 132 ft where we ran out of up-line. Saw some crab traps at the bottom. Noticed a vertical, natural round tube structure in the rock near the top measuring about four feet across that looked interesting. It might possibly connect to the one we found deeper down the sink. Upon ascent and descent we saw about five to eight manatee hanging out at the top, both large and small. Top ten feet seemed to be about 69 degrees whereas the lower (reverse) thermocline was warmer around 73-74 degrees.
10/2/2007 chris Ok my son and i put down about 20 pvc t and roped them around. starting from the near end around the the left side all the way to he end boot. so a line permanent around the walls through the pvc t's t was a tour line around from the back o the boot shap to the toe at 140 ft and i put an anchor into the wall at 140 and attatched the line. we put some pvc at 20 ft alspo like a bar for safety stop area. it took several dives to do this and we had each side of the wall roped and guided. then some cave divers i understad cut almost all the rope and pulled it out of their. wat ever their wisdom was for that i dont know. this is a great dive site if one knows the lay out and knows what to do and expect and how to lay a center line ect.. we put a perment line in so it could be explored safely and these idiots removed it. its not a cave site why they were there i dont know. maybe training maybe new cave divers with an attittue who knows. we tried to make it safe for all to explore you dont need a cave dive card but you should be advanced and experieced and equiped with 2 ligts cavern real all that. if you know what to expect its a safe dive i love that place chrs
10/2/2007 Cert. Cave Diver 30 No Chris, I did not take your line! But, last time I checked 140' in total darkness & overhead enviroment = cave!! That's even past cavern level. What you did was to just make it feel safe to the untrained diver more than likely just using an Al 80 one light. Yes, you dont need a card; these guys did not have one either http://thedecostop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27223
9/24/2007 DaveS 30 Hospital Hole is looking good and definitely recovered from whatever was ailing it from the last conditions report. We dove to 125. Sulfide layer was sitting at 75-80. There was an odd salt water layer a couple of feet thick at 10. Good vis all the way down. 25 . Excellent after 90, 30 .
6/30/2007 JJ 10 ft 10 ft visibility max from top to bottom at 130'. This is my third dive here and I have seen Hospital Hole at it's best. This was by far the worst I have ever seen with no apparent start or end of the sulfide layer, it was visible from the boat. Difficult to follow your buddy even with HIDs and a secondary light turned on your BC facing backwards. My buddy following me appreciated my bright yellow Diverite fins! That said we still had a decent dive running a reel down to 110' checking out the walls. Second dive was ok as well I guess, more as a learning experience in low-vis conditions. From the boat it appeared to have cleared up somewhat in the afternoon, after checking out the swings upriver, but thats not really confirmed.
5/13/2007 Waters 5-10 I must have horrible luck diving this spot because I keep hearing promising condition reports on it, but have yet to see it with better than 10 ft of visibility. We could hardly make out the edge of the sink from the surface and conditions stayed that bad all the way down to 140 ft. It seems like the sulfide layer has grown even thicker since last time I was there, starting at about 70 ft and ending at almost 100 ft. Definitely an eerie dive when you're down deep feeling a little buzz and unable to see no more than 5 ft in front of you with HIDs. The only good thing about the day was getting drunk in the canoe and finding a nice rope swing farther up stream.
3/17/2007 G Very Good We did a warm up dive here to get me back into deep diving after a 6 month break. I was surprised to see the debris cone is starting to show above the sulfide layer near the south wall. We scanned the entire bottom and found no john boat as has been reported. It might be buried under the muck.
3/11/2007 War Eagle 80 ft After reading the last post I was reluctant to dive here. A group of us went anyway. We got there a low tide, parked at the public park, entered through the swimming area, and snorkeled upstream for the 300 yds against current. This was the rough part, but the dive proved to be worth it. There were some fishermen in boats but they cleared when we got closer which was nice of them. It was a bit hard to decipher the opening as the water was a bit milky, but only over the hole. We descended through a hazy layer about 15 ft thick down to 20 ft. It was wide open and clear down to the white sulfide layer at about 70 ft. It was pretty awesome to watch the group disappear into the white layer one by one as we descended to about 90 ft. After the sulfide cloud it went to pure tannic and was pitch black but incredibly clear. We circled around the hole dropping at some points to about 115 ft. Didn't see the caterpillar that is said to be down there. Then again it is quite a large sink and we stayed with the walls. The current gave us a very relaxing snorkel back. Overall very enjoyable dive. Definitely going back. Wouldn't recommend diving here unless you like a challenge!
3/3/2007 Patrick Waters 5-10 First dive was early in the morning on low tide and the visibility was horrible. Did a second dive about an hour and a half later after eating lunch. Tide was going up and the visibility improved to about 15-20'. Its not worth diving on the low tide unless you like running into walls.
4/1/2006 Gibby Lane 40 We started our dive by dropping an accent line down the middle of the hole with a strobe tied off 5 feet above the weighted end. We did a free fall through the layer and hit the brakes upon seeing the strobe to keep us out of the silt. From here we tied in to our accent line and turned north to find the right hand wall. Several large braches stuck in the mud made line placements possible and we also located the PVC Ts on the way down to 135. 40 foot vis made it possible to see half of the room and ceiling. When we turned I could still see the strobe flashing so maybe the vis was better than 40ft. On the way up the sulfide layer was only a few feet thick and above the layer there is a lot of weird suspended snot blobs floating around. I always liked this site due to that spooky feeling you get when your well lit blue world turns instantly to darkness with nothing but browns and grays in your lights. Its like going right into the underworld. I'm sure Hades is hanging out under the johnboat down there.
11/13/2005 Dave Shuman 20 Dove Weeki in the morning and Hospital Hole in the afternoon. Rented a canoe ($22/3hr) and Weeki Wachee Marina which is on Shoreline just past Roger's park. It take about ten minutes to paddle upstream to Hospital Hole. There is little signage to indicate you are in the right place. Look for a Sheriff's littering ordinance sign and you are there. We just kept asking locals until we were sitting on top of it. Tie up your boat on the undeveloped shoreline and gear up in the water. The shore is muddy and heavily rooted. The surface was chewed up, possibly from recent weather or boat traffic. Vis in the first 30 feet was less than 10ft. At about 40 it cleared up to 30 feet. The bowl was filled with fish with a number of large Amberjacks zipping about. At about 65 we hit the sulfide layer. Thick milk solution that stank horribly. We passed through it at about 85 and vis opened up, way up to 60 . Pitch black. We bottomed out at 105. The floor is heavily silted in fine material and surface debris. There was a severely worn line running to the SE. We did not follow and opted not to run our own due to the silt conditions and our nitrogen obligations. An interesting, undeveloped dive. Not another diver in site and the lack of facilities definitely gave it an adventurous feel. Dave
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Description Type Date Author Remarks
 Drawing Images 1980 Mr. Hart
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