Thanks, Suzy Sparkman Hall, for the name: David’s Disappointment Spring, which we saw paddling from Florida Campsites to Allen Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2022-06-04.
And thanks to Suzy for why: Guy Bryant, A Cave Diving History of Little Known Springs, December 3, 2015, David’s Disappointment Spring,
David’s Disappointment Spring is named after David Nolan who was the first person to explore its small cave. The spring is located down river from Madison Blue Springs and upriver a short distance from Pot Springs on the Hamilton County side of the Withlacoochee River. From Pot Springs if you follow the river upstream for about 0.6 miles you will arrive at David’s Disappointment. David Nolan was one of my early diving partners in the late 70’s and early 80’s and was known for poking around into small tunnels or digging out small springs in the hope of finding going cave.
In the early 80’s David was looking for possible springs to explore. He was checking the area between Madison Blue and Pot Springs. Just up river from Pot Springs (0.6 miles) on the same bank he found a small spring with clear water issuing forth. Upon inspection, he discovered that the entrance was choked with rock. David spent several hours clearing the entrance. He had to clear about 15 feet into the cave before he came to open tunnel. However, the tunnel was smaller than the Rocky Horror tunnel of Madison Blue. While pulling rocks out of the spring he used an old collar BC with a single steel 72 attached to it like a stage tank.
Once he had cleared all the rocks out he grabbed his reel and decided to see if he could add some line. While laying line he went through some very pretty small rock tunnel. There was no silt to speak off, just a bit of dust on the floor, ceiling and walls. Enough to reduce the visibility from crystal clear to about 20 to 30 feet due to bubble percolation. David explored for about 100 feet distance to a depth of 28 feet before the cave abruptly stopped at a small terminal pit. He tied off his line and left to never dive this spring again. Since David was so disappointed that the spring didn’t turn out to be a decent cave it became known by Lamar English and myself as David’s Disappointment. I later told David that we had given it that name and he remarked that it was an appropriate name, so the name stuck.
Guy’s blog post continues with pictures from when he retraced David’s dive, a cave map, and other interesting anecdotes and information.
Here are other pictures from our paddle there this year.
For more WWALS outings, see https://wwals.net/outings/
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®