Mike Emanuel's Cave Diving Page

Tarpon Springs
(Spring Bayou)

Picture of Spring Bayou

LOCATION: (lat. 28°08'46.9" N., long. 82°45'33.6" W.)

Tarpon Springs is located in the Eastern end of Spring Bayou, directly in front of a concrete pier that is used during the annual Epiphany celebration as a place for the Greek Archbishop to throw the cross into the water. From US Hwy 19, turn West on Tarpon Avenue, keep going until you see the bayou.


Although the water is usually very dark and tannic, the kidney shaped opening and steeply sloping sides of the spring are sometimes visible at low tide. The north, east, and west sides slope steeply toward the spring to a depth of 60 ft, then drop vertically to about 100 ft. The south wall is over-hung from 20 ft to 125 ft. The floor of the hole slopes quite steeply toward the 125-ft deep on the south side. The cave opening is in the south wall near the bottom and hits depths of 210+. The spring is directly connected to Knight Sink and Lake Tarpon Sink a mile or so Southeast via one of the largest diameter conduits in the area. In May 1969, an earthen dam was constructed around Lake Tarpon Sink preventing the seasonal flushing of the cave system, expect lots of hydrogen sulfide & silt as a result. Also, the local sewer system has a lot to be desired so I would keep the bayou water out of my mouth. This is the same spring that is chronicled by cave diving legend Sheck Exley in "Basic Cave Diving - A Blueprint for Survival" and "Caverns Measureless to Man".

Aerial shot showing relationship between Tarpon Springs and Knight Sink