Taxicab Caving in Monkeytown
The Florida Speleological Society
by Jacob Fletcher
6M ago
By The Sleezeweazel, first published in The Florida Speleologist September 2023 Issue Know my children that Ecuador, like all Andean nations, is a place of extremes. There, tectonic cataclysms have created the world’s greatest mountain range. Don’t believe that hype about Everest being the tallest, for the peak of Volcan Chimborazo is the farthest place on earth from the center of the earth. I once peered directly into the caldera from the safety of a jetliner and concluded that Hell hath no fury like the snow swept rim of a stratovolcano.  Any place with that many volcanoes is certain to ..read more
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Cave Conundrum: Knot Your Average Day! Tackling the Great Warren’s Rope Swap
The Florida Speleological Society
by Jacob Fletcher
6M ago
Written by Maggie Brosky, first appeared in The Florida Speleologist September 2023 Issue Those who know me know that I’ve been spending a significant amount of time in Warren Cave recently. On a recent trip, Alicia Bateman pointed out a section of the rope that she thought was concerning. Upon inspection, it was evident that there was a significant rub point a few feet above the rebelay. A 3-4 inch section of the rope was looking ‘fluffy’, and I could even see the clean white core when the rope was running through my bobbin.  The exposed core through the 11mm rope We notified Dave Lizda ..read more
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April Fools Trip
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
10M ago
Skies were clear and sunny, with a slight breeze out of the east on April Fool’s Day 2023. FSS President J. Fletcher set up a morning work day for the group, with an afternoon exploration of Catacombs Cave. No one was really sure if we would get underground–it was April Fools Day. After working in the hot sun and getting a bit of lunch and hydration everyone was looking forward to the cool waters below ground, provided we could all get through the entrance gate. The timing was perfect. The water levels had dropped, and Bat maternity season started in only a couple of days. Which means, the ca ..read more
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FSS does SERA
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
1y ago
Five true go-getters from the FSS drove up for the April 21-24,2022 SERA Cave Carnival. Background: The National Speleological Society (NSS) was founded in 1941. The NSS is broken into 11 different regions depending on geographical region. All the local grotto’s in Florida, including the Florida Speleological Society (FSS) are in the Southeastern Regional Association which is known as SERA. SERA does an annual Cave Carnival in the Spring. The location changes every year, but this year it happened to be at the Little River Property in Menlo GA-the same place as the annual TAG event. The ..read more
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Let’s go Cavorting again
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
2y ago
After two years of waiting and 4 months of planning: meals, ticket sales, tee-shirts design, band, cave permissions, guide book printing, port-a poty rental, raffle, and area preparation-the weekend for the Florida Cave Cavort had arrived. Steve with his morning coffee wondering about the days plans, and what a cavort actually is. According to the Britanniaca Dictionary, a Cavort (kəˈvoɚt) is: 1) to jump or move around in a lively manner.      2) to spend time in an enjoyable and often wild or improper way. How does one Cavort? Cavorting requires a good mood, lots of energy ..read more
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A NEW POLE BARN
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
2y ago
A good work day takes the sting out of isolation. Photo by Nicole Marti After two years of Covid precautions-things are moving forward. Two things that had been put on hold were the Florida Cave Cavort and a new pole barn. Fortunately, now the time was right. The forecast was for a beautiful day on February 26, 2022. It was only one week before the Cavort, but the supplies finally arrived and the crew was ready. FSS members Sean and Doug Prior enlisted the help of their father: Jimmy Prior, who has no interest in caving, but knows how to plan and build. The Prior family went to work like a s ..read more
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A Brand New Gate on Warrens Cave
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
2y ago
Selfless Dedication: South Dakota is beautiful in the summer, Florida is ridiculously hot. So, why would two semi-retired gentleman voluntarily get in a truck and drive 2,000 miles from South Dakota to Gainesville, Florida to do hard manual labor for a week, without their family, and without getting paid a single dime.  John P Schelten and David Springhetti did just this thing. A Little Background: Warrens Cave can be dangerous, which is why it is gated. The first gate may have been installed around 1890-1910 when Warrens was a show cave. We really have no records of those very early yea ..read more
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Caves are Not Just for Exploration
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
2y ago
Being a caver is not just about exploration. Cavers also have an obligation to the conservation of caves. While we normally bring trash bags to pick up occasional litter on our caving trips, certain caves are trashed so regularly that we must organize dedicated cleanup events. Jennings Cave is an example of a cave that is often treated as a trash bin by those that are not educated on the significance of cave conservation. For this cleanup event, several members of our group geared up and rappelled into the pit with trash bags to collect litter, including a multitude of broken beer bottles. Jen ..read more
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New Years Cave Resolution
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
2y ago
Many people make New Year’s resolutions: eat less, lose weight, exercise…Kat and Fletcher are no different, but their resolution was to go caving. After contacting Dave and Phil who came down from Jacksonville, we went to Whitcliff Cave on the beautiful morning of January 16, 2021. Removing some debris around the entrance. [Photo by Fletcher Jacob] We had a little trouble getting into the cave, but once we were able to access the property (legally of course). We dropped through the Caliber Check opening and explored the underground. Kat tries out the Caliber Check. Whitecliff is a good winter ..read more
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Underground Oasis
The Florida Speleological Society
by phil
2y ago
Sometimes its just nice to get away. With COVID looming, trips have been down. There have also been a few new members that were looking forward to getting underground. Natalie rose to the challenge and put together a small group to explore Florida’s underground oasis on Septeber 26, 2020. All photos taken from Kat Newell’s GO-PRO film that can be seen on the FSS Facebook Page: The group walks into the underground wonder.   If you are a caver, you may recognize the old dock from when they gave tours here long ago.   Water was down to the bottom step, which is a great time to expl ..read more
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