The PCB Aquatic Center is the only lap pool open to the public in the vicinity of where we’re staying, so Janet did some research into other venues that might qualify for this project. After a nice long course workout in the PCB pool this morning, we drove about 45 minutes north to check out Morrison Springs, a park in Ponce De Leon (pronounced: Pons d’lee), Florida, that opened a few years ago. The groundwater that is used to heat and cool the pool is the same temperature as the springwater that comes up from a dramatic underwater cave here–68 degrees.
Best known as a dive spot, the 200-plus-foot-deep spring-cave was being explored by dozens of wetsuit-wearing divers, who would periodically bubble up from the depths. We basked in the sun for a while and then waded in from the sandy beach for a beautiful little swim. It was hard to imagine doing a real workout here, so it’s not going to count as a pool, but it’s so pretty that I couldn’t resist adding a post about it. Along the sides are Cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss. The aqua water is amazingly clear, and there’s some interesting vegetation on the bottom, including bunches of large, lettuce-like plants. We saw schools of minnows and several larger fish, and Janet spotted a big turtle.
The water flowing out of the spring made a twisty, turny river that eventually feeds into the Choctawhatchee River. I went down a few hundred yards and didn’t like how shallow it was getting, or that I couldn’t see the beach, so I turned around and headed back against the gentle flow of the springwater. Anyone looking to do a qualifying swim in 68-degree water would do well here.