"Florida geologists are celebrating a major discovery this week after a team of divers connected two vast underground aquatic cave systems at Wakulla Springs, just south of Tallahassee.
More than two miles from an entranceway and nearly 300 feet below ground, divers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski found a tunnel to connect the systems, ending a quest that began more than 30 years ago.
The connection of the Leon Sinks and Wakulla Springs cave systems means the total system is 28 miles long, making it the longest underwater cave in North America.
The connection was "truly incredible," said McKinlay, director of the Woodville Karst Plain Project, which heads up the exploratory diving project. Immediately, he felt "both a sense of excitement and a sense of relief that the goal was finally accomplished."
The majority of the passageway is between 260 and 300 feet deep. It connects vast caverns many stories high, narrow tunnels, sinkholes and springs in the 288,000-acre Woodville Karst Plain. The divers use scooters to extend their range and pre-stage breathing equipment.
McKinlay, the project director, and Jablonski traveled two miles down one cave Saturday, found another tunnel and traveled 1,220 feet to find the end of a guide line that had previously been established during a dive from Wakulla Springs. (...)"
Full text: News-journalonline.com
Woodville Karst Plain Project: http://www.gue.com/Expeditions/WKPP/index.html