Silver Springs in TV and Movies

We took the glass bottom boat tours at Silver Springs State Park many times over the years. A concession now runs them but when we started enjoying the tour the boat captains worked for Silver Springs. In addition to all of the interesting facts about the spring itself, and the local wildlife, this spring and many of the springs in Florida served as movie stages for numerous movies and television programs.

The boat captain talks about many of these pointing out where various scenes took place. They always point out the wooden dock where the dock scenes and some underwater scenes for the television adventure series Sea Hunt filmed. We often saw the dock as we floated by in the boat so this last trip we decided to walk down and see it land side. If Sea Hunt doesn’t ring any bells, don’t feel lost. The series ran from 1958 – 1961 and starred Lloyd Bridges as a former Navy frogman who ran his own diving business. Each week he took on a new challenge. As it was a bit before my television viewing time I asked Karl if he remembered the program, and he said it was “required” viewing each week. As a 12-year-old boy when the show debuted he and his friends definitely fit the target audience.

I checked the history of the show, and apparently Lloyd Bridges appeared with a message at the conclusion of each show on the importance of the marine environment, making it an early nature show.

You may wonder just how many adventures (the show ran 155 episodes) one might encounter in a spring in Florida. Well, the actual location of the business of this television freelance diver was supposed to be somewhere in California and the adventures taking place in the Pacific Ocean. The clear water of Florida springs makes filming underwater more straightforward. Of course, like most movies and shows, filming took place in a number of locations including sound stages.

“Move around, up, down, forward, and back while photographing a subject” remains one of the frequently repeated suggestions on our hikes and in our classes. The different angles and points of view can change the perception of the subject quite a bit. That applies to everything, whether photography or just observing. This hike made a dock pointed out on tours and passed by to see the next thing into an interesting location on its own. Recalling the show brought up interesting memories for Karl, which I never heard before. And we have been married a long time!

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