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Thread: Alexander Springs Dive Plan

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    Alexander Springs Dive Plan

    Alexander Springs Dive Plan
    by Scott Coupland

    Location and Contact Information
    49525 County Road 445
    Altoona, Florida 32702
    Phone: 352-669-3522

    Alexander Springs is open year round from 8:00am to 8:00pm.

    Latitude: 29.08130081
    Longitude: -81.57588358

    Diver Fees
    Day use (non diver) fee is $5.00 per person.
    Diving permit fee is an additional $1.50 per person ($6.50 per diver).

    A ranger in the gatehouse will check all persons using scuba for certification. A wrist band is issued and must be worn while in the park. Divers are permitted to dive alone without a buddy, but this is recommended only for experienced divers.

    Driving Directions

    From I-4 take exit 101C towards Mount Dora.
    Turn left onto SR-46 for 7.7 miles.
    Turn right at stop light towards Eustis onto CR-46A for 5.6 miles.
    Turn left at stop light onto SR-44 for 1.1 miles.
    Turn right at stop light onto CR-437/Plymouth Sorrento Rd. for 1.7 miles.
    Turn left at stop sign onto CR-44A for 3.1 miles.
    Turn right at stop light onto CR-439 for 6.2 miles.
    Turn left at stop sign onto CR-42 for 3.4 miles.
    Turn right at stop sign onto SR-19 for 5.2 miles.
    Turn right onto CR-445. Note: look for the CR-445 sign on the right side of the road because there is no stop sign or stop light.
    Follow CR-445 for 4.6 miles. The entrance to the park is on the left.
    From the gatehouse go straight .1 mile towards the swimming area to the paved parking lot.

    For road and satellite imagery, click on this link:

    Click this link to check the weather at Alexander Springs.

    Water Temperature:
    Water temperature is 72F/22C degrees year round. A 3mm wetsuit with a hooded vest is recommended. You may want a 5mm wetsuit and hood if you are prone to getting cold.

    At the Dive Site:
    Unload your equipment in the parking lot, go right of the concession stand, and follow the sidewalk to the beach area. It is helpful to have a hand truck or wagon to transport your gear. Picnic tables may be available for your equipment but it is also recommended to have a tarp to lie out on the ground to protect your equipment and yourself from sand. Divers will gear up in this area and walk to the spring entry carrying their fins. Divers will finish any adjustments and do buddy checks prior to descending the cement steps into the water. You will put your fins on in the water. After the dive, an outdoor shower is available near the beach area to rinse yourself and your equipment.

    concession stand, bathroom facilities and entrance to beach area is adjacent to the parking lot. Turn right in front of the building on the right towards the beach area.

    They have ONE restroom building. It has flush toilets and hot showers.

    Spring Description

    The spring is set in a low area with thick sub-tropical forest on two sides and pines and hardwoods in a camping area on the other. The spring pool is a large semi-circle about 200 feet across and forming the headwaters of Alexander Creek. Water flows from a cavernous opening near the middle of the pool at a rate of 40 million gallons per day.

    The depth of the pool gradually increases from ankle deep to about 30 feet at the bottom. The bottom composition is sand. There is then a 40-foot-wide fringe of aquatic vegetation before the bottom falls away suddenly to reveal a large open area of exposed and sand-covered limestone rock and boulders. The area forms a sunlit trench that is 45 feet long and 10-25 feet wide. Water flows strongly from a large vent on the bottom on the beach side of the spring. Water in the spring is very clear and can be bright blue over the vent area. Flow from the spring creates a large and powerful surface boil that is readily visible from the shore.

    Fish, including bluegill, may be observed swimming among the aquatic plants and over the trench. The spring run narrows outside the pool and winds first SE then NE a total of about 25 miles to the St. Johns River in the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge.

    The shallow depths make for an excellent novice dive or an ideal pool to try out new equipment. There is a small cavern that can be penetrated for about 10 ft. at a depth of 25 feet. Divers should absolutely avoid penetrating the cavern area unless certified to do so.

    What you can expect to see:

    There is abundant wildlife in the spring head and river run, mainly fish and turtles. Sunfish, bass, gar and mullet are commonly seen swimming around.


    In and around the eel grass, bowfin and eels hide.

    Keep an eye out on top of the water for ducks, hawks, herons and turtles.

    Predive Safety Check:

    All buddy teams will do a predive safety check and make sure that regulators, octos and inflators are working. Remember to check to make sure that your air is on, and that your regulator is in your mouth, not your snorkel.
    Dive Procedures:
    Maintain visual contact with your buddy at all times. Maintain good buoyancy, and try not to silt the dive site. Make sure to ascend from the spring slowly, exhale a safety stop at 15 feet for 3 minutes minimum.

    Emergency Procedures
    In case of buddy separation follow standard procedures. Look for your buddy for one minute. If you can not find your buddy ascend slowly, exhale and do a three minute safety stop at 15 feet. Your buddy should also be following these procedures and will see you at the surface. If anyone is low on air, signal your buddy with the appropriate hand signal and begin your ascent. In the rare and unusual case of an out of air situation, signal your buddy and commence sharing air. Maintain buoyancy and ascend slowly, remembering to breathe.

    Emergency Contact Information
    911 - This will activate EMS in the Altoona area.
    DAN – 1-919-684-4326
    Always call DAN after 911 in the case of a dive emergency which may require medical attention. They will refer you to the correct chamber, if necessary.

    Emergency oxygen is not available onsite, it should be bought by the divers

    Environmental Interaction Suggestions
    Good Buoyancy is a must! The head spring can silt rather easily, causing reduced visibility. Do not harass the wildlife.

    Enjoy your dive, be safe and have fun!
    Last edited by denise; 03-30-2013 at 04:43 PM.

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