Sunday, April 8, 2012

#9 Alexander Spring

Driving south on 13th, the scenery quickly changes from the UF campus to endless horse farms. If you take a left in Ocala about 30 miles later, you end up on 40 East in the middle of Ocala National Forest. At the far end of the forest, after driving through huge sections of untouched woods as well as a few scattered southern towns that seem misplaced in time, you find Alexander Spring. I have driven through the forest too many times without stopping at Alexander and have explored Juniper twice, so I decided to make a special trip to check my 9th 1st magnitude spring off the list.

First view when I jumped into the water.. The large pool surrounding the spring is shallow and full of this green algae and tons of sunfish (bluegill and redear).

Swimming over to the spring head.

Looking up at the buoys keeping you from swimming towards the edges... perhaps the alligators hide there...
Not the most glorious colors in the spring, but this brown algae was above where the spring water was flowing at high velocity... 

Racing my bubbles to the surface. You can see the reflection of my highlighter yellow fins in the bubbles.

Lots of kids swimming around the spring. Definitely wetsuit weather but they didn't seem to think so.

 Some sunfish shots. The first is a bluegill and the second is a redear...

Swimmers from afar.

1/2 under, 1/2 above

 Diving down to the bottom... blue skies above.

More blue skies. This is taken from about 10 feet below the surface.

Diving down again. There was so much flow coming out of the spring that you could see a boil at the surface. Right above the spring, I could angle myself perpendicular to the the surface and kick towards the bottom but stay in the same spot!

One last sunfish shot on the way out.

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