Please check back here a day or two before the dive for extra info.
Buford Springs Dive Info
Location: Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge: https://maps.app.goo.gl/mWQhw5XNDQ5DsaYx9 Website:https://myfwc.com/recreation/lead/chassahowitzka/planning-your-visit Registration is Required (more info below):https://app.myfwc.com/CrossDOI/PermitMe/Permittee/PermitMeLogin.aspx Getting there: Don't use Google Maps/Waze to find the entrance - it's not accurate (trust me). See info below for link to location pin drop Phone: N/A Time: Buford parking area at 9:00a. This dive/eats will take all day - see general schedule below Cost: $6 exact cash only (per vehicle). No debit/credit cards/Venmo accepted. Once you pull into the Reserve, drive up to the ranger/hunter cabin to put your money in an envelope and drop it into the box. Tanks: Two tanks - This is a deep dive so it's up to you if you want to dive with nitrox or air. I'm diving a 32 mix. AOW Cert: MUST be an AOW to do this dive, zero exceptions. Eats: After the dive, we'll be eating at: Lei-Lo Tiki Hut - 17375 Spring Hill Dr., Brooksville, FL
Extra Info for everyone new to this dive:
REGISTRATION IS REQUIED: "CDIVE" Diver registration is required and must be on file with the FWC prior to diving at Buford Springs (link at top). Please follow all instructions/requirements listed on the website.
There will be no cell service most to the way in and very little service at the dive spot. If you need cell service for anything, you'll need to do it at the ranger/hunter station at the entrance.
This dive site is about as rustic as it gets... There is no running water at this location so you might want to bring a gallon of water for rinsing if you need. There are no real bathrooms, pretty much a "modern" outhouse (no running water here either) will be at the ranger/hunter cabin when you pull in. After that... no facilities available.
You must have two perfectly working, fully-charged flashlights for the entire dive since this is in an overhead environment. A tank light is also required.
If you have a wagon to haul gear, please bring it (even if we end up not using it). There are usually a bunch of people there, and not a lot of room to leave our wagons so if we can condense everything into as few of wagons as possible, that would be best.
Keep in mind this is a local hotspot for freedivers. There will be plenty of people around and hanging out at the top of the water.
This is my absolute favorite dive spot in the area!!! It's going to be a great dive! :)
Here is the pin drop link (using Google Maps): Click Here)
If you go in the entrance for the Gun Club, you are too far north. If you see a giant cell tower, you're at the right entrance of the Reserve.
Google maps won't get you to the Reserve. Turn into the Reserve just north of Centralia Road. There will be small turning lane. If you pass it, only way in is to make a "U" turn.
When you pull in, go to the ranger/hunter station on the right and put cash in envelope ($6 per vehicle) and use the "modern" outhouse if you need. Remember, there is NO running water here or there.
Once you're ready, head into the Reserve on Rattlesnake Camp Road. You'll be on Rattlesnake Camp Road for 1.3 miles. At the "Y" intersection, make sure you stay to the right. Then, at the 4-way intersection you'll go RIGHT onto 3 Bridge Road for about another 0.7 miles. It's 3 miles total from the ranger/hunter station.
You'll see a small parking area to the right when you get there.
Once you park:
Gear up and put everything in the wagon(s)
This is an easy, flat 0.4 mile walk each way. 0.3 miles will be on a hard-pack sandy trail and about 0.1 miles will be on a boardwalk. Don't stress, believe it or not, hiking the stairs at Paradise or Blue Grotto is harder than this walk.
The no-see-ums can be really bad. Bring bug spray if you need it.
Sample of the day's schedule: Not a hard-set schedule, just a reference guide
8:00a - Arrive at Buford parking lot
9:00a - Gear up and head back to dive hole
9:30a - Finish gearing up and dive, dive, dive
10:15a - Exit water from first dive
11:15a - Surface interval and swap tanks at vehicles
11:30a - Finish gearing up and dive, dive, dive
12:15p - Exit water from second dive
1:30p - Gear down and head out for lunch (call restaurant so they will pull some tables together for the group)