» Alachua Sink

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Rated 3/5 stars (673 ratings)

Overview Location & Specifics Conditions Resources Nearby Systems  
Mill Creek Sink is located in the city of Alachua, Florida and was originally established by the NSS as the Alachua Sink Preserve on November 7, 1992. The donor of the property was the Asgrow Florida Corporation, a division of the Upjohn Company. John Kibler, a long time NSS/CDS member and Asgrow employee, was one of the driving forces behind the donation to the NSS. The NSS interest in the ownership of this property is primarily due to its significant value as a hydrological resource and to protect access to this site.

Mill Creek Sink is a water filled sinkhole connected to a water filled cave and is the only known window to the underground Mill Creek Stream System. The sinkhole slopes steeply nearly 50 feet down to the water's edge. The sinkhole is filled with very dark, tannic-stained water for most of the year, as well as fallen trees and debris. Clear water is not encountered for a considerable distance into the system. The main cave system has tunnel both upstream and downstream with depths to 227 feet

To dive Alachua Sink you must have a guide. Click here for information on contacting guides for this site. In addition, the guides are all volunteers, guides are not allowed to charge for services and don't expect anyone to tip them. However, I wouldn't feel bad at least making sure they had a good meal or deco beverage after the dive.
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Latitude: 29.80114
Longitude: -82.5085
Zone:
Coordinate System:
Maximum Depth: 227'
 Cave Diving
 Cavern Diving
 Open Water Diving
Mill Creek Sink, NSS/CDS, Guided
Date Submitter Visbility Remarks
1/11/2014 Brandon Cook 30' basin, 60-80' upstream Finally, first dive in the system, guided by Rick C. Vis was pretty good the entire dive, really opened up past T upstream. Saw lots of really large crayfish and massive clay banks. Great dive, cool cave.
11/13/2013 Brandon Cook 1' in basin First cold front, temp 50*f I went to see basin, very black, could only see 1 step below surface. Will check weekly in hopes of finding basin clear once water temps drop, or so I've heard might happen.
4/21/2013 Andy Pitkin 5-40' 5-10 feet viz in the cavern, improving to a hazy 40' at the upstream-downstream junction. About the same all the way upstream. Lots of leaves and other surface debris in the line in the new section, so the system clearly has reversed at least that far.
9/3/2011 Andy Pitkin 15 to 80 About 15' in the basin and cavern to about 50 feet depth, then very clear (80 ) all the way downstream. A little milkiness in the Subway tunnel, but still very good.
8/14/2011 Bob Schulte 5' in basin, 50' upstream Low visibility starts improving at 90', clears after upstream/downstream junction.
8/14/2011 Bob Schulte 5' in basin, 50' upstream Low visibility starts improving at 90', clears after upstream/downstream junction.
5/16/2011 Andy Pitkin 15-80 Cavern & basin milky after the heavy rain. Upstream very clear as before. New gold line installed in the deeper upstream section.
4/16/2011 Andy Pitkin 50-100 Basin very nice, about 50'. Upstream crystal clear with no limit to visibility anywhere.
2/27/2011 Andy Pitkin 20-60 20' in the cavern down to the upstream/downstream junction. Downstream 50-60 feet all the way. Flow minimal.
2/5/2011 Andy Pitkin 40-60 Lots of rain over the last few days made the wooden steps treacherously slippery. About 40' in the basin, improving to about 60' in places downstream. Flow low but discernible.
2/1/2011 WEPIV 100 - Did a dive yesterday with Wayne Kinard upstream to around 1300 feet and the vis was not only fantastic in the cave system but also even in the basin.
1/6/2011 Jeff Petersen 50-70 feet Downstream dive to the end of the line. Visibility is fantastic from the basin to the end. Flow is just right.
11/22/2010 Allen Beard 60 Basin mostly clear, and clear enough to easily see the line out after (we dived it at night). Visibility was 60 with slight milk in the upstream tunnel and clearer at depth.
1/15/2010 Pete Gelbman 60-80 Basin clear, cavern 40 ft, upstream 60 ft till 2nd room, 60-80 ish in the sub 200' deeper section
12/21/2009 Phil 60' Basin is cristal clear. Had a great dive with our giude Rick. Thanks Rick for that dive. Realy nice cave.
7/25/2009 Elisha Gibson 2-75ish My first dive here...basin was pretty nasty, about 1 foot viz at the surface, got better at around 30 feet. Nice viz in the rest of the upstream, no noticable flow. What a gorgeous cave!
7/3/2009 Jerry 60 ft Basin is pretty bad; maybe 5 feet. Clears nicely at the u/s-d/s T. Mild flow
5/18/2009 Forrest Wilson 80' Vis in the basin was great. We went downstream, and vis was around 80'
4/14/2009 Bob Cree 50 Basin was clear. Vis upstream a bit lower than normal around 50', great diving. Water temps a comfy 70 all the way up - I dive wet, so it made for nice deco. Everything else is blown in the area except Ginnie, and Alachua held in there!
8/29/2008 Jerry ?? Stopped by to check the water level after the tropical storm; basin is up at least 2 ft. The water is on the steps finally. Unfortunately it is also tannic.
3/4/2008 Jerry variable Great dive downstream; got almost to the Terminal Room. Vis in the basin was roughly 30 to 40 ft; in the d/s passage vis was exceptional nearly 100 ft. Recent rains dumping in from Mill Creek made the cavern area to the u/s-d/s split very milky; vis 20 ft at best. Next to no flow.
2/1/2008 Jerry 50 Good dive downstream; mornings rain made it a little cloudy. Mild flow.
12/18/2007 Anthony Strazzulla 80 The basin is extremely clear and there's no duckweed--you can see the log at 20' from the parking lot. Visability in the cave is very good upstream. We had a spectacular dive with Wayne and can't wait to return.
8/25/2007 Walter Pickel 60-80 Viz in the basin is still bad. We did downstream through the Subway tunnel and it was great...The flow was mild and the viz was excellent. Wall-to-wall in the system. However, the water clarity was a very slight cloudy in most places.
8/11/2007 Walter Pickel 80 Had a great dive here with Jerry! Basin was crap as expected. However, upstream was incredible. We turned a couple hundred feet passed the restriction at 200'. It is obvious not many divers have been here recently. Absolutely amazing!
7/8/2007 Scott Byars 80 Decent viz in basin then at about 40' it gets very clear. Water level low. The extra stairs on the bottom make it much easier to enter/exit. Upsteam tunnel beautiful all the way to the drop @ 200 ft.
10/29/2006 Stacey Sandrey 80-100' in cave Basin covered in duckweed, but below the viz was good. Viz cloudy in the cavern area, but once in the cave, the viz opened up to 80-100'. Very clear.
10/11/2006 Sean Denney 80'-100' The pond was covered in duck weed, but pushing it aside, the visibility in the basin was quite decent; about 40'. Once past the siphon tunnel, the visibility greatly improved to 100'. As we returned from our, we picked up quite a bit of trash (mostly glass bottles) during our deco/ The new steps are a marked improvement over the rope and ladder that was previously in place, but the short depth of each step makes it quite difficult for a normal size person to walk on.
12/21/2005 Wayne Kinard 1'-2' 1-2 feet of vis all the way down to 150 feet & water temp of 50 F.
6/4/2005 Jim Wyatt 50'-75' Dark dark water to 100-125 feet. Deco at shallow depths it is difficult to read instrumentation. Inches of visibility in the basin is a stretch. Inside the system was clear enough. The new steps are nice & I hear even more improvements are being planned.
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Description Type Date Author Remarks
 Guide Information Admin
 Management Plan Admin
 System Map Map 1976 Sheck Exley
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