Diving for Megalodon Teeth in Beaufort SC
RivrDigrFest '08 is upon us. Its that magical time of year when RivrDigr visits the SC lowcountry for some rest and relaxation. He brings his boat and invites some of us to go diving for megalodon teeth in Beaufort SC. T$, Scuba Paul, and myself met with RivrDigr at the appointed area, loaded up the gear, and sped off in search of prehistoric booty.
We arrived at the dive spot - the same one we hit last year and quickly noticed how murky the water was. The new moon brings wicked tides and horrid visibility, but we were not to be thwarted in our quest. Scuba Paul was the first of us ready, and just before he went in RivrDigr said "Don't Die." He's so wise.
On the bottom, I couldn't see an inch. That is no exaggeration. I never saw my guages for the whole time I was on the bottom. No matter, diving is Beaufort is almost always zero visibility so I knew when I said I wanted to come that we would be Braille diving. That's exactly what it sounds like. You feel along the bottom and just under the surface of the sand with your hands and fingers until you feel the fossils.
We normally don't find a whole lot of teeth diving with no visibility, but its still oddly relaxing and fun. At the end of the first dive I had 5 teeth, including one shamer angustidens. I climbed up the anchor line. Just as I reached the boat, I noticed T$'s anchor line all tangled up around my gear. At the same time, I felt my weight belt slipping off. I grabbed for it but it slipped through my fingers. Then, I felt T$'s anchorline start to slip down as well. My weight belt had become tangled in the seemingly endless blue twine that T$ left attached to the anchor line. Luckily, the line fell to the bottom without dragging me with it. I climbed onboard the boat with mixed feelings. I had some teeth, but no weight belt. As RivrDigr surfaced and neared the boat, I told him about T$'s anchor line being tangled up around my belt, and he swam down really quick to see if he could find it. Minutes later, he came back to the surface with my belt. Thanx RivrDigr for saving my gear! We all opened our bags, but the haul was not impressive. We were all ready to get back into the water.
The second dive, as I was readying my gear I helped ScubaPaul slow the air leak in his recently overhauled regulator. With the leak at a manageable level, he rolled off the boat into the water. Just as he was getting ready to let the air out of his BC (buoyancy compensator), the hose for his secondary regulator shot off his scuba tank which began blasting out air at an uncontrolled rate. I had never seen anything like it before! It sounded really bad - I thought at any second he would take flight like an over inflated cartoon character :-) He got out of the water and tried to fix his regulator so he could get back into the water. Unfortunately, we didn't have the proper tools onboard so he couldn't finish his second dive of the day. He really is lucky that hose came off when he was right next to the boat. I can't imagine what he would have done had he been on the bottom, far from the boat when his equipment failed.
With my reality check firmly in place, I double checked my gear and went down for my final dive right in the middle of slack tide. There's a period between high tide and low tide where there is no current. Seems like a good thing, right. WRONG! All the sediment normally suspended in the water sinks to the bottom and covers everything. When you disturb it, it erupts into an engulfing cloud. I went about feeling around the bottom again, knowing that I just wasn't going to see the bottom of the river during either of my dives. I ran into T$ on the bottom, though, and we shook hands for good luck. I found a few broken megalodon teeth laying around, but for most of this dive I didn't find anything. Just before I surfaced, I reached out and just by chance, felt a complete megalodon tooth. Even with zero visibility, I could tell it was complete. I was so happy - I only hoped that someone else had found some teeth on this dive.
With all gear intact, I boarded the boat and excitedly showed off my megalodon tooth. Man, it looked nice even encrusted with river goo. I had a blast diving for Megalodon teeth in Beaufort SC with my friends. Too bad this is my only trip down this year. Later this week, we'll hit the Edisto together, and then next week the Cooper. That'll be Megamouth's (formerly tha Boy) first river dive!