The River Delivers
While the trip to Aurora two weeks ago was nice, my land collecting sortie last weekend amongst the eagle-sized South Carolina mosquitos and deer flies wasn't nearly as productive. Add the heat, humidity, and paucity of fossils, and the hunt was downright unenjoyable. I found about seven broken teeth, and instead of making a post like normal, I made plans to dive this weekend.
It was a cool, overcast Saturday morning when we met at the boat landing. Its near the end of the diving season now. Water temps are in the low 70s, and it will soon be too cold to dive in a wetsuit. We probably have another month to harvest teeth from the river, but who knows. This place is wierd. Ted and I got suited up as Jay piloted the boat to the first dive spot. It was a place they found on their own, and they wanted to share their new spot with me. Ted scored big time here last Wednesday with 3 whole megalodon teeth and he was anxious to hunt the spot again. There was a guy fishing right on top of the hole, so we motored around looking for a spot on the depth finder nearby, and by the time we settled on one the annoying angler had moved off. We quickly moved over and anchored. Finally on the bottom, I could see why they were so exited about this spot. There were little pockets of gravel deposted in the marl all over the place. I swam around and found the fossil layer, but Ted was right on it, so I decided to swim the deposits and not heist his area. I could see where this spot had been hunted not too long ago because of the hunt lines drawn in the marl, but still I hunted. It doesn't take the river that long to replenish a spot. I picked up teeth everywhere, and as I neared the bend, I started seeing more trees and mud. In one spot, a load of gravel had collected around a submerged tree. I hunted this spot hard, and it paid off. I spotted some enamel peeking through the sand. I fanned a little and the serrated blade of the megalodon was exposed. I picked it up and saw that the root was intact. My day was complete - I had one for the case, and everything I found after was just gravy. This dive lasted about 20 more minutes, and though I picked up about 40 more teeth, nothing came close to the tooth safely tucked in my wetsuit pocket. This time, I made it back to the boat without having to call for them to come pick me up. Man, that was embarrasing! We dropped Jay off up river a little bit so he could do a drift dive in the ripping falling tide. Ted went down again next to the boat. I served my boat duty. Ted came back after this dive with a nearly complete 4 inch meg tooth, but Jay was again denied a big tooth from the river.
Jay and I went to my favorite spot in the river for our second dives. Its a little harder to hunt this spot because everything is under sand, but there is a LOT there. I dropped right on top of a curious find. I couldn't tell what it was under water, but it looked like a tooth so I picked it up and didn't really get much of a chance to think about it because I was finding so many big teeth. Most were broken, but as I always say, its fun to find a huge quantity of teeth in any condition. At several points, my hope was piqued by a partially exposed giant tooth, and then dashed as I found them to be damaged. Just before I surfaced, I picked up a nice posterior megalodon tooth. It was serrated and had the tip - very rare for megalodon teeth found in the Cooper. They are mostly worn. I came up with a bag full of teeth again - I LOVE this site!
It was another hugely successful day on the Cooper. Thanks again, Ted, for letting me tag along.