I have been reading this site for somtime now and I must say I learned most of what I know from here. When I got the email from Rivrdigr that the fossil hunting "summit" known as Rivrdigr Fest would be held in Venice, Florida, a mere three hours from my house and that I had been extended an invitation, well, I was a little excited! It is always cool to meet new people with similar interests and everyone from this site I have met in person has been great. So, the opportunity to meet and dive with the likes of DW, ScubaPaul, DaFozz, T$, and of course the festival's namesake, Rivrdgr, well this is the kind of thing that makes you reorganize your priorities. I simply moved Father's Day up a week to clear my schedule for the Paleo Bonanza that was certain to be.
So Friday morning I made my way over to the fossiling grounds. I knew the guys were out there but I couldn't pick out which boat was Rivrdgr's out of the dozen or so in the area. I always think quality of quantity when I am home and on my way to Venice so I usually start in an area where some of the nicest teeth come from. Typical of my effort in this area, two hours swimming around with nothing to show for it convinced me that there is nothing wrong with a little quantity and figured on a change of plans. After this first dive I met up with Rivrdgr while the other guys were down. I anchored up next to him to wait for the others to surface. First up was DW whose arm I recognized immediately from his famous fossiling blockbusters. DaFozz was next with T$ right behind him and ScubaPaul, who I had met in Aurora, up last. They had each snagged something bag worth and we were all ready to get back down. I really don't remember who found what where on the first day but I ended up with a nice meg and lots of bits and pieces.
The second day my buddy Jeff made it over to continue the quest. We started outside of the typical hunting area with fair results. The viz has been pretty poor this year in Venice but still plenty diveable. It seems we have been finding more horse and mammoth teeth than shark teeth, possibly because of the silt hiding a lot of the smaller, flatter fossils. I ended the day with a nice 4.5" meg that someone crowned with "super hero" status.
The third and last day for Jeff and I started by picking everyone up at the ramp in Rivrdigr's absence. We decided to dive the outskirts of the boneyard and it paid off for everyone. The viz was much better and everyone found some cool stuff. Particularly mammoth teeth. This area reminded me of the elephant graveyard in "the Lion King"! After two dives we dropped off the Carolina guys so they could partake of their celebratory gastro-intestinal pilaging (mexican food) as is their custom.
Jeff and I did well on our last two dives finding many broken megs and a few whole ones. On the last dive I found six big pieces of mammoth tooth. My bag was full and both of my hands were full. I was a little concerned about how far I may have swam from the boat and as I was organizing for my ascent, I heard the distinct sound of my anchor chain being pulled into the boat. That was a sign Jeff was coming to get me. That was nice as i was starting to grade my finds to make an order in which to drop them if I couldn't make it to the surface. I had close to 50 lbs of stuff that wanted to stay on the bottom. Fortunately, Jeff saved me and my finds, and he had found some good stuff also. It was great meeting and diving with everyone!8 available
|Sarasota County, Florida, USA
|Cool Whale tooth.
|"Superhero" 4.5 inch Venice tooth.
|Nice three inch meg from the first day.
|Found a few of these.
|I wish I had found this a little (like a couple million years) sooner.
|I think this would be a "rack" of mammoth teeth.