Scuba Diving in Venice Florida, 2011
Venice is the called the shark tooth capital of the world, so naturally its a place I like to visit every once in a while. Mi hermano fósil, da fossz, joined me. We trekked the 9 hours south to sunny Florida and met up with toofless from meghunter.net. His fossil shirt designs are world famous and he happened to be taking a break from the biz to do some diving and was kind enough to allow us to tag along. We dove for two days and did ok, but definitely not as well as last year.
Day 1 Venice Diving
We did 4 dives, each in a different spot - good. Viso was pretty poor for Venice diving, probably a foot or so. Its easier to find stuff when I can see but I did find some teeth including a nice little mako and I got to dive so I'm not compaining. Unfortunately I lost the digital camera on one of the dives, so there will be no video for this post :-(
I wish I hadn't lost my camera because I saw a leatherback turtle in the Gulf. It was massive - way larger than the green turtles I saw when I was in Hawaii last year. It stuck its head out of the water and looked right at me for a good 5 or 10 seconds before disappearing under the water.
Another bummer about the first day of Venice diving was da fossz's waveform derived illness. Outside of Deadliest Catch, I have never seen anyone so stricken. I admire his spirit because he manned up and played through the pain. Spurrier would be proud.
Day 2 Venice Scuba
Conditions were better early on day two on our Venice Scuba Diving trip. We could see about 3 feet which was better than all day 1. On my first dive I snagged my most complete megalodon tooth of the trip, a 3 beaten incher.
My second dive started off pretty depressing. I swam around for a while but didn't end up finding anything. We were in the same spot as we pulled out all the mammoth teeth last year, so I was pretty surprised. At about 1000 psi (10 minutes left) I pulled up a big black encrusted chunk of something. I could see part of it was smooth so I brushed it off with my gloves. It felt heavy. Once the cloud dispersed, I turned it over in my hand. I looked at the end and saw what looked like growth rings on a tree. Mammoth tusk! Yah baby!! And its a pretty nice chunk too. It wasn't complete obviously, but finding any piece of a tusk pretty rare. Before now, I had a only found a piece so small it weighs about an ounce or two. This piece is easily 4 or 5 pounds.
We headed in to get our tanks filled daydreaming of MORE FOSSILS. We headed back out and the waves were huge. Way bigger than they bad been only an hour before. Toofles' boat was getting tossed around by the 5 foot waves. We were planning on diving with somebody on the boat, but wisely called the trip because it would be too dangerous to get back into the boat. I could not imagine trying to hold onto a ladder in full scuba gear while 5 foot waves bounced the boat around. Not to mention that the water was already visibly milky with silt stirred by the thrashing waves. The forecast looked pretty bleak, so day 3 was cancelled only a few minutes later. Bummer, but it happens. This was still a really fun trip and I am glad to have had the opportunity to collect fossils in Venice.
Thanks again Meghunter!