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NC Meg Ledge

I won’t try to match the poetry and prose of Makoboy http://okinawarelics.blogspot.com/2010/08/ode-to-teeth.html

, but here are my thoughts about our recent diving adventure for Megalodons off the coast of NC.

 

I first heard about the megs coming off the NC ledges about ten years ago.  The stories always went something like this:  “Yeah, I have a friend who dives out there and every time he goes he comes back with a five gallon bucket full of those Megadon teeth.”  I took the five gallon bucket part with a grain of salt but there was no denying that there were Megs, BIG Megs, being found off of the coast.  The only problem was, how to get there?   The ledge is pretty far out, 35 miles off the coast, its deep @ 100 feet, its expensive $155.00 for a single diver plus any equipment and breathing gas needed, and for the longest time there was only one boat running to the ledges and he only took groups of six that you had to organize yourself. 

 

For years one thing or another prevented me from going:  No money, bad weather, boat’s all booked up this year, not enough divers who can all go at the same time, ... Until finally this year I decided I was going.  Come hurricane or high water, I was gonna find some buddies, find some time, find some money, and find a boat that would take me out there to find those megs!

 

So Bob and I, mostly Bob, lined up a charter with http://littlefeetcharters.com/ for a three  tank dive on the Meg Ledge leaving out of Surf City on Topsail Island NC.  We each recruited another dive buddy, set a date for the trip, and then dreamt about all the Megs we were going to find out there.  As we waited for the highly anticipated trip discouraging news came in from every direction:  other divers, captains, shops... that “the  ledges have been hit hard by divers”, “they’re cleaned out”, “all the big ones are gone”, “you’re wasting your time”...

 

Needless to say this is not what I wanted to hear.  So in an effort to our chances I asked Bob to pick up a scooter from one of the few dive shops that rents them out, and they only had one, so that we could use it to blow water at the sand and dig down below the surface where Megs were hidden from the hordes of divers who had cleaned out the ledges previously.  Armed with this vehicle turned digging device, a variety of fanning tools, and the recommended wreck reels, and of course the normal dive equipment we felt like we should be able to find something.

 

The day of the dive opened with rough seas and a captain who wasn’t concerned about our safetyso much as he was our stomachs, “I can get you out there and back safely, but let me ask you something... Are you guys tough?”

 

“Hey Captain, we’re tough but even tough guys get seasick!”  We quickly checked the maximum recommended dose for dramamine, doubled it, and loaded onto the boat.  As we left the inlet Bob and I worried that we would have to turn back because of the rough seas.  Only one other fishing boat was headed out and another local dive charter sat idle as we passed.  Turns out we needn’t have worried, , the captain, the boat, and the dramamine all performed above expectations!

 

At the site, the clouds had opened up and the sun shone down on us, the waves had calmed to a gently rolling sea, the water looked blue and inviting,.the captain asked me to drop the anchor, the others volunteered some helpful advice.

 

“Don’t stand on the rope.”

 

“You better unwrap the anchor line from around your ankle.”

 

I peered into the clear blue sea and tossed the anchor lightly into the water aiming for the exact spot where I thought a meg should be!.

 

We all watched as the rope slid over the side and waited for the anchor to hit the bottom.    I hope it lands on a meg.  Oh!  but I hope it doesn’t break the meg!  So I hope it lands right next to a great big meg...

 

Bob’s the man when it comes to getting geared up and in the water, I guess having to shit, shower and shave in under five minutes every morning for 25 years in the Marine Corps will do that for you.  After taking my hat, shirt, and sandals off I turned around just in time to see Bob disappear over the side of the boat.

 

Dang! Bob’s gonna find my anchor Meg!!

 

On this first dive I wanted to find one Meg, just to take the pressure off, then on dives two and three I would swing for the fences.  After gearing up, I sat on the edge of the boat, gathered the loose ends of my gear together in one hand, and held my mask on my face and regulator in my mouth with the other.  I rolled backwards and was swallowed by the ocean.  I came back to the surface and the captain handed me the scooter.  Dr. B. and I made our way to the anchor line at the bow of the boat, checked our gear one last time and descended into the depths.  I swam downward, one hand on the anchor line, the other occasionally pinching my nose closed to equalize the pressure in my ears, gradually At 70 feet the bottom was clear below, that means 30 feet of visibility, not as good as expected but  plenty good for searching for Megs when you’re two or three feet off the bottom.

 

I did a test run with the scooter, VVVRRRRR!!!! Immediately sand was blasting everywhere and I dug a small hole down to solid rock. 

 

Cool!  This is gonna work great!

 

I decided to do a little searching right here while Dr. B. tied off a line to the anchor so we could find our way back to ascend back to the boat by following the anchor line up..

 

VVVRRRrrr....

 

The scooter stopped.  What the?  Ahhh Crap!  I sucked the lanyard on the scooter into the prop and it was completely tangled, immobile and out of commission.  Oh well I can fix it on the boat and I’ll just save the battery for dives 2 and 3.  I clipped it off to the anchor line so it wouldn’t float away.  Dr. B. and I started off on our search.

 

It didn’t take long to find the first Meg.  It was big, way bigger than I expected, over five inches, it looked to be complete and was just sitting right out in the open.  I showed it to Dr B. then stuffed it in my goodie bag.  With that tooth in hand, the pressure was off, I immediately became more relaxed and started having fun swimming around looking then I found another,  and  another, and another, and another!  Man this is awesome!  Hunted out indeed!  I thought to myself.

 

Then something odd happened.  I saw a large lobster.  He wasn’t in his hole he was out and between two large rocks with plenty of space between them for something to slip down around his back, something like my hand.  With five megs in my bag on the first dive I figured this huge lobster would be a nice addition to my haul and a tasty treat to boot!  So I grabbed him!  Apparently he didn’t like this cause he started swimming with his tail and bucking all over the place.  I grabbed with both hands to hold on and thought wow this is really gonna limit my tooth hunting.  I noticed we were close to the anchor, the lobster had settled down a bit, probably tired I thought, so I let go with one hand to reach and check my air gauge to see how much longer I could stay down.  BAM!  the lobster was gone.  I saw him swimming away Fast!  I swam after, he darted the other way toward some rocks, I darted after.  He got under some rocks and i reached in and eventually pulled him out.  He was still fighting and I was breathing way to fast at this point so I finally dispatched him with my knife.  At this point, scooter jammed, breathing way too fast, with five Megs and a large lobster in my possession, I figured I’d better head up before anything else happened.

 

During our surface interval we discussed our successes and failures, Sgt Rose had a close encounter with a tiger shark as he was spear fishing, some gear was lost, some teeth were found...  I repaired the scooter and everybody looked forward to dive two. 

 

Within minutes of hitting the bottom on dive two I had sucked the line from my wreck reel into the scooter, disabling it again.  I cursed it as I tied it off to the anchor line.  With my line fouled in the scooter I only had about 35 feet of line to play out to search for Megs instead of 75 feet.  This meant a much smaller area to search and in an area everyone had passed through on dive 1.  “Crap, I’m glad I found something on the first dive cause I’m not going to find anything on this dive.”  I thought to myself.  Then I set off to search that 35 foot radius around the anchor as thoroughly as I possible could in 23 minutes of bottom time.

 

I don’t remember much of dive two.  In fact, my only memory on the bottom is of picking up a tooth, over, and over, and over, and....

 

I found Fourteen teeth in 23 minutes!!  Thats about one tooth every 90 seconds!  By the end of the dive I had to hold my hand on top of the bag to keep teeth from falling out!  It was fantastic, so much fun!  I felt like I was King Midas but instead of turning to gold everything I touched turned into a sharks tooth!  I’d pick up what was clearly a rock and Shazam!  It was a four inch Meg!  I’d pick up a piece of shell just to be sure, then.... Bam a five inch Meg!  After, grabbing a Meg in each hand and then spotting a third a few feet  in front of me I started worrying about whether I was getting nitrogen narcosis.  I spotted a huge triangular chunk of whale bone 18” on each side, if it were a Meg it would be the biggest Meg anyone ever imagined.  I focused all my Megalodon transforming powers on that chunk of bone I reached out with both hands and said Abera Cadabera!

 

It was still whale bone.

 

Well, I’m not narced and I don’t have magic powers, I guess I better head up before I run out of air.

 

During the second surface interval I fixed the scooter again and then tried to talk someone else into taking it on the third dive.  There were no takers so for the third dive I took it down  again.  Three strikes, you’re out!  This was my worst dive with only three damaged teeth and no lobsters.  Oh!  I did manage to kick the sand off of an absolutely massive six inch Meg which Dr. B. scarfed up as I swam away in blissful ignorance to foul the scooter’s motor again, this time on Bob’s wreck line.

 

On the ride in, I took apart the scooter and fixed it again, we cracked open a few Foster’s oil cans, relived our adventure and began planning the next trip:  next summer three days, we live off the land spearing fish catching lobsters and raking up piles of Megs!

 

You wanna join us?  Drop us a line!  You wanna help finance the next trip?  Buy one of Bob’s Megs!  http://okinawarelics.com/default.aspx 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1 available
Location Onslow County, North Carolina, USA

ID3783
MemberwRick
Date Added8/30/2010

Oohhhh...Poor Mr Krabbs! Maybe he'll feel better if we give him a hot bath in butter and garlic!
C'mon daddy, its bad enough you brought back a lobster, but sand dollars! You're supposed to be finding Sharks Teeth!!
23 Teeth! (2 not shown)
Two 5.5 inchers! Thinking about having the one restored, love the color of the root and bourellette. The better one has a tooth bite gouge on it, you can even see the marks of the serrations.
5&7/8 inch meg
  

Links
Quick trip down to onlsow county
Quick trip down to onlsow county
Second trip to Onslow Quarry
Second trip to Onslow Quarry
What a trip this was!!!
What a trip this was!!!
  

Comments
Epic tale of glory! - 8/31/2010
Reviewer : dw from Summerville South Carolina United States
Total Rating : 10
What an awesome writeup! I felt like I was there cursing the scooter with you. Congrats on the super haul! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree  2 of 2 voters agreed.

Thanks DW - 8/31/2010
Reviewer : wRick from North Carolina United States
Total Rating : No Rating
Here's another pic that wouldn't fit: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?app=core&module=attach§ion=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=68031 We found a nice variety of tooth positions. the two+ inch Mako would be a trip maker on most days, but not today.
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

Great Report! - 9/2/2010
Reviewer : MikeDOTB from North Carolina United States
Total Rating : 10
Congrats on the finds as well! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 


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