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Old 07-04-2010, 04:18 AM   #1
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Snapper
 
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Default Thanks MBT

I do a little river diving for fossils in some places South East of Tallahassee, Gainesville, Tampa....and Im looking forward to a Cooper River trip soon. Diving is just addicting. A whole other world to explore. Since last June when I took my first class at MBT, OW, AOW, and Nitox, it has been an experience and every growing in knowledge. Basic gear to need some of these, trade those in, get me one of those, crap, what the heck am I doing with this stuff, well spend some use some, lose some and give away some gear to refine your gear to fit what you do. They have helped me in my process along with everyone I've dove with and read threads on.

My partner has been river diving 20 years. He first educated me on hazards, man made and natural. So far Ive been lucky not to find many natural ones. My short time has taught me a few critical things though. I recently upgraded to a Zeagle Ranger and its been great, gulf and river you can really tell the relief as opposed to a vest type BCD. Im gonna get a SSBP soon and this should help me lose some weight. In this BCD I have the soft weight bags on both sides. This presents a problem when your river diving. Well what problem could it possibly be??? When you are in a small boat, loaded with tanks, gear and a cooler, well you dont have room to move. Move as in Standing up to change tanks and octo. The Zeagle I have has 2 Cam Bands, the flip over kind. So I have to control balance, lift the BCD with weights inside, try not to struggle as you have to hold the loaded BCD, and slip 2 bands off that hang up every half inch up the tank, all in the space of your feet! Tipsy and stressful, dont want either.

So I called Josh, and he spent a day looking for me the Bands My buddy has on his rig. I tell yall thats the cats meow! ScubaPro cam bands have the back release cam, adjustable straps, and best of all when I unlock the bands, I dont have to lift anything, and barely take a deep breath as I stand the other tank in and pop them back on. Key is to have the same size tanks, and a strap on the BCD to hang over the valve so its the same height everytime! Im telling ya its worth it if you dont have to take chances in a spooky gator hole! Dont need any top water action! LOL

I appreciate the effort Josh, @thecave2130, Gay put into it! I also would like to thank Fritz for the shirt loan! Josh has the funds! Icant tell ya how much money Ive already spent in a year on stuff but its getting right now! I dont see much left to refine! Vips and Hydros!

Last Dive I made a few weeks ago central Fl we found a Mastodon Femur in the Pleistocene Clay. Really an awesome find, we left it there, too fragile to remove. Buddy found a killer whole Adult Mastodon tooth, I picked up a 99% perfect Tapir Fibia, found some Pliocene/Miocene Shell Beds, scored a Inner Ear bone from a whale possibly from this time frame. Some neat teeth, shark, gator, tapir, racoon, rodent, horse, camel, dire wolf, and fragments of mammoth and mastodon. If you have never tried it, make sure you go with someone who may be familiar with the river, the bottom, tides, log jams, and depths. If its like the ones we dive it may be perfect then drop into a sink hole 50 foot! So you have to have a GREAT light and pay attention. Lots of limestone spears all around you, logs, overhead environments possible, line, rope, nets, and hopefully no critters. Ive learned a lot about diving in them. Ill compile it all and share my TIPs and HINTs one day soon. Valuable lessons!

Thanks again, Oh yeah.... When I arrived it was after store hours and Chuck and Josh, flipped coins to see who would reopen.... LOL.... We know who lost! Naaa, never a question. Always friendly honest service from them!

Steve Holloway
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:30 AM   #2
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Snapper
 
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We also find Deer, giant beaver and sloth, turtle, sand filled gloves... LOL and I know this will peak some interest... but long ago in the Pleistocene age, Florida was a Plain. Kinda like Outwest, grasses and scattered trees and those were around water holes, springs or sink holes. Animals would come into these ares to drink and Paleo man would be waiting along with carnivores like the Saber Cat and Dire Wolf. So you never know what your going to find.... but this is something that we find.....

Camel Toes... LOL Camel Foot bones and toe bones. Usually get good views when you mention Giant Beaver in the mix. Kinda keeps ya focused on fossils and not live reptiles!


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Old 07-04-2010, 04:45 AM   #3
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All of these are my friends finds. They have dove for years and found a lot of killer specimens. Here are some.

Juvenile Mastodon

Adult Mastodon with Roots

Juvenile Mammoth

Adult Mammoth

Giant Sloth Claw core (FREAKING MUSEUM PERFECT FOSSIL)

Various freakmode killer shark teeth, Auriculatis, and Megalodon.



Man that is a awesome Meg tooth! Venice Beach Florida. Thats why I go, I wish I had a pic of the Mastodon Femur, its well over 40 inches long and about 8 inches in diameter. I hope a Mandible is near with a set of teeth in it! LOL Ill be looking!

Have fun... Steve
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
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Awesome story and pics - thanks for posting!
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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Default Cooper River

If you like River diving you will love the Cooper River. I have dove there before and had a great time. I went with Capt. Tom dive service. Super dark on the bottom and good current. Found lots of Meg teeth and some Indian pottery pieces. The dive itself and the people I was with made it one of the best dives ever. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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Steve, I'm glad we could help. Diving is all about using the right tools for YOUR type of diving! You definitely have some nice finds! Keep it up!

BTW: I'm "Caver2130"... my wife is "TheCave2130" -- if you catch the humor (she's such a sport for taking that handle!)
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:53 AM   #7
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Well I dove with the new cam bands! LOVE THEM! Easy tank removal and replacement. I changed 2 tanks while my BCD floated in the water! Just poped them off and slid the other tank on the BCD and snap snap! Reg-ed up and ready again!

After the initial band measurement and set up, I used a piece of rope to lay over the Valve and keeps the BCD at a certain height that I like with my AL80's. So as long as that rope is tight over the valve then the bands are in the right spot! If you want something easy and quick, these babies are the only way to go!

Two thumbs up on these cam bands, they suit my diving perfectly.

Steve
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