Mine the Harvest

Diving for Shark Teeth – Venice Beach, FL

by on Aug.19, 2007, under Dive Trips

Diving report:

Syd and I went for a shore dive today down Venice Beach – about half an hour south of St. Pete. We had heard of this dive before, but had not done it ourselves. Some friends from work dove it last weekend and found approx. a dozen or more shark teeth. So we decided to give it a go this weekend.

We drove down to Venice Beach which seemed to be a pretty nice area. The beach itself was quite nice, though the shops are resturants are about a mile or so inland, only the every present private condos encroaching as far as possible into the sea. The beach itself is public, and only moderately crowded, suprising considering the near ideallic day – in the 90s, slight breeze but very hot sun -and the water temp.? A soothing 89 F ! Wow. Visibility was exceptional for this site at 8 – 10′ – frequently it is 3 – 5′ per reports. We had no difficulty seeing and navigating. (Put those new nav skills to work having just done the navigation course the last few weeks.) We did use a dive real to tether ourselves together though so we didn’t have to worry about getting separated. Hardly a big deal in 20′ – but still, easier than having to find a lost buddy and surface. This also provided Syd the opportunity to experiment with ingeniously entangling the line in an exceedingly creative way. Excellent practice and now we can safely prevent it when we are in a cave dive in the Yucatan and 200′ back.

We had to get out to about 18′ deep before you get into the fossilzed teeth – so the wise Google had informed us. This means you have to get about 1/4 mile out into the Gulf from shore as the Gulf drops away so agonizingly slowly – so swim swim swim we swam for a ways. Syd actually found a great tooth (best of the day) at 15′ – then we went to 18′ and spent about an hour looking. I found two good teeth and a shard. We saw BIG hermit type crabs, some blue crabs, billions of sanddollars (living and not) and many very friendly fish we have yet to identify. They would swim RIGHT UP to your mask can look you in the eye – very social. One followed Syd for several hundred feet, looking her in the mask several time and swimming through her hair.

There was a moderate shore current so you had to give about a 30 deg. correction factor on the swim out and back or you would go way off course, but it was an easy swim.

I would have liked to have found more teeth, but I understand there are just not as many as there used to be – the area gets scavanged pretty good. Perhaps after a storm might be better.

It was a very enjoyable dive and I am sure we will try it again some time – though I think we are likely not to experience the 10′ vis again any time soon.


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