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Cooper River
Charleston S.C.
July 13th - 18th, 2009

Photos by: Robert Kyle, Rick Jacquot, Andy Tripp and Jerry Fortenberry

My week long fossil hunting trip began on Monday as I headed south towards Charleston, South Carolina. The plan was to meet up with Jerry, Tena and Robert Kyle on Wednesday and dive Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Cooper River. I was going to spend Tuesday and Wednesday doing some land fossil hunting at a few locations I know about in the area. I made a detour over to Georgia to meet with Junior Norman and check out the new amethyst site we would be visiting at the end of August. After meeting with Junior, I headed towards Charleston. I arrived late that night and planned out my fossil hunting locations for Tuesday.

My first stop was a location under the Ashley River bridge. I had taken the club to this site with Jerry a few years ago and had even written an article on the location for Rock & Gem Magazine.

As you can see in the pic above, the ground is covered with black phosphate gravel and hopefully fossils. I walked the site for about two hours and was rewarded with this great clam shell cast!

I quickly realized that this site was no longer producing like it did in the past, at least not today. I decided to head downtown and checkout the Charleston Harbor.

I crossed over the Cooper River bridge and parked on the side where the USS Yorktown is docked. I hiked back to the middle of the bridge so I could take some good shots of the harbor and the Yorktown.

After lunch, I headed back out the interstate to Summerville where I was sure I would locate a creek or two with some good fossils.

Some of the creeks were in the jungle, the concrete jungle. I was in urban gorilla mode. I had one eye looking in the creek and the other watching my back to be sure I wasn't mugged by one of the local artists.

I thought I would park my car here while I checked out a nearby stream, but something told me to keep driving?

By that afternoon I was pretty much done with the land hunting fossil idea. Having found little to show for my efforts, I was reminded once again why I love to scuba dive for fossils.

I was cruising around Summerville trying to think of another creek or stream to check when I got a call from John Cercopely. John is a local dive charter captain that works the Cooper River. I had been corresponding with John about my new book "Bonehunter" and he had ordered several to sell on his web site. He invited me to stop by and checkout his dive shop.

My fossil hunting was producing very little so I took him up on his offer and drove to Goose Creek.

Johns dive boat "Surface Interval".

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